Herman Cain should stop trying to revisit his Libya answer. This is what he said when he tried another defense:
Do I agree that they now have a country where you’ve got Taliban and Al Qaeda that’s going to be part of the government?
Presumably, he doesn’t agree with that, but it would be a good question to ask Cain just to see if he was able to recognize that the Taliban are in no way connected to current events in Libya. It’s true that there were some Libyans involved in the uprising who had previously fought against the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group did have some ties to Al Qaeda in the past, but that isn’t what Cain meant. What Cain managed to say here was that he knows so little about the war in Libya that he apparently cannot distinguish between anti-Gaddafi rebels and the forces that the U.S. and NATO are fighting in Afghanistan. He should really stop while he’s behind before he makes it any worse.
Weigel calls this “almost an understandable mistake,” but it’s only “almost understandable” in the sense that no one expects Cain to make any sense when he speaks about foreign affairs. In fact, confusing the wars in Libya and Afghanistan, which is what he seems to have done here, is close to being inexplicable for someone seeking national office. It’s not as if fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan is a recent development. It’s been the largest part of the war in Afghanistan for more than ten years. Forget about Cain as a presidential candidate for a moment, and just ask yourself how an adult who has been conscious during the last decade could make this sort of mistake. I don’t know how it’s possible.