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Obama, amid criticism from McCain, says he will visit Iraq


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It will be advisable for Obama to visit Iraq as the President of USA i.e. after the elections. This is in line with those who have expressed concerns about Obama's life.

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It wouldn't hurt Obama to go to Iraq--unless of course his security should mysteriously dissolve--but it is not necessary for him to go there in order to understand what is going on. We have plenty of players there to tell us what is happening. Fortunately, not all of them were their visit ribbons on their chest like McCain does in support of Bush's policies there.

Obama's visit to Iraq is not likely to result in an epiphany. McCain went and saw what he stated before he went--namely, that the surge was working. Obama could go today and see what he has stated--namely, that improvement doesn't betoken sufficient improvement, that the surge has not achieved its principle objectives and that there is no showing of likelihood that it will.

More cynically, the withdrawal of the surge troops before the election can be characterized as declaring victory and leaving the field. Never mind whether we are any closer to the results that cutting the astronomical violence by a fraction was intended to achieve. And exactly who was going to populate those 50 bases anyway?

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Heh, McCain is growing more and more desperate for Obama to go to Iraq - because McCain thinks his 'foreign policy experience' - namely crashing planes and sitting in a POW camp for 5 years - somehow gives him some sort of credibility.

Which - of course - detracts from his own near total lack of economic experience.

This time, it's going to be 'It's the economy, stupid' - again.

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Summing up McCain's foreign policy experience as sitting in a POW camps and crashing planes isn't something a reasonable man would say.

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SuperLib, backing McCain isn't something a reasonable man would do.

Not that you are, of course.

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[clarification] ..not that you are (backing Obama)..

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But isn't your claim about McCain's credentials simply propaganda? If I'm wrong, then please explain.

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SuperLib, what are you talking about?

I'm hinting that you support Obama, which you have claimed you do.

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I doubt the posters who belittle McCain's war experience could hold his jock strap.

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Sarge, I don't think anyone would want to.

Sarge, Sen. McCain - like Bush - seems to think the it's the job of the U.S. president to spend untold billions on Iraq.

Not on Americans.

Why do you support that?

It's unpartiotic and it fuels terrorism.

But I think you like it :-)

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Oh, and Sarge, it's pretty well known Sen. McCain caused more trouble for the U.S. military when he was "serving" than he did when he wasn't.

But, if I was you, I'd just ignore the facts and wrap myself in the flag.

BTW, do you wear a lapel pin?

No? Thought not.

How can you call yourself a patriotic American?

Ditto for SuperLib.

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"Obama, amid criticism from McCain, says he will visit Iraq"

The New Left's Great Whitewash Hope already starting the move to the center. Obama doesn't know who he is, or what he believes. The flip-flopping and all the folks he had to throw under the bus are probably the stuff of an upcoming third autobiography. But will his ghostwriter be able to dash it off before November?

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I don't think any of this backbiting has solved anything.

He'll go.

Maybe John McCain feels more comfortable in combat zones then Obama, period. He's been closer to the military after many many years of his association and by being in the Senate for so many years.

Doesn't mean that he's better presidential material. They both look at war differently. One looks at war as his destiny to finish out his life as the Commander and Chief. The other has his sights at rebuilding the nation into a strong country as before. < :-)

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Sad to see Obama fall prey to the likes of McCain who think that a trip to Iraq is proof of their patriotism and experience in foreign relations. Taking trips to Iraq has become a meaningless uber cliche to those eager to show how awesome they are (read: michelle malkin and her ilk).

And great to see mccain taking full credit for le surge.

General Shinseki is sure looking like a military genius more and more these days ay?

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rjd - General Shinseki was advocating deploying up to half a million troops in Iraq. I think you may the only one here who supports the genius.

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namely crashing planes and sitting in a POW camp for 5 years - somehow gives him some sort of credibility.

Sushi, Don't go there. Yes, Sen. McCain sat for FIVE years in a POW camp. He could have been out of Vietnam much earlier. Twice, he deferred to someone else during prisoner exchanges. One of the reasons Sen. McCain was beaten so badly by his captors was because they wanted to show the other captives that money and connections were more important than the rank and file. Sen. McCain paid a heavy price to insure they did not get that psy-ops victory.

