(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Despite worries on the home front about the economy, the housing market and record high gas prices... the war in Iraq has made it to center stage once again in the presidential campaign.
Turns out both of the likely candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama, think the debate over the war can work to their advantage.
McCain has been blasting Obama about Iraq, criticizing him for making decisions without visiting the war zone since 2006. McCain argues conditions on the ground have changed drastically since then. The RNC says, "the fact that there are 2-year-old Iraqi children who weren't born the last time Obama was in their country raises questions about what he is making his decisions on."
It's part of a larger strategy to paint Obama as inexperienced. It's also pretty convenient to shift attention away from domestic issues – like the economy, energy and health care – where Obama polls much stronger than McCain.
Obama's camp now says the candidate is considering a trip to Iraq, during which he would focus on how best to withdraw U.S. troops, not reconsider whether or not they should leave. Obama suggests McCain hasn't learned enough from all his travels to Iraq, since all he wants to do is continue President Bush's war policies – even saying at one point American soldiers could be in Iraq for 100 years.
If elected, Obama has vowed to start pulling out troops immediately, with all combat brigades out of the country within 16 months. On the other hand, McCain says the U-S can't go until Iraqi forces have been trained and al Qaeda is defeated.
However, there's also a risk for McCain here: by talking about travels to Iraq, he reminds people about his infamous stroll through the Baghdad market last year where he returned to the United States and gave Americans a completely false report about how peaceful and secure it was there.
Here’s my question to you: How important is it for Barack Obama to go to Iraq?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Kay from West Virginia writes:
A trip to Iraq for Obama is a double-edged sword at the moment. McCain will claim that he is the reason for the trip and that Obama needs to be pushed into caring about our troops. To not go is to seem uncaring also. His best bet is to state publicly that he is using this time to look at domestic issues and the economy but plans to travel to foreign lands including Afghanistan and Iraq once he has the nomination.
Maryann from Wethersfield, Connecticut writes:
At this point, it will just be a photo-op. He should have gone months ago. Plus the amount of security it would take to protect him would cause undo stress on the troops there.
I believe it is important for Sen. Obama to go to Iraq. Regardless of a policy position, a potential commander-in-chief needs to show his support and affection for the troops even if he disagrees with the current administration’s policy. This is also important to debunk the myths that if you oppose a war policy, you are unpatriotic, unsupportive of the troops, or weak.
Jack, I think it is more important for McCain to visit America. With foreclosures, rising energy costs, border insecurity, a crisis response system that has shown to be ineffective with Katrina, and a list of other issues that the current administration has "handled", I think there is some work to be done in the homeland.
Jack, Yes Obama should go after he is elected and personally escort the troops back home.
Paul from Columbia, S.C. writes:
Absolutely! This is a one-way trip, isn't it? I'll chip in for tickets.
If he elected, it would good to go Iraq on a fact finding mision. A President has access to a lot of info not available to Senators. He might invite McCain and others along. A ploy that worked for Ike.
Yes he should go Jack!
He also should take Hillary Clinton and he should leave her there.
Not at all. He has been against the war all along. In going to Iraq he would be stepping into a political trap. This isn't the first time McCain has tried to bait Oama and probably won't be the last. No matter what we do, the Iraqi people will never accept the political structure we leave behind.
I believe it is important for Sen. Obama to go to Iraq. Regadless of a policy position, a potential commander in chief needs to show his support and affection for the troops even if he disagrees with the current administrations policy. This is also important to debunk the myths that if you oppose a policy-war, you are unpatriotic, unsupportive of the troops, or weak. I think the American people are smart enough and are tired of all of the divisive rhetoric from all sides.
Not unless he goes with a fake turkey for a photo-op with the troops like President Bush did.
Port Aransas, TX 78373
Jack I don't think nor do I believe it's necessary to go to Iraq for what, We should be in Iraq, In the first place because the one we have should of go is on the lose, he's breathing every minute every second it's unfair to the people in uniform to be find an not so mortant war,besides What does the republican's care , Bush daughter got married that's all they care about, Mccain is an idiot he wants war for 4 more years, what happen to bin laden is still in the picture, U don't have to do this Obama!
Yes. because it will show the world that he does love our country and does support the troops.
It is important to show the troops support. But when he comes back and get Elected We still want the War in Iraq Over with! No matter Who goes to Iraq we still want the Troops Home.
Obama should go to Iraq to talk to the troops and the generals. He shouldn't go for photo ops and hopefully he goes without the cameras. He's smart enough to go but he's not bringing cameras beause he'll send a message that our U.S. troops are not to be used as political footballs.
It's important for Obama to go to Iraq so he can connect with the troops.
He should go as President, but not before. McSame is obviously trying to bait him. At this stage of the game, I'd be more worried about "friendly" fire. He needs to keep his eye on the ball here for now.
It would be good to go in order to access the situation to best accommodate the eventual departure. However, I don't at all subscribe to the notion that there is a certain number of visits that must take place to be deemed credible on anything dealing with Iraq.
McCain seems to think going to Iraq once is wanting. My question to McCain is: How many times has he gone? Given that he is the must staunch supporter of this war and yearns to continue it indefinitely, I would assume he has made no fewer than 2 dozen trips. If this is not so, shame on John McCain.
No, he shouldn't but Hilary should. Since she used to being under sniper fire. She'll fit right in.
Jack, I think it is more important for Mccain to visit America. With forclosures, rising energy costs, border insecurity, a crisis response system that has shown to be ineffective with Katrina, and a list of other issues that the current adminisitration has "handled" – I think there is some work to be done in the homeland.
Before the election, no. To pander to Republicans, no. Once he is elected, no. He needs to do what other Presidents do in time of war, talk to our generals and other top military commanders, Congressional leaders in both parties that have visited Iraq, and Scott McClellan. Apparently, McClellan knows the truth and might "endorse" Obama.
It’s important but not an absolute necessity. Except for Bush, McSame and all right wing nut cases, we all have a pretty good idea that things aren’t going very well. And since the whole premise and objective were inherently flawed, they never can go well – ever.
I don't know how important it is, but I hope Senator Obama will take the grand tour so the world can show their affection for the candidate. He's a rock star here and will be treated as a rock star there. It will no doubt make McBush sorry he egged him on about going.
Overall, not very important, he could meet with military bigwigs to find out pertinent information. But politically, McCain has him in a corner. So provided he doesn't go and proclaim a market as really safe, ignoring the fact that his 100+ security detail made it that safe, it will look good for the race.
And McCain says Obama is out of touch.
Absolutely! This is a one way trip isn't it? I'll chip in for tickets.
It's a silly issue, especially while McCain and other stubborn
Republicans defy every measure of reason and keep the killing
going. The craziness of Iraq is about KILLING PEOPLE. You don't
need to go there to figure that out.
I think he should go to Iraq and Afghanistan to show the troops that he cares enough about them to meet them and address their concerns. What he shouldn't do is use it as a photo-op to propagate deceptive politics, like another politicain who shall remain nameless.
Its very important for Obama to go to Iraq, especially since John McCain suggested it. That's the way to prove that he doesn't pay attention to the same old Washington players. He should scurry do everything John McCain says to do. As a democrat I'm afraid we'll all be doing what John McCain says to do for the next four years.
At this point, it will just be a photo-op, he should have gone months ago...plus the amount of security it would take to protect him would cause undo stress on the troops there....
Senator Obama does not need to go to Iraq to understand the situation there. A 5th grader gets that Iraq is a bad situation that is not getting better like McCain claims. If Senator Obama chooses to go there to visit with and talk to the service men and women before the November election then I am sure they would be thrilled to talk to the next President.
Not important. He should pick someone with high ranking military experience to go there make the assessment for him. General Colin Powell would be good. Or he could pick Webb as VP and send him.
The only people who would expect Obama to go to Iraq are those that think a person should stick their hand in a boiling pot of water to see how hot it is. For Obama to go to Iraq now would just be telling the more intelligent people he isn't so sure the troops should be brought home and that the carnage should be stopped.
If Obama wants to counteract the Republican rhetoric all he has to do is stick to the facts like where McCain stands on supporting the troops according to his voting record on any of the GI bill of rights.
