January 2nd, 2008
04:09 PM ET

Time to leave Iraq?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

John Edwards says that as president there would be no more than 5,000 U.S. troops left in Iraq within 10 months.

Edwards told The New York Times the withdrawal would include forces who are training the Iraqi army and police. He says that extending the American training effort into the next presidency would require the deployment of tens of thousands of troops, which he calls "a continuation of the occupation of Iraq."

Edwards' plan calls for the immediate withdrawal of 40,000 to 50,000 troops... and within 9 to 10 months, the rest of them except the 35-hundred to 5-thousand troops who would remain to protect the U.S. Embassy and possibly do humanitarian work.

Edwards suggested he would allow for the training of some Iraqi forces outside of Iraq. But he says he decided on an almost total withdrawal because of the political failure of the Iraqi government.

His plan is at odds with the strategy of military commanders, who say the situation in Iraq is still too fragile to set a timetable for withdrawal of American forces. Edwards wants a more rapid and complete troop withdrawal than either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, who have suggested they're open to keeping U.S. trainers and counterterrorism units in Iraq.

Here’s my question to you:

John Edwards wants no more than 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq within 10 months. Is that a good idea?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

George from Florida writes:
Jack, It seems like a noble plan for John Edwards to make such a promise. He is standing up for what the Democratic Congress is afraid to do. 70% of Americans want U.S. forces out of Iraq. The fact is that we are in a war we cannot win.

Allen writes:
That is a really bad idea. Although I am against the war, his plan is arbitrary and would leave Iraq in chaos which could lead to a bloodbath.

Greg writes:
You have to be willing to continue the loss of American lives if you want to leave the troops there. I am not.

Larry from Missouri writes:
Jack, This would be a worse decision than the decision of starting the war. From all reports, we are doing much better in Iraq in securing the country. We have to finish the job.

Carl from Coldwater, Kansas writes:
Cutting troop levels to 5,000 in a year or less would do no good in Iraq but talking like that may well get Edwards some more votes and that is the reason he is saying all that. Win those votes at all costs and then hope you can back down graciously.

Phil writes:
Jack, I completely agree with Sen. Edwards. By January 2009 it will be long enough. Enough money spent on a mistake and more importantly nearly 4,000 dead, brave Americans. Enough is enough.

Elaine writes:
Frankly, I thought that's what the American people voted for in 2006 when we voted in a Democratic majority, one that acts more and more like Republican “lite” all the time. Is it good idea? You bet, and long overdue.

Larry from Watsonville, California writes:
Jack, It is nice to see at least one Democrat endorse Ron Paul's Iraq policy. Could an Edwards/Paul ticket be out of the question?

Filed under: Iraq • John Edwards
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. James

    Great idea! The only thing better would be a complete withdraw. If our government was willing to spend as much money on America as they do Iraq maybe this country wouldn't be tailspinning into a recession. I don't care to hear the "they'll follow us home" speach, it's nothing but pure B.S. They've hated us for decades and haven't followed us yet. They just want us gone!

    January 2, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  2. Bill

    It's a great idea, especially when you have a son or daughter on their third or fourth tour of duty in Iraq and getting shot at. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    January 2, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  3. Christian Blake

    All we need in Iraq and the rest of the 170 countries we are in is good aireal surveylance and watch each country destroy themselves. We need to GET OUT of all these hot spots and if they step out of line,NUKE them, before they nuke us! But of course this takes real leadership and we all know theres non of that in Washington now or in the recent past., with the exception of Harry Truman!

    January 2, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  4. Ron

    A hell of a good idea, Jack! Iraq is still doing nothing politically! here's what is going to happen sooner or later. The UN will step in,(mostly us), just as it was prior to the deception of the Bush Administration! We do not need to sacrifice one more American for NOTHING! 5 thousand in Iraq, That's a small Base!

    And,....AND, don't get your back up, Send some more troops to Afghanistan, kill Bin Laden and get out of there except for a small Base, again!

    Bush's Middle East Policies have made everything worse, not better. Let them fight among themselves for a while and when the time is right, we can try again!

    January 2, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  5. Brandon Yates

    This is a step in the right direction, but a better idea would be having ZERO troops in Iraq within 10 months. We need to move towards a policy of non-intervention. We cannot afford these wars, and they will only cause more blowback.

