I can understand verbal gaffs. I make them - we all do. Today, I said "I dated my wife for one year, six months, and 4 days before we were married 14 years ago today."
(Side issue: I remembered our anniversary. She didn't.)
What my coworkers heard? "I did my wife for one year, six months, and 4 days before we were married."
Yeah - a little different. So when John McCain said that al Qaeda was going into Iran, this made no sense. See, al Qaeda is a Sunni group, Iran is a Shiite group. This is like saying that Protestants are assisting the IRA - it's incredibly wrong. It's like saying the Hatfelds are training the McCoys in how to fight off the Union. It's like Mario training Knuckles on how to defeat Sonic.
Right - makes no sense.
So when McCain said it three times, OK - that's when you know he just didn't know the difference. And even worse - his campaign is sending out mailers that still get the information wrong!
I think this stems with the idea that McCain just has no clue. He doesn't get the history of al Qaeda - where they came from, what they are fighting for (and no, it's not "they hate Freedom"), why they are in Afghanistan, and the rest. Spending 15 minutes on Wikipedia would go a long way to educating yourself.
I think it all boils down one thing: McCain, like Bush, doesn't really have a grasp of the foreign world. It all boils down to this:
America is the strongest nation in the world.
America can not lose a war.
America lost Vietnam because we gave up.
Therefore, we must Win in Iraq because America can not lose a war.
Who cares why we're fighting, or who. We must win in McCain's mind. And sadly, he'll drag us through another 5 years of battle if he wins - even if he still doesn't know why. Or against whom.