There is no reason to disparage his military career. Stick to the McCain the politician. His political credibility is dying a not-so slow death due to his complete reversal on so many subjects and because the Democrats have done a very good job of tying him to the bush presidency (which he has voted with over 90% of the time over the last two years). His "Maverick" status is gone. His youthful indescretions are coming back to haunt him. His chances (which weren't so hot to start with) are dwindling. There simply isn't a need to insult his military career.

Let's let the neo-cons have their monopoly on hate, fear and pettiness.


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John McCain was a war hero for withstanding 5 years in a POW camp. I laud his accomplishment. But it doesn't make presidential material.

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Four-Star General Colin Powell calls John McCain "the toughest man I ever met."

I'll take his word.

McCain supported an unpopular surge in troops to Iraq and has been vindicated. Obama opposed it and has been proven wrong.

Advantage McCain, 2 - 0.

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"His Maverick status is gone"

Yeah, he's beginning to realize that trying to cooperate with the Democrats on certain issues has only resulted in being stabbed in the back by them. The Democrats don't try to reach across the aisle like McCain has.

"his complete reversal on so many subjects"

Like supporting the Bush tax cuts after intially opposing them? Yeah, well, better to acknowledge mistakes than refuse to acknowledge them, like Obama.

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Four-Star General Colin Powell calls John McCain "the toughest man I ever met." I'll take his word.

After his famous PP presentation at the UN I would hesitate to take his word for it that it was raining, even if I were standing in a downpour.

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Both Powell and McCain are men who have "seen the elephant." They both know the horrors of war first-hand.

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Ol' Bush didn't take a trip to Iraq to survey the WMDs on the ground before deciding to invade, did he?

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[Obama] said he told Zebari that he was encouraged by the reductions of violence in Iraq, but that as president he will carefully move to end U.S. combat operations in Iraq.

While the improving situation in Iraq may well allow for a quicker drawdown of US troops from Iraq that both candidates want, it would be unwise to make a rapid drawdown the overarching goal. A precipitous withdrawal of US troops at this juncture could lead to disaster for Iraq, its neighbors, the US and the wider world. Better, I think, for both candidates to study the situation there and avoid tying their hands with campaign promises they may later regret.

Last week Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the talks on the status of U.S. troops were stalemated, but Zebari told CNN television on Sunday that was no longer the case. He did not elaborate.

While it is understandable that Pres. Bush would want to take steps to sustain his policy beyond his departure from office and for the Maliki administration to desire a deal that would reduce uncertainty about what the election will bring, they should avoid committing their successors to a long-term policy. Let the American and Iraqi politicians campaign on the issue and seek mandates from their respective electorates.

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Sarge, Powell jumped out of that ship long ago. Left with McBush to do likewise and save America millions of $ and lives on both sides

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John McCain was a war hero for withstanding 5 years in a POW camp. I laud his accomplishment. But it doesn't make presidential material.

I think most people use that example to show that man's character. He had the chance to leave earlier but did not take it because he wanted to show solidarity with the other soldiers. I think a lot of people can respect that, even if you're not voting for him. I'm sure his experiences also drive his stance against torture and his desire to close Gitmo, something that would help the US's image on the world stage.

The guy has also met with quite a few world leaders on their own soil and has spent quite a bit of time overseas in general. Name a European leader and I'm betting he's already met them, some more than once.

He's still not getting my vote (I'm curious to see what talking with Iran and others will do like Obama wants), but I think it's tacky to swift boat the guy and pretend that his only foreign policy experience is "crashing planes." You can disagree with some of his stances but there's no need to swift boat the guy. That's more what supporters of Karl Rove and the Republican election machine are famous for.

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Face it - McSame is doomed. The writing is all over the wall. He cant even emit a coherent statement about ending this occupation fiasco (“…the timing of their return is not that important”). He is completely out of touch with what the US public wants and needs right now. His POW credential adds little to his presidential credentials, if anything.

The US needs something new. No - Obama is not 100% optimal (what candidate ever truly is?), but Obama was critical of the war back in 2002 - so Obama is the candidate with the most credibility on the topic. (Ron Paul and Kucinich had even more credibility on Iraq issue than Obama at the time they were still candidates, but.....)