    January 2, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  6. James S. Lenon

    Reducing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to 5000 within ten months of taking office is a wonderful idea. Just ask the men and women in the pipeline to return to Iraq. However, the logistics will be complicated and the danger to the remaining troops will increase as their numbers are drawn down.
    Knowing that this will take extreme cooperation between the executive branch and the military, I'm willing to give Edwards the chance to accomplish this goal.

    January 2, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  7. B Reyes, Temecula, CA

    I prefer what Ron Paul is saying: Have NO troops in Iraq, remember that the founding fathers talked about a policy of no entangling alliances and a foreign policy of non-intervention. The people there see us as foreign invaders, we're inadvertently helping terrorist recruiting. On top of that, oil has tripled in price, and it's now over $100 a barrel. The war is destabilizing the region, damaging our security, hurting our military and costing us trillions. It's time to leave.

    January 2, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  8. Rich, McKinney Texas

    John Edwards by Trade is a Lawyer not a solider. How many wars has John Edwards fought in? Although he is very good at voting to go to war and then condemning the president for it. Senator Edwards has a memory of convenience and had every opportunity to question any information he had on Iraq prior to authorizing War against it. Edwards failed to do that, and Edwards is part of the problem not part of the solution. John Edwards needs to stick to Ambulance chasing and leave fighting wars to Generals that do that for a living.

    January 2, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  9. Mary Sukits

    It is past time to leave Iraq and quite a few other places we have been expanding our dynasty to include at taxpayer expense. I have been overseas and lived off post in Germany. I experienced first hand the extreme hatred that foreign countries have for American occupation of their land. We were screamed at and told to go home by the locals because they did not need us any more.

    Besides, logically thinking, I would much rather bring our guys home to defend the border. Then we can fix the subprime loan debacle by having the government pay subsidized housing to our own citizens rather than a landlord in a foreign country.

    Glad Edwards has seen the effectiveness of pushing a Paul talking point. I,however, prefer the original. Dr.Paul for President in 2008!!!

    January 2, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  10. Terry OFlaherty

    Is this guy kidding ? I want to see him as one of the 5000 left in Iraq ! Its got to be every one of our guys out of there !

    January 2, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  11. Jim Jensen

    Based on the lies and spin that got us there, going into Iraq in the first place was an abominable idea. Getting out, no matter which Presidential candidate suggested it, is and outlandishly brilliant idea – especially for a politician to come up with.

    January 2, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  12. W B in Las Vegas

    I am a John Edwards supporter and I want our Troopers and Marines out of Iraq as much as anyone BUT I think it would be a mistake to take the option of how many we need to keep the country stable out of the hands of the Military on scene commanders would be a mistake. that's what happened in Viet Nam with the politicians in Washington trying to run the war from half a world away and it was a disaster. we should have never gone into Iraq but now that we have "bought it", as Colin Powell said, we have to make sure it is at least somewhat fixed before we leave.

    January 2, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  13. W B in Las Vegas


    I am a John Edwards supporter and I want our Troopers and Marines out of Iraq as much as anyone BUT I think that to take the option of how many we need to keep the country stable out of the hands of the Military on scene commanders would be a mistake. that’s what happened in Viet Nam with the politicians in Washington trying to run the war from half a world away and it was a disaster. we should have never gone into Iraq but now that we have “bought it”, as Colin Powell said, we have to make sure it is at least somewhat fixed before we leave.

    January 2, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  14. Thomas, SC

    It's a better idea than what we're getting from any of the other "frontrunners." But if anyone is serious about changing our foreign policy, there are only a few real choices for president: Ron Paul, Bill Richardson, Mike Gravel, or Dennis Kucinich. I find it unbelievable that the Democrats pride themselves on being against this war, yet their top two candidates couldn't promise to be completely out of there by 2010. Seventy percent of American people don't want this war, yet all the candidates I just listed who would actually do something about it are getting next to no media attention, which keeps them down in the polls, which makes people feel like it is futile to vote for them. How sad.

    January 2, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  15. David Cissner,San Bernardino,CA.

    Glad to see you back from vacation,Jack. Happy New Year,or at least until the next Bush/Cheney screw-up! Yes.we should get out of Iraq but not just a few troops,EVERYBODY,including civilians. Let the Shi-ites,Sunni's and Kurds figure out their own problems. We can send Cheney as the mediator!

    January 2, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  16. Joe

    Yes. Afghanistan, not Iraq, is the place we need a surge.

    January 2, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  17. Fr. Tony Clavier

    Those who led the US into this mire obviously knew little or nothing about the region or the history of Iraq, a state cobbled together for the convenience of the West and kept together thus far by force.

