Is John McCain smarter than a fifth grader?

John McCain, the self-proclaimed foreign policy guru and best candidate for president of the United States, apparently has very little understanding of the situation on the ground in the Middle East.

As Cameron W. Barr and Michael D. Shear of the Washington Post report:

McCain said it was "common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that's well known. And it's unfortunate." A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate's ear. McCain then said: "I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda."

Such a blunder puts any Bushism to shame. If only McCain remembered that al-Qaeda in Iraq is composed of mostly Sunni Muslim extremists, with Shiites and U.S. forces often being the targets of their attacks.

Iran, on the other hand, is ruled by Shiites and the country supports a Shiite-led government in Iraq. For months, the U.S. has asserted that Iraq Shiite militias have been training and obtaining weapons in Iran to further their cause.

Perhaps old man, maverick McCain needs to learn when to keep his mouth shut. And, perhaps, the Democrats need to capitalize on these senile moment. Talking Points Memo put out an interesting clip calling McCain's perceived strengths his Achilles heel.

Monday, McCain reconfirmed his commitment to the war, the same war that he says he’ll fight for 100 more years if necessary when elected president, taking a dig on his potential Democratic opponents:

I don't know if it's naiveté or what the problem is, but they're dead wrong when they say we should leave Iraq.

Now, if calling their potential ignorance into question isn’t just the perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black, I don’t know what is.

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