Iraq is the key issue of this election. Maybe Obama can take the McSame’s challenge and go to Iraq and actually say something coherent about the troops returning home and the US getting the hell out of that quagmire. The troops there certainly deserve it at this point.

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Look, let's lay off McCain's POW years. I am sure it was no fun run and I have also heard that even after being offered freedom, due to his father's status, he choose not to accept the offer.

True, that doesn't mean he can run a country better than anyone who has not endured being a pow for any length of time.

Although I despise his political policies, he does have more time in than Obama, whose policies I can not get a good grip on. So, my point is that no one should be thinking this campaign should be a walk in the park for Obama because he has rock star status.

Now back to the article at hand. All these posts I am seeing just tell me that none of you are over 30. Do you really think even if Obama found McCain to be correct he is going to change his policy? Of course not and expecting him to do so shows the ignorance of people who get all hyped about a presidential election.

Black politician, white, Hispanic, purple, blah. We all should be careful of falling prey to politicians egos

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Ironically, in 2000 it was the right which disparaged John McCain's military record to neutralize the fact GWB opted for non-combat service during a war. Remember the rumors "those years in the Hanoi Hilton must have left him a psycho"? Now he's been reinvented as a "war hero" by his backers who claim it should be considered an important attribute (when it wasn't before).

We should certainly respect his willingness to serve, something not shared by many of his peers on both sides of the aisle, as well as risking his own life in defense of his country. But I think few Americans would view him as a hero owing to the circumstances of the conflict (which were beyond his control). North Vietnam never posed any threat to US security, this was a figment of the Cold War mentality. Therefore bombing the North Vietnamese countryside was unnecessary (and did nothing to disrupt their supply lines).

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"Look, let's lay off McCain's POW years. I am sure it was no fun run"

Agreed. The man fought for his country and seems a decent person. Just he's too old and too associated with Bush regime to be electable.

I don't see what forcing Senator Obama to visit Iraq will acheive either...all of the visits by Western leaders are announced after they've happened anyway.

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I think we can all safely agree that Sen. McCain is the right man in the right place at the wrong time, and surmise if - or even when - the Republican party is going to wheel out its serious candidate for this election.

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Visiting Iraq seems to be some sort of badge of honor for the boys.

With bigger problems brewing at home, I would question whether it's actually worth the trip - besides it being a blatant photo op for hormone charged males back Stateside.

Neither of the current presidential candidates has anything near what it takes to run a war, best to leave it up to those who do.

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Please, before you give McCain a point for Powell's comment, tell us who Powell is voting for. And before you give a point to McCain for the surge working, let's see some stable results, including political ones.

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Obama...what heading to become a loser, and I do not mean in the elections. There;s nothing different about him and other politicians. Has skeletons in his closet just like everyone else. The only problem was that he was presented as though he had none, which was a big turn off in my eyes.

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I don't think any candidate today is presented as though he has no skeletons in his closet. America is far too cynical a place for that.

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A politician with no skeletons in his closet these days is like an elephant without a bicycle, or a goldfish without a wetsuit.


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I don't think this does anything for Obama's credibility. He comes off looking like McCain goaded him into visiting Iraq. He should have gone long before so that his pronouncements about the war carried more weight. As it is now, he would be better off not going.

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"He should have gone long before so that his pronouncements about the war carried more weight"

But he has been to Iraq. I really don't get what all the fuss about this potential visit is about.

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I would say that it doesn't do anything to his credibility.

I think it does look a little as though McCain goaded him into the visit. But people are going to criticize him no matter what he does. Basically what Obama has told McCain--politely however--is that he will go to Iraq at a time of his own choosing and that he will not be goaded into it.

McCain's pronouncements about the war have not put on weight on account of his visits to Iraq. In fact there isn't a lot of evidence to suggest that McCain's pronouncements have bulked up in any way. There is evidence to suggest that deaths are down but to say that this heralds another corner turn is Hooverian.

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Even the left-leaning major news outlets are recognizing that Iraq has reached a turning point and the country is improving substantially, so Barack is too late to see a quagmire.

The Democrats have based their entire campaign on Iraq -which will be over soon anyway- and George Bush, who is not running for re-election. And McCain only differs from the Democrats on three issues -one of those being Iraq- so why are they so opposed to him?