It's not all that important. I think it's more important for him to come up with a tentative withdrawl plan to get our troops home as soon as possible and make the Iraqi government more accountable for there own country. I'm sure President Obama will make it happen.
he should go to iraq after the nomination........and they can film him telling the troops that he will be bring them home safe and sound and loved by our country for what they have gone through....... then we can watch the Republicans pee in their pants when they cheer......
They are doing their duty over there, we are doing our duty here by bringing them home to their loved ones........now thats being a good american.
Yes he should go after he is elected and personally escort the Troops back home.
Sure he should go. He should do anything else John McCain suggests as well.
Seriously, does he ever have an original idea??
I agree with one of the strategist. Yes Obama should go to Iraq, but he should invite McCain to Penn, Ohio or areas hit hardest by Factory Closings. He should also invite McCain to sit down with families denied Healthcare. Hell, host a forum and Invite McCain to speak. I would also suggest it be brought to light about the Secret Fund Raiser last weekend with McBush!!!!
Not at all in my humble opinion. The entire Senate and House should visit the families of all of the soldiers that aren't coming back, or wounded or who have committed suicide. Then maybe they would end this insanity in 16 days not 16 months. Then they should and especially McCain go to a few factories that are being closed down because of the jobs that are being shipped to China and face these people face to face.
Yes, but not for the reasons Mcbush wants him to go for. He should go so that he can assess the mess that Bush has caused and the mess that McCain wants to continue. Of course he should go and rescue our troops from the Bush administration. McCain is trying to look as if he is qualified to school Obama but he is not. He has no real platform so he resorts to trying to embarrass Obama. Obama doesn't need an invite from McCain to visit Iraq.
Yes, but maybe he should wait until he is President. When he goes he should go but go with the same kind of safety measures in place that Senator McCain went with. He should definitely NOT GO with Senator McCain. Do have them make some of the men and women (that have been on the front line) there serving available for him to meet and talk with them privately.
Obama should simply announce he intends to go to Iraq within a couple of months after he is elected president to show his support for the troops and let them know the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer.
He has the high road right now by always being opposed to this needless invasion and regardless of what conditions are like in Iraq the troops have to be brought home to their families and friends.
The use of troops and human lives and war for political ambition is sickening.
I think, McCain is bent on doing that and managed to drag Obama to it.
It is a shame and tragic.
Whether he goes or not isn't going to make a bit of diffrence. As long as he doesn't come back to the US saying he landed under sniper fire when actually was greeted by Iraqi children with open arms.
There is nothing to proove by going there and Obama knows it. This is all political hype and you know it, so why are you asking this question when you already know the answer?
Have a great weekend, Jack!
McCain is using this for his political gain which is sad they way he is trying to "use" our troops to further himself. He call himself a War Hero an d saying how Iraq has improved so much, but when he was there he had on body protection, helicopters flying overhead, security walking down the street but he says we have done the job? we need to request his mental records because McCain is always saying different things every time he opens his mouth.
Sure go to Iraq along with a swing through Europe, Africa, Japan etc. Iraq is just one of many places he should visit and talk with foreign leaders and US military personnel.
A trip to Iraq for Obama is a double-edged sword at the moment. McCain will claim that he is the reason for the trip and that Obama needs to be pushed into caring about our troops. To not go is to seem uncaring also.
His best bet is to state publicly that he is using this time to look at domestic issues and the economy but plans to travel to foreign lands including Afghanistan & Iraq once he has the nomination because those trips are expensive for the taxpayers and unnecessary at this point. So rather than expend money for a photo-op like McCain's 'walk in a Baghdad market' trip, he has chosen to wait until the trip carries the weight of a Presidential nominee, which will open many more doors for him than candidate designation.
Senator Obama will proceed to do what is best and if going to Iraq and meeting with the Military, not only the High Ranking.
But, also, the serving men and women the most important soldiers for they are putting their lives on the line for a War of Lies!
Then he will make that judgement call!
No real reason except to pacify the McCain/Bush ticket - all he'll get there is a version of how wonderful everything is going - and some photo op's -
In my opinion, if Obama is looking for a good information regarding what's going on in Iraq, he would be better served and get a more accurate picture by touring the bases here in the USA - Talk to the rank and file of national guardspeople (men) soldiers & sailors who've recently returned – And don't their spouses/families – Rather than the McCain/Bush standard retoric -
Maybe things are going great and just MAYBE we will "win" the Bush/McCain war after we've expended another 4,000 American lives and a couple more Trillion Dollars – Don't want to screw up the McCain/McBush legacy now do we –
Master Chief, USN (Retired)
Jack, I would say it is very important. How can you comment on anything or run a business effectively if you don't go to the worksite or never go to the office and rely on word of mouth. If you don't gather first hand experience or knowledge what gives you the right to express an opion. Seeing for yourself and getting first hand experience is the key that you can use to make an educated decision or to comment on something. Until then keep your mouth shut, you don't know what you are talking about. Seeing is believing.
He should not under any circumstances go with John McCain. That would be a terrible political blunder.
If he goes, he goes to show support for our troops which contrary to the republican propadanda can be done without supporting the mission.
He should be accompanied by the many ex generals who have come out against the war.
For Obama to travel with McCain to Iraq would lend legitimacy to McCain's candidacy. Now we can't go around making people or governments we don't agree with seem like they are bona fide, can we? I am surprised that Obama even recognizes McCain or answers his mud slinging: doesn't that make it legitimate? Oh, wait, I am confusing something with another's party line . . . . damn, I get all mixed up. Never mind.
I don't care whether either of them go to Iraq. The only thing I care about is that our troops are brought home and this uncalled for war is at an end. After that, I would like to see Bush, Cheney, Runsfeld, Rice and that elitist bunch tried for war crimes.
I think Sen. Obama should go on at least one general foreign trip once he is the presumed nominee and that trip should include Iraq, Israel, and several European countries as he needs to begin establishing relationships with other leaders.
Yes he should visit. Sounds like Mccain needs to go again.
either McCain misspoke or his mouthpiece is wrong.
McCain saying yesterday that the number of troops in Iraq is down to pre-surge levels, which Obama hit him on today.
THis is his campaign's response:
"....American troops are not even close to Surge levels. Three of the five Army ?Surge? brigades have been withdrawn and additional Marines that were initially deployed for the ?Surge? have come home as well ? the remaining two brigades will be home in July."
Its important that he go and appear in front of a mission accomplished banner, and that he walk around Bagdad in a flak jacket to show how safe it is. Maybe while he's there he can ask why 115 of our troops committed suicide last year.
Obama going to Iraq would be very symbolic. It would show the country that the Republicans are not the only ones who supposedly are concerned about our troops. Obama knows that, despite our best efforts, we cannot stay in Iraq indefinitely. Our troops are not mules, you cant just keep pushing them and pushing them, because eventually they'll kick back. They need a long deserved break from Washington's horse-swallow, and that is what Obama would give them. So going to Iraq would assure them of that and would show that their concerns are being accounted for.
Obama should not fall into the trap of proceeding on McCain's terms.
There is nothing he could determine by going to Iraq that he can't get right here. The war is still just as illegitimate and our young men and women are still dying for nothing. He should tell McCain that he is not in the market for a photo-op and continue to propose his plan for getting out as soon as possible.
Yes, it is. We have 175,000 outstanding Americans there who would like to know they counted as much as a group of ebukllient people in a bowling alley. We are spending a huge portion of our Federal budget there. It's hard to be credible if you don;t go experience this first-hand and it doesn;t bode well for a future commander-in-chief to ignore this place except to villify it.
Of course, it's a little late to do that without seeming like he was reminded by his parents to go do the right thing–like the inexperienced player that he is.
Yes,Jack it is important for him to go so he can gain some first hand knowledge,but more important he should go to Chicagoand tell his racist acquaintences to shut up!
Not very. Do you have to stand in a cesspool, to know it stinks?
But I think he should visit Afganastan first, and ask John McCain to tag along!
Maybe McCain would realize what this fight is really about.
No, It doesn't take a trip to Iraq to see that this administration's"cowboy diplomacy" has our troops fighting an unwinable war! Maybe John McCain should take some of his own travel advice and take a trip back to reality. The American people are not going to stand, let alone vote for more war, particularly one sold to us under false pretense and fabricated propaganda.
