Friday, October 03, 2008

General McClellan?

Sarah Palin mangled the name of General David McKiernan in the debate last night.

I heard her say "General McClellan" twice last night, and I knew she was wrong - I jumped up, ready for Joe Biden to slam her for it. I was surprised Joe Biden let it go. McKiernan was in the news yesterday morning, and even Joe Sixpacks like me knew his name. How come Palin didn't?

Go to this page at the NY Times website and jump to Palin's comments at time-mark 57:16. She calls McKiernan "McClellan" twice. If I caught that, I don't know why neither Ifill nor Biden called her on it. Whatever their reasons, it was a pretty bad slip by Palin, and indicates how poorly informed she is.

Here's the news item Biden and Palin were discussing:

Gen. David McKiernan, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, was quoted on Oct. 2 in The Washington Post as saying that "no Iraq-style 'surge' of forces will end the conflict" in Afghanistan, even though more U.S. troops are needed to take on a growing insurgency.

"Afghanistan is not Iraq," McKiernan said in Washington on Oct. 1. He also said "the word I don't use for Afghanistan is 'surge.' " He called for a "sustained commitment" leading to a political and not just a military solution.

He said Afghanistan is a "far more complex environment than I ever found in Iraq." The newspaper paraphrased him as citing the country's "unique challenges" — "the mountainous terrain, rural population, poverty, illiteracy, 400 major tribal networks and history of civil war."

posted at 10:09:00 AM by Neil

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