What is Senator John McCain smoking? The war in Iraq is a rapidly disintegrating mess and McCain wants to send more US troops directly into harm’s way. “Without additional combat forces we will not win this war,” McCain said yesterday.

Has it not occurred to the presidential wannabe that America’s occupying presence might itself be fueling the insurgency?

In early August the US launched Operation Forward Together, sending 12,000 additional troops into Baghdad to try and pacify the city. It didn’t work. Even Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell admitted that the operation “has not met our overall expectations of sustaining a reduction in the levels of violence.” In fact, the bloodshed spiked upwards.

Why would sending more troops again, to Baghdad or the rest of the country, produce any different result?

Moreover, where will the troops come from? The Weekly Standard‘s subscription list? There’s already a backdoor draft in this country, with many soldiers on their third or fourth deployments. “Not a single deployed US Army unit is battle ready,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday.

McCain is now calling himself a “common sense conservative.” But on Iraq, he’s full of you know what.