Sen. Barack Obama was Against The Iraq War From the Onset! So for him to go to Iraq would be for Photo-OP only! Besides why jeopardize the health and well being of the Next President of USA! John McCain if you remember had a Flak Jacket on him and about 100 troops to guard him during one of his trips! So much for proving Iraq is safer today!
He should go and spend some time there with the Iraqi powers, Shiite, Sunni, and Kurd and the government to solicit their views on the good and bad of our being there. He should also discuss the progress made with our military....at several levels. Obama may be right that we should never have gone....but he may see some good we are doing and reasons to maintain some presence to assist the Iraqis. He should also meet with some of our Arab friends in the area to get their views on the impact of our presence. I'm a Republican voting for Obama, and the primary issue I do not agree with him on is surrendering in Iraq. I figure he's an intelligent man and will see for himself the correct answer to the Iraq issue once he is elected.
I guess it might be important if you do not believe or trust the people that have been put in charge of being on the ground making assessments in Iraq. What the heck is he going to see or hear there that will change his mind from peacefully pulling out our troops in a timely manner to " I will not surrender" per McCain? Asking our troops to serve our country is one thing asking our troops to serve Iraq is quite another. Senator Obama believes the war in Iraq was wrong and I don't think going over there and having his picture taken would make him any less adament about bringing our troops home. We paid for McCains round trip to Iraq so he could do what? What did he accomplish? It did get his picture on the news maybe thats why McCain went in the first place.
St. Augustine, Fl.
That depends on if he wants to be president or not. Obama has not been to Iraq in over 800 days. He has not spoken with the generals in charge of operations over in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are in the middle of two wars in both countries. You would think that would merit a pop in and some discussion. What the hell else is he basing his opinion on? Heresay? Something that someone else told him? Does he want to lead this country or not?
How could he possibly know what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan if he has not even been there in 2 years?
The only importance it might have for senator Obama would be looking presidential and showing concern for our troops. I don't think anyone needs to go to Iraq to find out that we are in a big mess and fighting a war that should never have been. Even a little fish in a big pond like me knows that after spending billions and billions of dollars and costing the lives of thousands of our fighting men and women, we are still no better off in Iraq then when our president first decided to invade them.
I is not important at all, but I think he should go other there with his high tech security and meet and greet with some the the troops because once he is over there, that is all he will be able to do. When he gets back, he should set up a debate with John McCain, as he will be the democratic nomniee by then, and asked him why he voted to go to war in Iraq in the first place and also ask him where is Bin Ladin.
It would be a major major security problem at this point for nothing more than a photo-news op and a sanitized briefing.Once elected ,then Obama can set about righting this horrific wrong.How can Bush,Rove,Cheney,and Rumsfield look at themselves in the mirror after sacrificing so many brave young American men and women to fulfill their own lust greed and glory.They should be behind bars.
Yes. Obama should go to Iraq,stop talking, put on fatigues, strap on a 60 pound back pack, get in a Humvee, sweat, get dirty, be afraid and share the experience with our troops. Since he will never sign up to serve, he needs the reality check so he can stop talking and actual start working on legislation to bring the troops home.
Jack, I think he should go to Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Saudi Arabia. Jordan and all the European nations he can squeeze in. It would help them to know our future President. But he should pay for the trip on his own dime and then point out that McCain made his trips on the taxpayers dime.
He should go only for the benefit of the troops. He should not go for a fact-finding mission because he will find zero facts in the heavily guarded areas that he will be restricted to. Further, he should NOT go for the benefit of the corrupt Iraqi government, if it can be called a government. He didn't create this mess, and he is not in charge of the troops, but a visit from the Democratic nominee for President could bring a smile to the faces of our great young men and women in uniform.
He's been there. He fully understands the situation. Why waste even more taxpayer money and military resources on a McCain political stunt?
He should go, but on his own terms.
He should also invite McCain to visit some factories that have been closed due to outsourcing, and neighborhoods that have been ravaged by foreclosure.
If the Iraq War is such a success, then why haven't they met the objectives that they planned on? Why haven't they made any political progress? Why haven't they trained enough Iraqi soldiers? Why haven't they fixed the electricity problem? Why aren't the Iraqis paying for some of this with their own oil profits?
Where the hell is our money going, anyway?
These are the questions that Obama will probably ask General Petraus. I doubt that he will get any straight answers.
Jack, McCain should definitely make reservations on Iraqi Air Flight
(any number will do) for himself and take Hillary with him until Senator
Obama's inaugural is over.
Jack: He needs to go, if not for anything else, to demonstrate to the troops that he supports them in their efforts. Obama voted against the war, and he needs to reinforce to them that he will take any and all necessary actions to end the conflict. I served in Vietnam, it is nice to know, if only for personal satisfaction, that "someone" cares about what you are doing.
If he goes, I hope he makes it a secret mission and just to talk to the troops not for a tour. No Media and News reporters>
Jack, I don't think it is important for Barack to go to Iraq. Why make John McCain happy? Besides, it is much too dangerous for him to go.
If he goes it will be a political stunt unless he moves out of the Green Zone and really sees what the country is like. The generals will tell him big tales of sucess and the troops know to keep opinions to themselves. So he probably will not find any truths. Information is censored.
On second thought, maybe he won't come back. Good for the Democrats.
Obama doesn't need to go to Iraq to see the billions of American taxpayer dollars being spent there every month. Obama need only stay here to see the millions of American citizens struggling to survive while we watch our hard earned money go to benifit another economy. You don't have to be on the ground in Iraq to see that six years after the fact we're still at the starting line. John McCain and the GOP want Iraq to be a big issue so words like "radical Islamic extremism" still create a degree of fear amung American's. However when Obama is elected to office Bush's war will end and if thats the case then there are bigger issues facing us then Iraq. Obama should stay home and conserve the fuel.
I think if Obama wants to stay true to his message he should not go to Iraq and give a very rational explanation as to why. Something like: "My going to Iraq would be nothing more than political theatre that would needlessly endanger the lives of our service personel responsible for my secutiry. The troops know I support them, they know I intend to end this war, and they have televisions. There is no need for me to go there and say the same thing".
Then everyone who doesn't seem to think critically would have a great chance to call him "Unpatriotic" or "Elitist" because he won't go...and the 24 news cycle will continue.
All politicians get from going to Iraq is a lousy tee shirt and a photo op. I am so tired of pictures of McCain and Bush and their trumped up photo shoots and yet never speaking of the truth of the mire and tragedy that is Iraq. If he could really get to the bottom of the issues, I would suggest he go, but until he is either the anointed nominee (barring Hillary's chicanery) or the President, he won't be able to fact find. It would just be distracting and fruitless.
Don't our troops have enough to do without having to halt operations to protect politicians? And given the overwhelming protection required, do these politicians think they're getting a true "feel" of the situation?
In these times of satellite phones, videoconferenceing, email (yes, the troops have it) and cable, war zone communication - especially in the protected areas where politicians would be allowed - is readily accessible without having to spend tax dollars and disrupting missions to "go see." . Putting troops at risk for "show and tell" isn't how I want mine spent.
No it isn't important for him to go back to Iraq. He was there in 2006. He should wait until he is the President, and go with his new Secretary of State, to access how the troop withdrawl will be conducted. It seems as though McCain is daring him to go now, and it could be a set up for Obazma to be killed. Especially after the remarks made by Hillary last week. I can hear it now "Oh well just another suicide bomber attack."
Not important at all. The important thing is we should not even be in Iraq. The war should have never been waged. He should focus on the problems in this country.
This is utter nonsense. John McCain flies over there into the safest zone,
surrounded by hundreds of troops and he's an instant expert on the war.
McCain's suggestion is tantamount to Hillary wanting yet another debate.
He's trying to dictate Obama's campaign strategy to him. I'm far more
interested in seeing some accounting of the 16 billion dollars in missing
funds. If McCain can divine a 5 year end to the war from his silly visit,
then he ought to be able to conjure up what became of those funds
and how much more will go missing if he's president.
