Wash. Post uncritically quoted McCain misrepresenting Biden's proposal for Iraq

››› ››› LAUREN AUERBACH

The Washington Post uncritically quoted Sen. John McCain's claim during the final presidential debate that Sen. Joe Biden had "this cockamamie idea about dividing Iraq into three countries." In fact, Biden introduced a plan to "[m]aintain a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis breathing room in their own regions."

In an October 16 Washington Post article, staff writers Michael D. Shear and Robert Barnes uncritically quoted Sen. John McCain's claim during the October 15 presidential debate that Sen. Joe Biden had "this cockamamie idea about dividing Iraq into three countries." Shear and Barnes did not point out -- as the Post's Michael Abramowitz noted in a "Live Fact Check" of the debate -- that McCain's claim is in fact false. As Media Matters for America has previously noted, Biden introduced a "five-point" plan to "[m]aintain a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis breathing room in their own regions." Biden's plan also stated that "[t]he Iraqi constitution already provides for federalism" and that "[t]he central government would be responsible for common interests, like border security and the distribution of oil revenues."

From Shears and Barnes' October 16 article:

McCain said Biden is qualified "in many respects," but added that "he's been wrong on many foreign policy and national security issues, which is supposed to be his strength," and that he had "this cockamamie idea about dividing Iraq into three countries."

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
The Washington Post
Person
Michael Shear, Robert Barnes
Stories/Interests
Joe Biden, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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