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So after all the chest beating about going to Iraq was a cheap political trick by Mr. McCain, barack winds up admitting Mr. McCain was correct all along in his assessment and Obamapalooza will hit the road.

Now now, you know how this works, RR! If things are going bad in Iraq, the submit-at-all-costs left will say "We're in harm's way! We need to leave!" If things are going good in Iraq, they will say "They don't need us anymore! We need to leave!" At no point, no matter what happens, will they ever admit that it was right to remove Saddam and his sons, and open the door for the citizens of Iraq to elect their own leaders.

Obama is providing no "change" on that front.

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will they ever admit that it was right to remove Saddam

True dat. There are a lot of posters at this site who believe Saddam was a harmless 'ol coot. Of course, none of them have Kurds in their circle of friends nor have ever step foot into that country, so for us BTDT types they are just reeds blowing in the wind.


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If you put enough money into something, enough time, enough energies; usually something will finally succeed. Doesn't mean it was right or that the effort was put forth. But, gawd we did it.

Right, over 4000 American deaths, over 50,000 wounded, 100,000s dead innocent Iraqis, a country that we have to pay to totally rebuild. It was all worth it. Oh, I failed to mention the $2.3Trillion dollars to pay for all this, but I'm sure we can find a tax cut or two to pay for this.

But please tell me how McCain's, err I mean bush's war has improved security, made us all feel so much safer and oh..... by the way all that cheap petroleum.

So, continue to whimper how Obama was wrong and McCain was so right. < :-)

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If you put enough money into something, enough time, enough energies; usually something will finally succeed.

Too bad that theory doesn't apply to social programs. Oh but how quickly I forget! Those aren't supposed to succeed in their claimed purpose but rather to succeed in buying and securing blocks of voters. In that sense, they certainly have been successful.

Right, over 4000 American deaths, over 50,000 wounded, 100,000s dead innocent Iraqis, a country that we have to pay to totally rebuild. It was all worth it. Oh, I failed to mention the $2.3Trillion dollars to pay for all this, but I'm sure we can find a tax cut or two to pay for this.

And wasn't McCain part of the lead support in the senate for the surge that has been so successful? Why yes, McCain -for all his faults- was right, and Obama was wrong.

<strong>Moderator: Readers, please stay on topic. The subject is Obama's decision to visit Iraq.</strong>

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Of course, none of them have Kurds in their circle of friends nor have ever step foot into that country.

I've been there, quite a few times in fact. How many times have you been to Iraq, Romeo? As many as... say... Obama?

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Barack Obama will be elected president and george bush's era of lieing, fabricating, forever detentions, tirture and murdering will be over.

Amid critisizm from McCain and every single diehard george bush fanatic who watched him run this country into the dirt; Barack Obama will be the 44th president. < :-)

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So you're one of the few that believe everything george bush said about his reasons for Attacking Iraq. I'd love to hear from you what we gained? Found WMDs? Proof of nuclear program?

I for one have to look real hard for the truth to slip past his lips.

That's like McCain. I really do respect him for his service, but gawd he's as dumb as george bush. More war and more tax breaks.

At least from my standpoint and my place on the totem pole of Gross Adjusted Income, Barack Obama speaks my language. I never saw any tax reduction or any more money in my salary. So the tax breaks he speaks about are great. And the tax increases for the 1% of the population, is outstanding. We'll never recoup the $4Trillion george bush gave to that small minority of the nation, but at least they'll be a portion of their fair share.

John McCain likes war. That's why he's gone over 11 times or whatever it is. He loves the exhileration, makes his blood pump. So Barack Obama hasn't got the fire to look for fights. To prolong fights that should never have started. So let's nag and cry because Obama hasn't visited Iraq. Sounds to me like John McCain is desperate to keep the war going. It makes no real difference whether it was ever worth the effort, he's just so scared it'll die. < :-)

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And McCain only differs from the Democrats on three issues -one of those being Iraq- so why are they so opposed to him?

What really is the difference between McCain and Obama regarding Iraq? I know the political peanut gallery will try to tell you that McCain wants to continue the war and Obama wants to end it, but those are mostly just meaningless emotional outbursts. The Democrats got elected to Congress by promising to end the war, but obviously that hasn't happened. Obama needs to be careful not to make the same promises because I don't think people are going to buy it a 2nd time.