McCain claims we're now winning in Iraq and that Obama should visit to see how wrong he is about withdrawal. What Obama should consider before being drawn into this trap is that McCain was surrounded by scores of armed forces to protect his market visit in his attempt to show things are improving. This "success" may be the Bush -Third-Term's WMD. History warns us that things aren't always as they seem. Mussolini thought he had a world-class airforce, but his generals were flying the same airplanes from one base to another as Mussolini traveled by train. Hillary is probably better suited to dodge bullets.
I don't believe there is a reason for him to go at this time, McBush thinks that can continue to avoid the real issues of the people and focus on this war so he and his commrades stay rich with oil. Does anyone else recognize Obama is still fighting to get the nomination from the Dems, and at the same time he is fighting McBush. That alone is enough to see that is tough, and cool under pressure. Experience is relevant......everyone has it.
Of course he should. How can you have a definite plan on something without knowing all the details for yourself. Second-hand information doesn't count. Remember, hear-say is inadmissable in a court of law.
No Jack, he shouldnt go to Iraq. Hillary would be a better choice, send her on some half-assed fact finding mission until the general election concludes, thank her for her service, and bid her adio's.
Hiram Rapids, Ohio
Jack, . . . Not important for Senator Obama. He didn't vote for the mess.
They should give Hillary and McCain a one way ticket and abide by the
old saying "You made your bed, now lie in it." (They can both lie in the
sand and think about it).
I would rather Obama go to the Sudan and visit Darfur. Go to Kosovo and determine if the U.S. support for this newly "independent country" was worth our backing. Go to China and visit all those affected by the recent earthquake and subsequent aftershocks. Go to those states hit hardest by tornadoes this year. Go to Mexico and Canada to discuss the security issues of open borders and the economic downfall of NAFTA. Let our military leaders and top Congressional leaders who lead committees that deal with Iraq advise him. He should also consult Scott McClellan who knows so much about Iraq and the mistakes the Bush administration made. By the way, did McClellan compare Obama to the Bush who ran for office in 2000? That's scary.
Senator Obama disapproved of this war from the beginning and McCain agreed with the Bush. Until Obama is the President, I do not feel that he should go over there. Photo ops is not what the troops need at this time, they need to come home.
McCain has no right to say that Obama should go there now when he cannot even tell the difference between Shiites and Sunnis. When McCain talks on the campaign trail, if it weren't for teleprompters, he would not have any idea what he was talking about. He cannot remember from one day to the next.
Why is Iraq the only thing that McCain can talk about. What about the economy, gas, health care etc. Sure he may be a vet and I thank him for his service, but there is more to life then that and for the next President (President Obama). Talk about something else McCain.
Going to Iraq won't tell him anything. He'll walk around the fantasy world of the green zone. Maybe get a guided tour through a Baghdad market surrounded by enough military equipment to make it look like a parade through Red Square.
Now meeting with a number of returning soliders of different ranks for an honest top to bottom assessment of what's going on over there could be useful.
He should have gone a long time ago when he realized he wanted to be the President of the United States. That is where his naivete and inexperience show. When men are dying and we are spending billions, the new President should know what he is up against. I believe he made a huge mistake not going. I also believe that if he chooses to go now because McCain bullied him or dared him to do so would be an even bigger mistake.
Wildwood Crest, NJ
How important is it for John McCain to go to Iraq without a brigade of soldiers and apache helicopters and finally say, "Iraqi neigbhorhoods are actually safe"?
no,jack.i don't trust the current administration ,after lying to get us into iraq,and i'm not sure bush would guarantee his safety.this is what happens when government lies.they lose all trust from the people.
I don't believe these "visits" to Iraq do any good. I spent a year in Vietnam and anytime anyone of any importance paid us a visit security was ten times what it normally was. They are kept in such a tight little capsule that they hardly see the "real situation". It just a PR scam.
It is very important for Mr. Obama to go to Irak. He needs to start showing the voters that he can handle international affairs and maybe that would make Mr. McCain stop criticizing him about his lack of experience.
It has been reported by several correspondants, in Iraq, that it is a waste of time and the view he sees is skewed. What would it solve? Nothing and Obama should call McCain out on this, as the Military does not have the time or man power to escort politicians around Iraq!
It distracts the Military and McCain should stop going so much, just for press shots. Some one should ask him, what good all his trips are doing, and why does he keep wasting the Millitary's time!
I think Obama should make a counter offer; if he goes to Iraq, McCain has to eat an insect. I figure a 70 year old man who still engages in the same kind of school bully challenges as your average 9 year old should be man enough to swallow a bug like a any other 4th grader.
Sadly, I bet he would do it if Obama double dared him...
Jack, It is important for republicans to see democrats accepting the pressure they put on Sen Obama to go to Iraq. I think politically it has no meaning except to those short minded groups who voted for Clinton for offering holiday gas break Indiana and NC .
It is not Important to go for a photo opp, however he needs to make a world tour.
I would recommend Obama tour his local national guard or reseve units if he wants the truth about Bushes War.
Senator Obama should go because he is the only person that the Iraqis
will listen to at this point.
I agree with marylee w of Atlanta, GA. . . .
Take Hillary, Bill & Chelsea along and leave them there! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! .
Hold the election, count the votes, then take the trip. Anything prior to that is just posturing for the electorate......
Jack, I don’t think it’s nesessary but it couldn’t hurt. I believe he was planning on going to Iraq and probably planned to travel to other countries too. But, he’s been campaigning for the last 17-18 months, He’s had Hillary to contend with. When would he have had time? Now John McCain is telling him to go and even suggesting he would go along with him and teach him a thing or two. What is John McCain going to teach him? Here’s the mess I got the U.S in with my vote for this war or was he going to teach him how to walk around the Green zone with a flack jacket with 100 or more military personnel in tow for photo-ops. McCain might even teach Barack Obama how to mix up the Shia and the Sunni tribes of Iraq and their influence with Iran.
I think it is important. The men and women who are fighting this war for oil need to know that just because Obama will bring a much needed policy change to the whitehouse, does not mean he is abandoning the troops. I believe, seeing how most of the troops have been neglected in some way or another by the Bush administration, that many would welcome the more diplomatic approach Obama is promising.
I don't care who's going to Iraq, I care who's coming back.
Let's bring home the troops. I think Senator Obama understands that.
New York, NY
Yes. I would want Obama to visit Iraq and I knew he probably might do so at some point after the promaries but I never expected he was going to announce it to the world. Now that he has, it's like he took the bait by the Republicans. More so, I am afraid for his safety.
Probally not real important that he go now but if he does...go with maybe Durbin, Biden Webb etc. be free to talk to who he wants where he wants..no one hand picked as has happened before...then if elected go right back.
no that's why we have generals and other trusted staff, unless you don't trust what your being told. besides , when top political staff show up there everything is scripted photo ops.
At this time, it is not important. He should schedule an phone meeting with General P, but it is too risky for a trip.
It is only important for him to go to Iraq if he will stay there.
I think it is foolish to go there and be in danger, not just from the fighting , from also from a political stand point. From here on in, because of his historic opportunity to become our first president of color, his safety will be a major factor. Maybe after he is elected he should go announce to the troops personally that they are being sent home. Right now he is just too close to winning to do what McCain wants him to.
Par for the course.. Obama only finally does the right thing or says
he will do the right thing when backed into a corner or shamed
into doing the right thing.
Like Rev. Wright said he is a politician and will say and do
whatever it takes to be elected.
No, he would just get the "tour" that all others get. McCain went and look at all the lies he spread about "safety". He could just go anywhere , it was discovered he had 100 troops and helicopters covering him. All the media and others get a snow job not the real facts. It is just P.R.
If Sen. Obama becomes the nominee, then I think that he will go to Iraq if time permits him to do so. Going to Iraq should not change his views on brining the troops home within the time frame that he predicts. Because Iraq will have to learn how to stand on their own, and it doesn't help with American troops still there. John McCain should feel more strongly about American's welfare here in the US, like he feel so strongly about Iraq. He cares more about Iraq and the war over there than he do about the crashing economy over here in America, and the soliders that were wounded in battle.
