MAYBE HE NEEDS TO GO BACK TO IRAQ….I guess the right thinks this “Obama’s afraid to visit Iraq, nanny nanny poo poo” taunt is a political winner for them. It certainly fits in with their strategy to paint the Illinois senator as un-American and weak. Of course, the exact phrases that John McCain is using in making the taunt match the words from Vets for Freedom, a 527 group which is off limits to any McCain supporters, but OK for the Presidential candidate as far as coordinating messages, I guess. McCain is also using unauthorized images of American military personnel in pushing this message along.

“The U.S. military must remain apolitical at all times and in all ways,” wrote the chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, the nation’s highest-ranking officer. “It is and must always be a neutral instrument of the state, no matter which party holds sway.” […]

Three days [after Mullen’s advice was published], Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, sent a fundraising solicitation using an image of him and Gen. David Petraeus.

“Something is wrong with your judgment when you want to sit down unconditionally with Raul Castro and Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but you don’t take the opportunity to sit down with General Petraeus and learn about the situation in Iraq firsthand,” the letter reads. “My friends, this is not the ‘change’ we need in our next president.”

I believe this comes very close to McCain breaking the law.

But let’s break down his substantive “point,” if we can dig it out. He’s saying that you cannot show proper judgment about Iraq unless you physically set foot in the country. But, as Michael Ware notes, McCain has been in Iraq multiple times, and yet has screwed up assessments of the situation on the ground over and over again, most recently… yesterday:

All week we’ve been hearing about all those trips McCain has made to Iraq. We know about some of them. Like the one where he claimed he could stroll safely through a Baghdad. Or the one recently where he didn’t know the difference between Sunnis and Shi’as.

Just yesterday, McCain was talking about how “quiet” Mosul is. But, Nico Pitney compared McCain’s words to what was actually happening yesterday in Mosul:

“Moreover, McCain’s claim that Mosul is “quiet” was disproved earlier today in grim fashion. Three suicide bombings — two in Mosul and another in a surrounding town — left 30 Iraqis dead and more than two dozen injured, according to press reports.”

And the reason for that is that there’s no such thing as a legitimate “fact-finding mission” in Iraq. The trips are highly sanitized dog-and-pony shows which make it nearly impossible to get a real picture of things. So on every level, McCain “killer attack” is more like a lead balloon.