Thursday, June 5, 2008

So Much for McCain's Straight Talk

Full analysis on FactChecker.Org.

Soft on Iran
June 5, 2008
McCain misrepresents Obama's stand on naming Revolutionary Guard as terrorists.
John McCain is attacking Barack Obama's opposition to the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which (among other things) called for labeling Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization. McCain claims that Obama's opposition means that he also opposed calling the IRGC terrorists. We find otherwise.

* Obama cosponsored an earlier bill that also called for designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization.

* The Kyl-Lieberman amendment did more than just label the IRGC terrorists. Obama stated at the time that he opposed the bill on the grounds that it constituted "saber-rattling."

* McCain claims that Obama must oppose calling the IRGC a terrorist group because Obama's Web site doesn't say anything about the IRGC. McCain's argument is a glaring example of the logical fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam.

For the past two weeks, presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain and Democratic front-runner (and now presumptive nominee) Barack Obama have engaged in a war of words over their respective positions on Iran. In a June 2 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, McCain upped the ante, criticizing Obama's failure to support an amendment that called for designating Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, a charge that McCain repeats on his Web site. It's true that Obama opposed the amendment in question. But McCain is wrong to suggest that Obama's opposition had anything to do with the IRGC's designation. And McCain fails to mention that Obama cosponsored an earlier bill that would have named the IRGC a terrorist organization.