It smells of a political trap to me. Obama would get to see the few good things happening and be able to hear how happy some Iraqi's are that we're there. It just gives McCain more talking points. He can hear all he needs by talking to soldiers who have rotated back. They're the ones with the real scoop on things. Obama shouldn't allow himself to be bullied into a trip that would serve no valuable purpose for our troops or our nation.
Going to Iraq really won't give him any additional information, it's not like he'll be free to wander around and see what's really going on. It's only important when cast in the light of the campaign. For some unknown reason to me, it seems important that politicians pretend that being somewhere, under the most sterile conditions possible, gives someone a greater sense of the truth.
Jack, why is any politician going into a war zone? What do they think that is, a slumber party? If they want to find out how it is, tell them all to sign up. A man my age, almost 59, just got back!! If he wants to find out, go to the soldiers that have been maimed, lost limbs, and cannot get their medical from this great country. And while McCain and all of those cronies are patting themselves on the back, find out how many have commited suicide, lost their homes, have mental problems, and still this country wants to send them back!!! And, don't forget, all on a lie.
Those that supported the war (hillary and mccain) should live over there. THose that had the good judgement not to support it (Obama) don't need to go over there.
It makes no difference really. My only concern is the amount of security he would require. Whatever decision he makes will be the right one. He has good judgement.
Doesn't matter is he goes or not. He doesn't stand a snowballs chance in hell of being elected anyway. Not unless he has Hillary on the ticket with him.
If Obama wants to be Commander In Chief, then yes, he should go to Iraq, if for no other reason than to "know" what is going on first hand. As a leader part of the job calls for leadership and inspiration. Just because Obama is against the war in Iraq, the troops will still look to him for leadership and inspiration on the battlefield while they remain in Iraq.
Geri – Mead, OK
No, it's probably NOT important for Obama to go to Iraq. Not anytime soon, anyway. As has already been pointed out, he will be given a tour of the best parts of the situation. Since things change daily over there, he could come back with one impression and everything could be completely turned upside down the next day.
What really burns me in McCain telling Obama he needs to go to Iraq, and "inviting" him to go together. McCain had better stop talking as though Obama is so naive and ignorant – then again, if he keeps it up maybe more people will see what kind of person McCain really is. I think we can forget about him running a "nice" campaign!
Of course he should go Jack, that's what he does. Someone, in this case McCain, wiggles some bait in front of him and he jumps at it. The man never had an original thought. He got most of his platform from Clinton and Edwards and so now he is starting to follow McCain's lead. I will say, however, he is very good at speaking from a teleprompter, not so good on his feet.
Why not, Mr. C? They say that "travel broadens"...
Nooooo way! Why? Once he is elected he will have plenty of time to visit. If it had not been for McBush and the Hillary voting for the war, no one would have had to visit.
OBAMA/Any female but Billary 'o8
Not important, he will just hear from Bush's cronies, and they don't lie, do they? Plus, who is to say that he will be safe? Blackwater? KBR? or how about DynaCorp?
No he shouldn't, he opposed this senseless, criminal war. What disturbs me though is how come everything out of mccain's mouth is about Iraq or war? Is he obsessed with war?
Obama should go if he wants to show support for the troops, but not because McCain thinks Obama needs an education in foreign policy. Obama got it right about the Iraq war not McCain.
He should go to Iraq to get away from his church.Lucky for him the media pundits hate Clinton enough that it won't get the same coverage as if a Clinton supporter had said something similar about Obama.
Just as it is important for Maccain to register and enroll for Economics 101 : Introduction to American Economic this summer. Prerequities are made easy: No 1, must be a war hero. No 2, Must be bitter, and No 3, must be a republican.
I think he should go secretly without the press . This way he could get first hand information instead of the Bush spin on how things are going. No Photo opps- NO Drama just go to talk to the troops.
It would give him a better understanding on how to get them out of there with honor.
no he does not need to go to iraq. but i have a good idea– send the sniper fire dodger over and make sure she never comes back,,,,
since she made that statement and then joked about it on national tv we have lost over 55 soldiers because of the war she voted for.
and then she has the nerve to make a joke about it.
hilary the liar needs to just go away
Mr. Cafferty, only if he jumps into a hum V and goes outside of the greenzone and talk to troops without the bush propaganda team present. Its a lose lose situation if he goes because mccain said so. They'll pretty up the trip, probably hire some iraqis to dance in the streets and bow down to every american they see. Fact is, Iraq is destroyed and so is alot of iraqis pride, why do we have to continue to make personal political gains dissrespecting all of those innocent peoples land. their country, like this is our country. We all need a real life check. money and power = america
NO. Going to Iraq is a waste of time. We already know the Iraqi government is disfunctional. We already know that the Green Zone does not reflect the thoughts of the average Iraqi and unless Obama takes Patton's 3rd Army to go out of that area, He will never learn anything beyond the Pentagon's Male Cow Manure . Let McCain go for another picture opt and waste my money further and boast that these trips make him the only qualified Commander in Chief in the campaign.
Hey, Jack, tell Senator Obama to go to Iraq stand in front of the troops ask them if they want to come home and be on American soil protecting their country and going home at night to be with their families or even leaving the army and getting a college diploma.
Not very. Bush and McCain went to Iraq only as a photo-op. Let's talk about not only the war,but all the others things that the next president is going to have to deal with that bushed ignored. The very existence of our country is at stake.
Obama should go to Iraq when it is official he is the nominee and it is safe to leave the country. Goodness knows what the Clintons would be up to if he had gone earlier.
He should take Biden, Richardson and Webb with him...he should also visit European capitals. CNN should cover recent polling done to show the support he has with our Allies and how little McCain has.
I think that McCain has a valid point. Obama needs to hit the ground, see it for himself, and make decisions on pulling troops out of Iraq based on his experiences. Until such time, he'll be basing his decision off of the guy at the other end of the phone. I don't know about you, but I'm looking to elect a President, not the guy on the other end of the phone.
As the nominee he should do a fact findiIng mission, however he should be prepared for an individual or group seeking to make the visit into a youtube moment.He willl not be able to get an honest opinion about the war cause that's not the place for it.
No, he should ask Hillary to go in his stead. She's much better at dodging sniper fire.
It wasn't important that the U.S. went to Iraq in 2003 so why is it important that Obama goes right now? McCain wants to go because that's his specialty – war.
No. He shouldn't go. It's all a trick. If he goes, McCain is going to invite him to go shopping in Bagdad next.
My guess is Sen. Obama really doesn't need to go to the middle east to see that the failed Bush policies haven't worked. As I recall, he voted against the war in the senate and it seems he was correct in doing so. The tactic of McCain to challenge him to see the fiasco up close and in person doesn't, in any way, lend any credence to the Republican mantra that they are the party that will be stronger on terrorism. If this country continues to embrace the same old style of politics and cowboyism that we've endured the last eight years, we might as well start packing it in. I,for one, could sure go for a good strong dose of sanity this year. Maybe too much to ask?
Jack, I haven't been to iraq and i am very prepared to say without hesitation that we should get out. Mccain needs to stop playing the war card. Most americans do not want war, and most of us don't even understand why we are there. Bush and company have given us 30 or more different reasons for being there over the years, but even with all these most of us want out. Mccain needs to focus on the economy and u.s. debt. Jack, Can you please send a priority email to the Mccain camp telling him that we the people want to pay down debt, and eliminate deficit spending.
Sure he should Jack.
Then he could see why we should be there another 100 years.
Maybe McCain will show him the WMD's.
No Jack, I feel he would be better served by meeting privately with General Petraeus. Let"s face it McCain wants to make Iraq the number one issue instead of the economy. Obama needs to keep campaigning ; spreading his vision of change. When he is elected President he can go to Iraq , thank the troops and bring them home.
It is important he go there...so he can determine the best course to take to end this war as soon as possible after he wins the General Election. I hope it shows him that we are farther behind and creating more harm than good by being there. He is our only hope to bring our sons/daughters, mothers/fathers, brothers/sisters home in '09.
So, the RNC says that there are 2-year-old Iraqi children who weren't born the last time Obama was in Iraq... What about the AMERICAN children who weren't born the last time their servicemember mother or father was in THIS country...