Any politician will have their hands tied with Iraq based on the situation on the ground there. Based on that reality, what really will be the difference between McCain and Obama?

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"How many times have you been to Iraq, Romeo? As many as... say... Obama?"

No, I repeat Senator Obama has already once visited Iraq.

What the hell is all the fuss about?

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McCain loves going to Iraq. He can wear his flakjacket, have his helicopter overhead and 100 troops protecting him. Even if it's reduced to 50 troops around him, due to better security, this is a war of choice that we need to stop our participation. We have trained and equipped the Iraqi Army. They need to take control.

Bring our troops home. < :-)

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Yeah, John McCain wants to stay in Iraq, but that way he stays close to war. He's real good at bad mouthing Obama for not going to Iraq enough. Did he use that same courage and bash george bush for everything that wasn't found in Iraq? Did he kwestion where the truth starts and ends. Or did he just jump on the war bandwagon and become the zealous war advocate because the war was started by a republican president and to he can't think outside george bush's box and can't perceive the truth? < :-)

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You can believe anything you like. If you can't believe me, then how can you believe george bush. he's a proven bold faced liar.

Obviously, you'll believe anything you want, as your "Bush lied" chant has been debunked so many times, you're becoming a parody every time you insist on clinging to it anyway.

Perhaps you should accompany Obama on his trip to Iraq. I think you'll both learn quite a bit. Of course, you'll have to be more open-minded than you are at present.

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But John McCain, being the avid war supporter doesn't want this war to end.

You're misrepresenting (lying about) his position on the war. He wants it to end with the best possible result for both the U.S. and Iraq. That's common sense.

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He wants it to end with the best possible result for both the U.S. and Iraq.

Who cares what McCain wants? He's never going to be elected President of the United States. That honor awaits Barack Obama.

adaydream - don't let the chickenhawks get you down. I sincerely hope your relatives (military and civilian) stay safe. Thanks for your service and theirs.

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Why should I go to Iraq? You go if you like.

I'm not misrepresenting John McCain. He's already said that he was all for staying in Iraq for 100 years. He's willing to sacrifise the lives and funds it would take to maintain such an effort. Korea and Japan were both sited by John McCain as model military missions and he'd be more than willing to stay in Iraq in the same capacity. And he's not talking about some line in the sand and we'll keep factions apart, he's talking about 50 permanent bases. Where we are all over the country, being targets for disgruntled Iraqis and magnet for terrorist that our presence draws.

I'm not misrepresenting John McCain.

doug feith and dick cheney sat in their private little world and created the lies that george bush told. they created the WMD lies and backed up their false beliefs by quoting self-exiled Iraqis who wasn't Saddam dead. the fabrication of the Niger letter saying Saddam had bought yellowcake and oh..oh... don't forget the glossy photos that Colin Powell showed the UN. And they found?

No george bush lied were never debunked. < :-)

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Thanx USAFdude. < :-)

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But John McCain, being the avid war supporter doesn't want this war to end.

No matter how you spin it, that's a misrepresentation of McCain's words. Period. No amount of your backpedaling or re-writing can change that.

Why should I go to Iraq? You go if you like.

I'm too old to enlist, but my company is considering doing work there (as well as other areas in the M.E. I'll let you know if an opportunity comes up. What's your specialty?

As for why you (and Obama) should go to Iraq, it's so you can see for yourself what is going on there, instead of getting your talking points from Jack Murtha. Say, how did his claims about Haditha pan out?

I've talked to enough vets who have returned from recent tours, and not a single one has shared anything resembling your perspective on their mission.

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Yep I checked out the snopes site and you fail to mention that even snopes states that most of these statements were made antedate to the to Operation Desert Fox Dec 1998 when Cohen and Shelton said that they'd destroyed Saddam's ability to strike with WMD or Nukes.

But we're really concerned about what george bush said, because he is the one who used his power to attack Iraq. Bill Clinton may have said or even repeated every statement that you or anybody else says he said, but he didn't attack Iraq, george bush did. george bush even sent the inspectors back in for 30 days prior to attaclking and went through every place they could find and even the palaces. The CIA went in with a list of hundreds of places to look. They found what? ___ Nothing and they still attacked. Like I said, Bill Clinton said a lot of things, but he didn't attack. george bush did.

