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March 19th, 2008
05:56 PM ET

How dangerous is it if Americans are less aware of Iraq losses?

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Click the Play Button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. An honor guard carries the casket of Army Maj. Alan Greg Rogers to his burial service at Arlington National Cemetery March 14, 2008 in Arlington, Virginia. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

On the 5th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, the U.S. has lost 3,992 troops. But it turns out a lot of Americans don't know it.

A new Pew poll shows only 28% of those surveyed know that almost 4,000 U.S. service members have died in Iraq. Almost half think the death toll is 3,000 or less, and 23% think it's higher. Last August, more than half of those surveyed knew how many Americans had died in Iraq.

The poll found public awareness of what's going on in Iraq has dropped as the news media have paid less attention to the war. For example: during the last week in January, 36% of people surveyed said the story they were following most closely was the political campaign. 14% said it was the stock market. 12% said it was the death of actor Heath Ledger. And only 6% said the story they were following most closely was the war in Iraq.

And that's sad... because if people aren't paying attention to what's going on in Iraq, then maybe they aren't quite as outraged about the almost 4,000 young Americans we've lost, or the almost 30,000 U.S. troops who have been badly wounded, or the more than 80,000 Iraqis who have died, or the more than $500 billion the U.S. has spent on the war – money that would have paid for the economic stimulus package with more than $300 billion left over.

Here’s my question to you: How dangerous is it if Americans are becoming less aware of U.S. losses in Iraq?

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March 19th, 2008
05:00 PM ET

Where is Clinton left without revotes?

 Sen. Hillary Clinton delivered a speech on Iraq at George Washington University, Monday in Washington DC.

Sen. Hillary Clinton delivered a speech on Iraq at George Washington University, Monday in Washington DC.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Hillary Clinton is challenging Barack Obama to a rematch in Michigan and Florida.

Clinton made a last-minute trip to Michigan today to emphasize her support for a re-vote there, saying it's "wrong, and frankly un-American" not to have delegates from the two states seated at the convention. She also is suggesting that the outcome of the general election may be at stake if Democrats don't count these delegates. Of course, the DNC penalized both these states for moving up their primaries.

Obama, whose name wasn't on the ballot in Michigan, hasn't yet supported or opposed the plan, but his campaign has raised a number of questions about the proposal. They say that a revote wouldn't make such a big difference in the overall delegate count and that the Clinton campaign is trying to change the rules to suit itself.

As for Florida, plans fell apart over the weekend when the state's Democratic Party said there won't be any revote.

For Clinton, though, many see the revotes in the two states as a necessity. Big victories would help her close the gap with Obama when it comes to pledged delegates as well as the popular vote. Two more victories would also bolster her argument to superdelegates that she can deliver key states.

But the argument to seat Florida and Michigan's delegates based on results from January seems to lose some weight when you consider this: a new study by a Wharton professor suggests that about two million more people would have voted in Michigan and Florida if they thought their votes would have counted.

Here’s my question to you: If neither Florida nor Michigan holds revotes, where does that leave Hillary Clinton?
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Filed under: Democratic Race • Florida • Michigan
March 19th, 2008
02:35 PM ET

Bush administration making long-term plans for Iraq?

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U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and the top US commander in Iraq David Petraeus talk at Baghdad airport Monday, March 17, 2008. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Today of course marks 5 years since the United States invaded Iraq, but if it's up to the Bush administration, our involvement there will stretch far beyond the 5 years.

Vice President Dick Cheney has been in Iraq this week playing let's make a deal when it comes to our nation's long-term role in a country we now occupy. Cheney came away from two days of private meetings with promises from Shiia, Sunni and Kurdish officials to firm up a new blueprint for relations between the two countries.

The deal would replace a U.N. Security Council resolution that expires in December – you know, the same time that President Bush leaves office. The administration insists the deal will not create permanent U.S. bases in Iraq, set terms for U.S. troop levels or tie the hands of future presidents.

And in keeping with the arrogant, unilateral way it has conducted business for more than seven years, the administration says it probably will not get Senate approval for this plan. Why should the American people have anything to say about it?

The administration says that's because it's not a treaty that provides Iraq with specific security guarantees. Democrats in Congress aren't happy. Some lawmakers have proposed legislation that would make the administration's agreement null and void without Senate approval. Given the Democrats' overwhelming lack of success in stopping President Bush from doing anything, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Here’s my question to you: Should the Bush administration be negotiating long-term agreements in Iraq without the consent of the American people?

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Filed under: Bush Administration • Iraq