I don’t think it is important at all. All the information about Iraq, and other places in the world, that would be important could be obtained by others that have seriously visited the region(s). The only possible motive I can think of for emphasizing this type of visit is for some sort of political grand standing and / or political positioning.
No, it's not important for Sen. Obama to go to Iraq now. If I were Sen. Obama I would go after I've won the nomination, just like John McCain did after he claimed his party's nomination. When he goes he will be able to assess whether or not he can keep his promise to remove U.S. troops in a timely fashion. Don't go with John McCain, go alone.
It would be good for Obama to visit Iraq and nip McCain's argumment in the bud. Better yet, McCain should visit Iraq again, but this time try to go it without the heavy security enveloping him. Let's see if McCain and his "Bush" policies are welcomed as warmly as Iranian President Ahmadimijad is.
Jack, I am so tired of that hypocrisy. Obama does not need to go to Iraq to figure out that it is time to end this war. How long has it been since McCain has not visited families of the soldiers right here in the US? Maybe he should start there to understand the misery that he is causing them with the war. Let's stop that nonsense back-and-forth and let's make some progress
The only ppl that need to go to Iraq are the ppl that put us there in the first place. Get out of the green zone and go to the shelters ppl are huddled in because they have no more homes
It's not that important for sen.obama to go to Iraq,he supports our troops who've been asked to do evrything they can to serve our our country.Se.mcsame/mcbush should be visiting the ststes thst have been hit hard by foreclosures,thats what sen,obama should be telling him to do.Am sure he doesn't even know where the home foreclosures have hit hard,and he should be also enrolling in the school of business since he admits he doesn't know anything to do with economy.We are tired of the war,and we're a looking for peace,not 4 more years of the same,but sen.mcsame doesn't seem to get it,but he will come nov 4th before midnight.
Obama knows what has to be done as far as Iraq is concerned, I dont think its necessary for him to go to Iraq at this point. Its more important for him to wrap this thing up and address the issues that John McCain will be throwing at him.
Great question and what's the point of wasting more tax dollars?
I wouldn't trust the republicans to bring him home safely anyhow. Maybe that's the real reason he wants him to go? Did anyone ever think of that given what is coming out of the white house now.
Obama should turn that one down and just wait till he's the
Next President and then go clean up the mess. Then he can come home and clean up the mess they have made here.
yes he should go to see how great we are doing over there when there are 2-300 solidiers around him and everything has been preinspected so it looks great that way when he comes back like mcaain did he can tell the truth it is worse today than when bush announced mission accomplished,
doug in arkansas
Obama cast a NO vote for war in Iraq. What part of no does John McCain not understand. Obama doesn't need to revisit Iraq when his support is to bring our troops home. Not to visit, take photos, return to his comfortable abode, give a press conference about how well things are going and therefore I change my vote to Yes.
I don't think it matters right now, I mean if top military commanders and intellegents people are giving him correct information then he has an idea of how it is. It's not smart for a future president to go into a war zone. MCcain is just trying to bully his way to presidency and it's not working. Nobody wants to be in Iraq for one more week let alone 100 years. It makes no sense to be helping people that want to kill us and let our domocracy go down the drain to save another.
Sure he should go. It's a win-win-win situation. If things are better ... we can leave. If things are worse ....we should leave. If progress is being made, ask the question that nobody can answer: How much longer? And then ask the American people how much longer do they want to stay in Iraq, another 4 years with McCain?
It's a bit premature for Obama to go to Iraq. He hasn't been named the democratic candidate yet. It sends the wrong message. The primary process needs to play itself out first. If Hillary should somehow pull off the nomination, the rest of the folks in Iraq would think we're pretty stupid; but, then they all ready know that.
No, he doesn't need to go. He can wait until he can take Air Force One and personally escort all our soldiers back home. Hey, Hillary can go now since she's experienced at dodging bullets.
Sheilah, Portland Oregon
Jack, If I were Obama I would not listen to anything John McCain or his campaign has to say about him.We all know that John McCain has to have Lieberman whisper in his ear the difference in the tribes over there . How many times has McCain been over there ? I wish people would realize that Obama is concerned about what is good for American. While all I hear from McCain is Iraq , Iraq and more Iraq.Maybe he is trying to educate Obama on how to vacation on the tax payers, as he has done in the past. Obama just let them do there day count on when you last went to Iraq,Olberman is doing his day count on you and Bush's mission accomplished. I am prayer after Jan.09 Kieth can quit counting and we can get our service members home and our economy growing again.
Old Indiana white women for Obama !
Sure Jack he should go to Iraq. If you are going to be president you had better know first hand what is going on all over the world. If any one needs world experience it is Obama. I want him there to answer the phone at 3am instead of Hillary who has enough to do wondering where Bill is at that time of night. He has to go if he is serious about the war and what to do about it.
The troops have to be sick and tired of dignitaries pretending to feel a pain, fear and loniless that they cannot feel. Not even Sen. McCain's war experience is the same as these troops. This said, when Sen. Obama is President Obama, he should then march into Iraq and personally escort the first brigade of troops home. And every month, a general, active or retired, should go to Iraq to escort the next brigade out of that wilderness that is Iraq until then there were none.
For the election, it's a photo op. For the troops, it may lift morale and gain him a few more votes. In the case the politicians have forgotten, our military men and women still have the right to vote. George W. and Congress forgot to take that away from them, too. God bless our troops.
If your adversary keeps insisting that you visit a war zone, what would you think Jack? Obama doesn't need to visit Iraq. All he has to do is talk to the troops that are returning from Iraq. He shouldn't cater to any request or suggestion made by the Republicans. We all know that the war in Iraq is a fiasco. The caveat here is why are the Republicans so adamant that Obama place himself in harms way?
I think its important for him to meet with the generals, and go to Iraq, but he needs to find a way to do it without letting McCain take the credit for the idea. Nothing like a presidential candidate doing something just because the opponent told him he should!
Going to Iraq would help the war as much as the $30 I would get from this summer's proposed gas tax holiday would help me. But those are the types of solutions we've come to expect from those brilliant folks in Washington. On the other hand, I think it would be safer for him to stay here and not get bombed. We need him here to fix this domestic mess.
Obama perhaps should go to Iraq as President once an exit plan is established. Not before. The argument McCain makes is stupid. You don't have to feel the burner to know the stove is hot. McCain will self destruct with such logic.
McCain has successfully put Obama in a pinch. Whether he "should" go or not doesn't really matter but McCain has created a drama that Obama's campaign obviously believe their candidate should have a major role. He should star alone if he goes and definitely not tag along with McCain. I'm sure a large segment of the electorate would feel more comfortable with Obama making the visit but he should also out manoeuvre McCain and include Afghanistan in his trip. I believe Obabma could wait to make international visits after his election because there's no real reason for high security travel at this point and he can counter McCain's chatter with the knowledge of the situation that he already has.
McCain is doing the same thing Hillary tried to do–boss Obama around. He doesn't get bossed around very easily. When he feels the need to go to Iraq or anywhere else, he'll do so in his own way. As the nominee, he may get together with military advisers with whom he can work and go to the Middle East to start setting the tone for his military policy. Or, he might send his advisers.
The idea that Obama needs Grandpa McCain showing him the ropes is charming. However, given the gravity of the problems we face in this country, the charm wears off quickly and the sobering reality of a possible McCain presidency makes me take this very seriously.
I think it's important just because it would shut John McCain up! If Obama visits Iraq and focuses on how best to withdraw troops he'll be able to come back with a solid plan of how he's going to get us out of this mess that Bush created and McCain wants to keep us in. Then Iraq will be yet another issue, like the economy and health care, where Obama can handily defeat McCain in a debate.
How do you visit Iraq exactly. Yeah, he could visit the Green Zone, maybe an army base, and even a market (with hundreds of security guards providing safety). It's not like Obama could drive around the country on a sightseeing tour. Any visit to Iraq, by McCain, Obama, or anyone else, is just a photo opp.
This is very important. He can then come back and state the facts about Iraq and that our troops need to be withdrawn sooner than later. After a 1st hand look, he will be better qualified then McCain on this issue. This is a no brainer. The sooner he goes the better.
Two Rivers, Wiscosnsin
No. If McCain and company are pushing for him to go to Iraq, common sense says it is a trap of some sort.
