Monday, July 21, 2008


From ABC:

As Barack Obama began his trip to the Middle East and Europe, the media was already speculating about the possibility of a gaffe. Obama's travel "carries political risk," the New York Times reported, "particularly if Mr. Obama makes a mistake."

But the only foreign policy error made in the last few days came this morning on ABC's Good Morning America, when John McCain made ANOTHER geography gaffe while trying to criticize Obama's visit to Iraq. (Just last week, McCain repeatedly referred to Czechoslovakia, a country that hasn't existed since 1993.)

Asked by Diane Sawyer whether the "the situation in Afghanistan in precarious and urgent," McCain responded: "I think it's serious. . . . It's a serious situation, but there's a lot of things we need to do. We have a lot of work to do and I'm afraid it's a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq/Pakistan border."

But as ABC's Rick Klein noted: "Iraq and Pakistan do not share a border. Afghanistan and Pakistan do."

I have several buddies from the Czech Republic. I asked them over the weekend what they thought of McCain's repeated references to "Czechoslovakia", and one of them observed that many Americans seem uninterested in world affairs, and are geographically challenged.

I agreed, but noted that Senator McCain might want to bone up on matters such as these, as he's running for president and all.

They laughed and shook their heads.

Their sentiments weren't lost in translation.  



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