Saturday, August 09, 2008


McCain: AIDS breeds Islamic extremism

On All Things Considered on Thursday, I heard John McCain say something that made me go to NPR’s web site to make sure I’d heard it right. I had. Here’s what Senator McCain said last month, in New Hampshire (“it”, here, refers to U.S. foreign aid):

It really needs to eliminate many of the breeding grounds for extremism, which is poverty, which is HIV/AIDS, which is all of these terrible conditions that make people totally dissatisfied and then look to extremism, particularly Islamic extremism.


I don’t recall hearing anything about this at the time, but is this statement really as stupid as it sounds? Did he really say that AIDS results in terrorists? And not just any ones, but “particularly Islamic” ones? Why should Islamic extremists be more motivated than any other sorts by widespread AIDS infection? And is there any evidence that AIDS fosters extremism in general (other than, perhaps, “extremist” demands for more money to combat AIDS)? Where did he pull that one out of?

Yes, we should definitely put a good bit of our foreign aid money toward fighting AIDS. Absolutely.

We should also make sure we don’t elect someone who makes stupid, unsupportable statements like this. We’ve already had one of those for the last eight years.


W.M. Irwin said...

This may be a calculated strategy on the part of his campaign. Inserting references to the "War on Terror" in speeches about unrelated topics, to give them more political "punch", is a trademark of the current administration. Another indication of what we may be in for if McCain is elected.

Jojo Chintoh said...

You know, I'm not bothered by candidates talking nonsense. I mean, what else is knew, right? I'm bothered by how critically accepting media outlets are of such nonsense.

Barry Leiba said...

Excellent point, Jojo, indeed. I wish the media were more willing to call "Bullshit!"