What does a visit to Iraq accomplish? Maybe a photo op and that's about it.
Obama has shown his support of the troops with the GI Bill. McCain has shown his lack of support with his opposition to that bill.
McCain voted for the war. Obama was against it
If McCain wants to go. Let him go and have his market photo-op. Although I heard that market is no longer safe.
An Iraqi visit is just a distraction. Better that he stay here and get working on ending this mess.
For someone who never served a day in military service, it is extremely important for Mr. Obama to go to Iraq and Afghanistan. He needs to see the situation first hand and to meet with not only the officers in charge, but the men on the ground doing the fighting and peace keeping. Then, and only then, will he be able to understand what is keeping the war active and to figure out ways to bring the troops home and end this stupid war.
Why? To see how many planes can take off at one time with our troops to bring them home. That's the only reason I can think of. Our soldiers have better thing to do then create photo-ops for visiting dignitaries. Are the prices that good in the Baghdad Bizarre that McCain needs to go back for another shopping trip at our expense? Get real John, both you and your war are over with come January.
If Obama makes the trip and looks presidential while he's there it could turn out to be very important for his campaign, which I suspect is one of the main reasons he's considering the trip. On the other hand, if he appears to be out of his comfort zone while he's there it could be important for McCain.
I agree with Obama that he should go only if he'll do something useful or learn something new there. If they just want a photo op, they might as well film it in Hollywood in front of a green screen.
Does McCain think that Obama will see the political progress that the surge was intended to promote? Will Obama be able to travel outside the Green Zone without protection by hundreds of U. S. forces, who could be more useful helping Iraqis or their fellow soldiers? Is it possible he might find the $9 billion intended for Iraq reconstruction that is unaccounted for? If he can't do these things, he might as well continue working here to bring a conclusion to the disaster that McCain authorized and continues to support.
I think it is important for Obama to go to Iraq AND Afghanistan before November. He needs to personally deliver his message on foreign policy, his plans for the future and troop withdrawal. Obama needs to personally thank the American and allied troops. Obama needs to sit down and listen to American and allied troops, have a regular conversation with them, ask their advice. After that, he needs to demonstrate what he will do with that information and advice. Personally, I believe that is his intention, as it seems "that's the way he rolls".
Not very, it is more of a security risk and distraction for our troups than any help to our diplomats. More useful information can be obtained from those on the ground that see the real action day to day. The key is to talk to as many as possible as we know from experiece that opinions are deverse.
Major MICHAEL IN L.ORTON, VIRGINIA.......If you really are a Major (I doubt it) You need to go to a Tech school somewhere !!! Obama didn't vote !!!!!! Wake up !!!!!
Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton need to go to Iraq. Both candidates have promised to bring our troops home if elected no matter how different it looks in Iraq. The bottom line is the American people want out of Iraq and one more visit by one more politician is not going to change public opinion. The Iraqi people need to step up to the plate and defend their country and establish their government and pay their own bills. This sounds harsh, but winter in the North will be harsh this year if the people can't afford heating oil for their homes. Walking to work 10-20 miles doesn't sound too promising either with gasoline prices rising. McCain needs to backoff and instead of planning field trips he needs to take a look at the enconomy.
Obama is supporting the troops by funding the GI bill, he does not need to do a phony McCain photo op in the Bagdad market place. For all of McCain's rhetoric, he just made another gaffe about Iraq, he thinks we are down to pre-surge troops levels there, time for him to retire.
JS North Carolina
I do not think that the expense of a trip to Iraq is worth it. The risks are great and the cost of security is out of sight. It is better for the politicians to stay home and if they want to know something bring home a Service Man to tell them. I am sure that many of them would relish the ability to return home even for a few days.
Jack, It really doesn't matter the real question is to not fall into a trap that Sen McCain and the Republicans are laying for him. Listen he is advised by People who know whats going on there and i believe he has a firm gripof the current situation on the ground. Also the violence is down because of the fragile truce between the sunnis and Al sadrs army , however that could change tomorrow and all hell could break loose again because the current Iraq Government is powerless.
No. It is time for the Democrats to get John McSames' mind off of the Iraq he has stood behind. Let's get McCain on the economy and the foreclosures he and his GOP have created. Iraq is a lost cause,bring our troops home now.
Heck no, and don't think he should go at this time. Be gone McCain, you ain't getting the election any how.
Why give McCain a political talking point. Who cares if he goes to Iraq? We need to send President Bush and then leave him there with the troops for a week or two so he can see first hand what he has done.
If Senator Obama wins the democratic primary, it would do the troops good to see the candidate in person. Unfortunately he will have to go to get McCain off his back because guaranteed McCain will "swiftboat" him with it, otherwise.
Barack, it sounds like a set-up to me. I wouldn't trust McCain. If you go,wait till after the election, when you can bring the troops some good news about bringing them home.
Yes eventually, but not before the nomination is sewn up and definitely not because John Mccain says so. Any trip to iraq should be to help facilitate a smooth withdrawall not to justify staying as John Mccain wants.
John Mccain acts as though he's the "oracle" on foreign policy.
He was a below par fighter pilot( he only got the job through family connections).
He did everything possible to block investigation of soldiers missing in action in the vietnam war.
He voted for a war that was without a doubt started needlessly and he voted against Gim Webb's GI bill which would give those very soldiers he carelessly sent into war a chance to obtain a college education; something that his elite and well connected parents were able to do for him even though he finished 894 out of 899 in college.
John Mccain deserves commendation for his service to his country in the vietnam war but on foreign policy as a leader he has zero credibility for all the above reasons.
Since he hasn't cared enough to go for 2 yrs., why go now?? But i'm sure he will if he thinks it will help him get elected, after all even some of his people has said Obama says & does what a politican has to do. It's all just another P.R. stunt anyway. I noticed Obama's been big on wearing the flag pin lately, are we suppose to be impressed by how much he loves this Country all of a sudden!!
My husband was in Iraq and I think it would be too dangerous now. I think once he becomes the President, I think he could see then first hand what is going on over there. He then should be well protected by the same Marines that protected McCain when he traveled there.I think he should request the CEOs of all the companies that provide equipment and supplies to the troops to accompany him. Have those CEOs ride in the dangerous trucks the troops ride in and try on the gas masks that have no protection and to wear the flimsy armor the troops have to wear.Then maybe our troops will get the correct equipment and supplies they need.
Once he is the Democratic presumptive nominee , Senator Obama should do what the presumptive nominee of the Republican party did – make a trip abroad to meet and greet our allies (that shouldn't take long since we have so few left), leaving him with plenty of time to visit both Iraq and Afganistan and maybe pick up a nice rug in the same market that John McCain once "strolled" through. Only this time, maybe Senator Obama could show us what it is really like for visiting Congressmen with bodyguards, troops, helicopters and all.
He should go and show all the protection needed to keep him safe (unlike McCain showed when he pretended he was taking a leisurely stroll through Baghdad.) Then he could point out the lack of progress made by the Iraqi government which was the whole point of the surge which McCain claim has worked. He'll come back having proven his judgement was right and McCain's was wrong AGAIN.
This is entirely up to Obama. I know that McCain is using this issue as a political stunt. However, Obama should not allow McCain too shame him nor force him in anyway to go. Obama is his own man..he will do what he thinks is right.
After he has the nomination, yes. Right now why not send Hillary with McSame.
He should go just to shut John McCain up. After that he should concentrate on getting America out fo Iraq.
Obama doesn't want to make the trip because he'd find out that the surge is working, and he'd learn that our brave men and women overseas are some of the finest people in our great nation. He's not interested in that kind of "fact-finding" trip.
as the likely democratic candidate it would benefit obama to take a trip to iraq. to solve a problem one has to understand it fully. a few days in iraq would help obama to understand the situation so much more than a week of questioning generals and policy makers.
I don't think that the majority of the 82% of Americans who think that we should pull out have been to Iraq personally, but we still have a clear image of what goes on there every day. This trip may not be necessary for everyone, but while running for President, I think that it is needed.
Barack has a phone – General Petraeus has a phone. Why does he have to travel halfway around the world for a photo op. Do you think a pentagon that holds weekly briefings for the medias independent experts is going to let him see anything inconvenient.
