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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Reason to Be Scared of McCain: Religious Rhetoric

This is a truly alarming McCain statement, especially in the context of geopolitical diplomacy in the Muslim world and what appears to be an alarming trend:

On a frozen winter evening at a Town Hall meeting in a school in the Manchester, N.H., suburbs, John McCain expressed surprise and irritation with an intelligence report downplaying the threat of Iran's nuclear program... At the end of a long list of reasons to be suspicious of the Iranians, McCain declared: "And they sure don't share our Judeo-Christian values."

This is absolutely inflammatory and indefensible. McCain may think that he is simply scoring some cheap points with religious-values voters but the subtext to what he's saying is disturbing.

Remember how even President Bush took great pains after 9/11 to stress that a war against terrorism didn't equate to a war against Islam? By painting our tensions with Iran as tensions with a country that doesn't "share our Judeo-Christian values", he is starkly calling out to the people of Iran and other Muslim countries that he sees this as, at least partially, a struggle of religions and the values underpinning them. This is scary, undiplomatic and unworthy of a candidate for the office of President of the United States.