The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

playing catch up

The beating that John McCain continues to take over his assertion that Petraeus goes out everyday in an “unarmed Humvee� and that Americans can stroll about downtown Baghdad in shirt sleeves might be old news now, but it still has entertainment value.

“I think you ought to catch up� McCain told Wolf Blitzer when he got home. These days it looks like it's McCain, trailing two unelectable competitors for the Republican nomination, who needs to do some catching up.

Michael Ware is denying, sort of, the Drudgereport story that he laughed at McCain and heckled him during the Green Zone press conference in which he made the original comments. CNN hasn’t released the tape of the conference yet, but note two things. First, that a CNN story later mentioned that McCain "became testy when pressed." And secondly, that Ware only denies misbehaviour during the conference, and neatly rules out speaking about what happened after the conference "abruptly ended."

There’s also an video here of McCain getting smacked around on CNN the day after he talked to Blitzer, though, and a transcript here of CBS’s Allen Pizzey referring to his comments as “utter rubbish� (and the rest of the interview is worth a scan as well).