Then Bill Clinton didn't produce all those photoshop pictures for Congress or the UN. Bill Clinton didn't take those same photoshop pictures and try to convince the world that there was something that there wasn't.

The people of this country and have said resoundly that they want this war over. That they want their troops home. Barack Obama says that he will fulfill our request. John McCain says that no matter what the people want, if he's elected president the troops stay and he's will to keep them there for...100 years.

But Barack will travel there. He'll go again. John McCain will probably go at least 2 more times by the time elections come around. < :-)

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WhiteHawk - Two last things. I've been posting since before george bush attacked Iraq. From day one I've been saying that doctors, teachers, mothers and fathers have been getting killed protecting their country from the invaders and occupiers. And RR and his ilk have been telling me I'm full of crap and they are all terrorist. Again I make the same claim. Either you haven't been on here as long as some of us and you missed the comments.

Last comment - If you go to Iraq as you say you want to, my prayers on your return. < :-)

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OOPS, one more. Yes Saddam was fully cooperative. He didn't want to be. He squacked and bitched, but he relented and we inspected everything and everyplace that we wanted to. Like I said, we even got into his palaces that he tried to keep offlimits. < :-)

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Moderators, why is personal information that has a bearing to the post off topic? Please explain to us. I mean if I had no personal experiances to fall back on, how can I understand more than a few selected words. Right, you agree? < :-)

<strong>Moderator: Some readers have a history of using personal information volunteered by readers to post vicious and spiteful attacks on them. Furthermore, our discussion board is not a chat room. Readers should focus their comments on the topic at all times, and not at or about other readers.</strong>

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Understand Thanx. < :-)

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I call them citizens fighting to kick the occupiers out of Iraq. The terrorists, like many want to call them are those doctors, lawyers, mothers and fathers trying to kick the occupiers out.

There are real terrorists who would kill 50 or 60 with one swift detenation. I believe that they kill more than the freedom fighters, just by the act they committed. These terrorists need to be caught by the police who work the ares. Their neighbors turning them in. Not the US military all over the place.

You take out the US military and the violence would drop exponentionally and the Iraqi Army could deal with any violence that remains.

That's my take on it. Tell me what it's like when you get back. < :-)

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Zebari told Obama (who agrees with you) that a precipitous withdrawal “would create a huge vacuum and undo all the gains and achievements. And the others” - enemies of the United States - “would celebrate.”

Sounds like your take would be adjusted if you traveled with Obama to meet Zebari yourself. Have a nice flight.

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I have seen that this administration and it's flagwavers, near and far, have said a whole lot of stuff over the past 5 years. And the only thing I believe has come to fruition was the surge. I had my doubts, but the surge worked to some extent so far.

But when most of the generals on the ground were calling for more troops, all they received in return was lip service. Never the troops they ask for.

I wouldn't be there to begin with, but now that we've done most of the damage that we can do, BRING OUR TROOPS HOME!!!!!! < :-)

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...and you know more about what's going on in Iraq than Zebari. Riiiiiight. How? From watching Olberman and Matthews?

By the way, you obviously didn't notice this, but even Obama won't follow your adivce, according to his promise to Zebari:

Barack Obama:

...if there would be a Democratic administration, it will not take any irresponsible, reckless, sudden decisions or action to endanger your gains, your achievements, your stability or security. Whatever decision he will reach will be made through close consultation with the Iraqi government and U.S. military commanders in the field.

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I never advocated this war. You republicans and duped democrats did. I've been protesting this action since before the first volley was fired. But you seem to be so gullible as to believe what you've heard. I guess you even want to follow McCain's plan, and stay in Iraq till victory is achieved and beyond....... McCain's victory?

He talks a lot about his service to our nation. If we had stayed in VN till victory, he'd till be there.

Maybe I am more right than Zebari. I'm a hell of a lot more right then you republicans who were suckered by george bush. < :-)

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When Obama goes to Iraq, he's going to take Hillary with him so he can experience sniper fire.

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Radical right-wing assertions will be damaged if Al Qaeda members don't party in the streets for him.

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