He should go and bring about 10 IBEW union Electricians with him so our troops can stop getting killed in the shower.
I don't feel it is a good idea for Obama to go to Iraq at all. The news people in Iraq that Wolf Blitzer talked to said he wouldn't see much, could have gotten more information from Patraouse when he was here than if he was an inconvenience because of security. Why take a chance to loose the best thing we have going for us.
I hope he wont be goated into going. McCain didn't even know who was fighting whom when he went. He had to have Lieberman whispering in his ear. Obama stay home.
J.K. in Boise, Idaho
Jack, with the number of misstatements John McCain has been making about: the present number of troops, what victory means, why we went there, and most importantly, whom we are fighting, travelling to Iraq doesn't seem to make him any more informed about the war.
That said, I'm sure Sen. Obama will visit the region, and with open expectations.
No I never went to Iraq,but I knew in 2002 it would be idiotic to occupy an Islamic country and Obama hadn't been there either and he knew going to war was a bad idea. If France,Germany,and other countries didn't join the so-called coalition of the willing wouldn't that suggest not everyone bought into the bad intelligence.
Jack I think that some people don't have much to do but talk. How much sense does that make, when the cost for him to be there and the sercurity would be terrible. Don't these idiots know that there are more important issues, than what grandpa thinks, he can say anything as old as he is, he only has a few more rises and settings of the sun anyway.
By all means he needs to go to a Bagdad market and buy 4 rugs for 5 dollars and do a photo op. I believe this is what happened when John McCain and Lindsey Graham visited. Then the American taxpayer can spend a half million dollars on his security just like McCains' visits. And we don't even get a rug.
Obama is not be lectured by McCain, a veteran who didn't behave like one by voting for the wrong war when it was time to show his experience and leadership. Barack can go there to visit our braves not because McCentury said so but because it is good for our future president to visit our troops. The issue is not about "surge" but about how we got there! The issue is not about "surrender". The issue is about if we are going to use our troops arround the world because they are so strong! McCain was wrong then and he is wrong now. McCain and Bush, are twins of deception.
Not sure if he should. Barack is a smart dude and he will do the right thing. Michael Weir seems to know a lot and said Barack will not learn a great deal by going to Iraq. It is not safe there, that has got to be number one concern. John McCain is a dork., strange that he didn't fall down with all the body bullet proof clothing he had to wear.
He should go back to the Senate and serve at least his first term before trying to be President and get a little experience. Not having served in the military; he couldn't get much out of a trip to Iraq.
Of course Obama should go to Iraq. It is unbelievable that a guy who tries to give the impression that he knows what's happening there & is concerned about the troops can't be bothered to visit there and assess the situation for himself. And this man thinks he's qualified to lead the country?
Jack I really don't think he should.he would only be allowing John Mc cain to callthe shots.Obama already has the upper hand in this war debate,we are tired of burying our sons,daughters fathers and mothers just because of Pres. bushes ego.
It's only important if he wants to be able to speak first hand about the terrible mess we've made out of Iraq.
Obama doesn't need to go to Iraq and particularly not with John McCain. John McCain's offering to "educate Obama reminds me of Hillary 's "Shame on you, Barrack Obama." Obama is a grown man and doesn't need to be treated like a child. He has spoken to Gen. Petraeus and can always speak to soldiers who have recently served and have come home before returning on their second or third mission.
Yes. He keeps extending the time for bringing home our troops if he is elected. With any luck, he will find a new life there.
A waste of time and effort but very risky. But, I'm sure the State Department's private security army – Blackwater, Inc. will provide the very best security.
If Mr. Obama wants the troops to think he gives a damn about them, then he should go to Iraq. If he doesn't care what the troops think, then he should just keep doing what he's doing to support the troops....nothing.
Mccain should take Hillary instead; then she could learn what sniper fire is REALLY like!
I strongly believe that Senator Obama should not take the bait. In this era of "snipper fire" and all the insinuation about "someone pointing a gun at him"... if you know what I mean. I don't want to sound like a consipracy theorist but if you leave in a glass house, don't throw stones. There will be plenty of time for him to visit Iraq. For know, I think he needs to sit down with Mike Weir (The Aussie) for two hours and he will get a more realistic assessment of the true Iraq. As oppose to John McCain and Hillary Clinton'e green zone charade.
A trip to Iraq by Sen. Obama is necessary to send a symbolic message of support to our troops. While he's there he can deliver a long over due message to the American heros in Iraq. If I am elected you men and women will becoming home soon, no lie...
C.I., New York
If he is going to be debating Mc Cain and since he is seeking the President's job, he should see first hand what is really hapening there. Since Mc Cain has been there several times, he probably thinks he now knows more about Iraq and Afghanistan than Obama.
I reject and denounce the notion that Obama needs to go to Iraq to prove to McBush that he understands what is going on in Iraq. I can plainly see that after 7 yrs, the Iraqi army is no better prepared, their police are just as corrupt, the government is literally not working , Sadr is running the south of the country, the kurds are poorly running the north and the country is one incident away from civil war and maybe two away from regional war..... and the closest I've gotten to Iraq in the last 7 years is on my cruise to the sourthen carribean last summer.
Well, if it came down to quail hunting with Dick Cheney or going to Iraq...I guess my choice would be to go to Iraq at least they give ya a helmut over there.
Absolutely not. Obama should not politicize Iraq the way that Mccain has. He should only go to Iraq if the normal course of his senate duties on a committee or subcommittie or if requested to do so by a committie chair. As president elect he should head to the region post haste.
Sure he should go. But not to share a stage with McCain. He should go talk to that twit they put in charge and in front of the cameras tell him enough Americans have died for Iraqi freedom and he needs to prepare for your leaving.
Second he needs to tell the troops they are loved and cherished but they are needed at home to protect US borders. They have freed the Iraqi people from the death grip of a heartless dictator and should be as proud of a mission completed as the people are proud of them. If McCain wants to call that a surrender let him.
I think any American politician who spends taxpayer money to go to Iraq should be required to stay there until the last American soldier leaves.
Yes I think he should go, but not the places that john MCcain suggests, he should go on his own, or with General Collin Powell, not with John McCain, and yes he should take HC and BC and leave them both there. :)
At some point, Obama should indeed go to Iraq to see our troops and the conditions under which they are serving, but not as a political stunt and not because Grandpa McCain says so!
Yes, he should absolutely go. And he should be photographed with a bunch of smiling soldiers with a banner saying "We're Going Home Soon!" hanging behind him. It's a great photo-op!
We are still in the primary season, and Obama is not even the Dem candidate yet. Obama should wait until after the August convention, when his candidacy is confiirmed, and then he should visit THE US TROOPS as part of his election campaign, for they are voters too.
Of course, as a senator and head of the foreign relations committee, he does have the right to visit any country any time on a fact-finding mission.
McCain nees to go to Iraq since he voted and supported the war. Obama should consult all interest groups, regardless where they are to determine best course for withdrawl. Also, Bush needs to be treated as a war criminal and brought to justice. If McCain keeps it up, he will face prison sentence as well. Its an illegal war....get it straight people, we are the biggest terrorists in the world and yet still do not grasp the concept. Obama should go to Cuba as well.
As long as his trip doesn't become the same as the Mike Dukakis ride in an Abrahms, it would be a good thing. Mike Dukakis tried to be something he was not. I don't want to see Barack Obama portrayed the same way.
Senator Obama going to Iraq is a waste of time. Any one who will really tell him the truth will not be allowed withing 10 miles of him. He can do better by talking to returning Vets about Iraq and get the unvarnished truth.
It's fine with me if Obama does not go to Iraq. He has been right from the start about the wisdom of Bush's Great Misadventure.
The best way Obama could support the troops is to greet them at Andrews Air Force base when he's President, after he has redeployed them away from this foolish and immoral war.
Now is not the time for Obama to go to Iraq. He should not fall for McCain's tricks...and this does seem like one.
After Hillary's remarks about Robt Kennedy and the rumors of the Republicans saying they have a "surprise" for Obama in October...I personally don't trust either one of those "other" candidates.
Obama would only get to see what Bush insists he sees anyway.
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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