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John McCain's Big Lie

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By William Boardman -- Reader Supported News


Prisoner of Warmaking by [beforeitsnews]

Sen. McCain Calls Admiral an "Idiot" -- Why Do Media Promote That?

Context doesn't matter with clever kitty videos, but politics is different

BuzzFeed, moving up from cute-cat-tricks to catty-Senator-tricks, caused a few ripples in the political swamp on October 22 with its belated, skewed reporting of Republican Senator John McCain calling U.S. Admiral John Kirby an "idiot" on a rightwing radio show in North Carolina on October 15. OK, nobody really expects BuzzFeed News to publish honest news.

Less defensible, though hardly surprising, is the way the Washington Post and other less well known media outfits picked up the "idiot" story fragment and ran with it as if it was the whole story, without further context, much less identifying Sen. McCain's own idiotic statements and falsehoods in the very same radio interview.

Here's the nut of the story, when Sen. McCain, in response to no question, interrupts the host and says out of the blue:

"It's the most amazing thing. It's the most amazing thing. The spin and the lies out of this White House. I mean, it's, it's unbelievable. This idiot Admiral Kirby was asked, I think yesterday, that said, 'John McCain says that we are losing, what do you say?' The guy, you gotta run it, you gotta run it. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. I mean, it's amazing. And how can they possibly now, with ISIS taking about two thirds of the city of Kobani -- they're saying this is effective. You know, there's two hundred thousand refugees out of that town, thousands have been slaughtered". [rambling on other subjects for another minute]"

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Radio Host Tyler Cralle didn't know enough, or care enough, to interrupt the senator and point out that Kobani's total population in 2004 was about 50,000. Or that Kobani has been a haven for internal refugee Syrians fleeing the civil war. Or that this flood of displaced persons from elsewhere has reportedly pushed Kobani's population perhaps as high as 400,000. Not surprisingly there's no accurate count of these refugees becoming re-refugees, either elsewhere in Syria or in neighboring Turkey. If McCain actually cared about uprooted Syrians, he would have been advocating for them three years ago.

Fear-mongering is what people do when they have no cogent argument

Sen. McCain couldn't possibly have known whether it was true to say, "ISIS taking about two-thirds of the city of Kobani." It's unlikely anyone knew with any precision, including those on the ground. Whether it was ever true, which is doubtful, it's not true more than a week later, according to the BBC. It's a small point, but its importance is how it shows Sen. McCain's willingness to demagogue and falsify in the service of his perennial fear-mongering.

Taking fear-mongering as far as it can go, Sen. McCain claims that ISIS is:

"" now the largest and most powerful terrorist organization in history, uh, they control area the size of, uh, state of Indiana, and they are winning and we are losing. And that is very serious, and it poses a direct threat to the United States of America"."

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That should be "poses as" a direct threat, since no serious person can make a credible case for ISIS being a significant threat to the U.S. now, or for the foreseeable future. Or perhaps Sen. McCain knows more about the ISIS Air Force and the ISIS Navy than is presently apparent, and this justifies his fear-mongering.

There is no persuasive evidence that "they are winning and we are losing." There is no persuasive evidence that anyone is winning or losing. What persuasive evidence there is seems to show that everyone is losing. In recent months, the fighting in Syria and Iraq has been stalemated, with minor gains and losses on any side making little if any overall difference.

McCain is fear-mongering even when he claims ISIS controls an area the size of Indiana, roughly 36,400 square miles. All of Syria is 72,000 square miles. What ISIS controls is a patchwork of roads and communities. This patchwork is intertwined with other patchworks of roads and communities controlled by others. And these patchworks continue to change almost daily. "Control" is a chimera in both Syria and Iraq.

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)
 

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