Sunday, May 4, 2008

McCain's Gaffe

McCain recently stated
My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will — that will then prevent us — that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.

Here's the video of the statement. This is a classic Kinsley Gaffe, a time where a candidate accidently tells the truth. Is John McCain suggesting that our current entanglements in the middle east are because of oil? Perish the thought!
This is a painfully stupid controversy... and McCain hastily backtracked (bogusly) claiming he was talking about the first war in Iraq (it is for some reason more appropriate to say oil factored into decision-making leading up to the first Gulf War.
It's stupid that we have pretend that oil security plays no role in our policy.
Newsflash: Oil has played a major role shaping US policy in the middle east since we first became involved with the region. This is because oil is vitally important to the way of life maintained in the West. While I think US policy toward the middle east has been unjust, there is nothing unjust about factoring oil into strategic decision-making per se. Nor was the US concern about Gulf Oil dreamed up by Bush and his corrupt oil-cronies. The nuances of the situation cannot be described accurately by the slogan "No War For Oil"... but neither does it make sense to pretend oil has nothing to do with our policies.
That said, I think what McCain said was pretty stupid, first because it suggests that the Bush-McCain's policy of endless war is a stabilizing force in the mid-east, and second because it claims that his energy plan can solve our energy troubles. Kevin Drum writes:
[T]here isn't an energy expert in the world — not one — who thinks we can "eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East." It's a child's fantasy, but McCain spouts this stuff as if solving our problems really were just that easy. It reminds me of his solution to the fighting in Iraq: "One of the things I would do if I were President would be to sit the Shiites and the Sunnis down and say, 'Stop the bullshit.'"

(Posted by Ewan)

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