While people are starting to debate whether McCain is too old or too regular dumb to be President, I have moved past such hair splitting to a different camp. I don't particularly care why McCain struggles to grasp various facts and details, I just don't want him making decisions about anything ever. I don't even want him ordering lunch for me because, at this point, I would end up with a pancake sandwich on rye with lettuce and syrup.
McCain's most recent mistake came during a vigorous defense of our troop surge, which he credits for the Anbar Awakening. In that series of battles, a group of sheiks and their respective tribes decided they had had enough of Al Qaeda and banded together to chase them out of Anbar province. That success story would give great credit to the surge strategy except for one small problem. Just a tiny issue. It's hardly anything, really. You see, the Anbar Awakening happened BEFORE the surge started.
If that's not enough for you - and if it isn't, I'm not sure what would be, you greedy bastard! - McCain went on to say that Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Rishu was protected by the surge. The glorious surge. Sattar is the one people credit for influencing Sunni leaders to fight back against Al Qaeda in Iraq. McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds added, "If Barack Obama had had his way, the Sheiks who started the Awakening would have been murdered at the hands of al Qaeda."
Daaaaaaammmmmmmmn! Burn, Obama! You're so naive about the world, Barack. Except...hang on. What? Sattar was assassinated by Al Qaeda in September 2007? During the surge? I...hold on. Let's step back here. So far McCain has claimed something in 2007 caused something in 2006, and then he said the surge protected a man who was killed during the surge. Do I have that right? I do. Oh God.
Boy, I can't even imagine a way things could get worse for McCain regarding the surge. No, wait, I can. That's right. That's why I'm still writing. As Joe Conason points out, after the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006, Iraqis thought we'd be leaving and started pulling things together.
In other words, Obama's plan for withdrawal is not only endorsed by Prime Minister Maliki and most Iraqis, it's actually an effective threat that helps unify Iraqis.
I'm as prone to exaggeration as anybody else, but quite literally, John McCain has no idea what he's talking about when he mentions Iraq. Or, come to think of it, foreign policy. Or domestic issues. Or the economy. Pretty solid candidate you have there, GOP!