Cornyn: Be afraid of India. No, wait. Make that China.

John Cornyn last week, on the importance of F-22 funding the Secretary of Defense didn’t want:

“It’s important to our national security because we’re not just fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Cornyn says. “We’re fighting — we have graver threats and greater threats than that: From a rising India, with increased exercise of their military power; Russia; Iran, that’s threatening to build a nuclear weapon; with North Korea, shooting intercontinental ballistic missiles, capable of hitting American soil.”

Uh…India? Aren’t they our ally?

Skip ahead to Cornyn today: Oops! I meant China.

”Senator Cornyn misspoke saying ‘India’ when he meant to say ‘China.’ As Founder and Co-chairman of the Senate India Caucus, no Senator has greater respect or admiration for India or values our relationship with them more. Sen. Cornyn regrets the mistake and apologizes for any misunderstanding this may have caused,” his spokesman Kevin McLaughlin clarified after the remarks were brought to his notice.

Misunderstanding and ire there certainly was for a moment from a very sensitive Indian lobby. One community activist wanted to know what the Senator had been drinking. And coming on a day India launched its first indigenously built nuclear submarine, it certainly raised eyebrows.

People misspeak, of course. But misspeaking when you’re engaging in international fearmongering is a little more serious than ordering the wrong thing at dinner. And that’s just one of the reasons it’s really stupid to call out four countries at a time in your pursuit of military pork.

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