    Having entered the affairs on this non-state and measurably increased its problems and divisions the United States cannot just abandon the situation. Ten months is not sufficient time to police Iraq. Ideally a multi-national force should take over while the Iraqi factional leaders worked out a federal system of government probably with Switzerland as the model.

    January 2, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  18. Ed Reed

    The idea that you could democratize a tribal society was flawed from the beginning. The "awakening" in Anbar happened because even the Bathists got fed up with the radicals. As soon as these former Sunni insurgents are done with Al Qaeda they will return to trying to regain control of Iraq, which will end up a divided country regardless of what we do. The sooner we get out, the sooner we stop our bleeding.

    January 2, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  19. Bobby Dennis

    That "we broke it so we bought it" argument is so sad. Why is it that we have to "buy" all of the countries we have issues with. I am tired of paying tax dollars for my parents war's and don't want my future grandchildrend to pay for wars these Neo-Con's are so happy to fight. Bring them home. We just marched in we can just march out.

    January 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  20. Tom Bulger

    That's a great idea, if the level of violence indicates that is the safest pace of withdrawal. Our defense intelligence agencies reported more than once that the war in Iraq is a boost for the terrorists and a millstone around the neck of America. The sooner we are out the less damage we do to America.

    January 2, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  21. David A. Morse


    All American troops should be home in a year. Only the "Military Industrial Complex" as President Eisenhower warned us about, wants the war to continue. As long as the war goes on, the arms merchants will make a killing-pun intended. Weapons that are destroyed need to be replaced. This is as much as "A War for Profits" as for Oil.

    January 2, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  22. Jake (Evansville, IN)

    I simply don't think it's that important which state goes first, but I believe the caucses and primaries should not be so spread apart over many months. They should all be within a few weeks or a month, kind of like how the current Presidential election works.

    Evansville, IN

    January 2, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  23. d moore

    What was that? Anyway –
    It’s not if the place is right but rather if the time is right. I don’t even want to think about another botched election until maybe a month before voting. I am so numb to the campaigns that I almost don’t care who wins as long as these same 6 faces are off my TV screen.

    January 2, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  24. Ed

    Edwards seems to cater to both sides of the aisle. He voted to go into Iraq then later denounced the idea. He worked as director of the center for poverty while simultaneously working as consultant to Fortress investment group LLC as well as being invested. This company reaped huge profits on sub-prime mortgages and foreclosed properties in the hurricane Katrina area. I would prefer someone else came up with the plan for the country.

    January 2, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  25. Dave Orlando

    No, five would be too many, unless those five are Bush, Cheney, Rice, Gonzales and Rumsfeld. Thow in the rest of the administration and DHS and that would work for me.

    January 2, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  26. john

    No, it’s a bad idea. All the troops should leave post haste and what we should be asking politicians is “if not now, then when”? All or none, leaving troops, be it 5000, 20,000 or 50,000 is just an empty political promise. Does anyone remember the 2004 election.

    January 2, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  27. Brad

    Jack, we can't leave that soon. There are still many contract to be fulfilled and billions of dollars to be skimmed. How dare Edwards circumvent the free enterprise system.
    Thanks, Brad in Tampa

    January 2, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  28. C Harris

    Finallly!!! Someone with a plan to leave. Amen!!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  29. Scott S.

    Hell YES! Finally someone is listening.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  30. Brad

    No. But going into Iraq wasn't a "good idea" either.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  31. getalife

    Our troops are overworked and underpaid thanks to w's latest veto on the defense bill.

    Bring em home.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  32. Donny Screws

    No, it is not a good idea to leave 5000 troops in Iraq in 10 months. The number should be 0 troops in Iraq the day after Bush leaves office.
    The entire debacle, remember, was started over a lie.

    Thanks! Donny Screws

    January 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  33. Tom Santone

    Good idea.....how about a great idea.

    Lets get our boys home! Being in that country was one of the biggest mistakes this coutry made in my lifetime. It is time to admit our mistakes and bring our troops home before more die in vain.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  34. James

    Thank goodness someone is willing to pull out of Iraq completely. This entire war and policy for Iraq is a complete failure. John Edwards just got my vote.

    Sacramento, Ca

    January 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  35. Bill

    No! This is a dumb idea.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  36. Peter Simmons

    We should have BEEN OUT, long ago...in fact, we never should have gone in!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  37. Mike (TX)

    Yes. It is time for Iraq to govern their own country. Our troops have sacrificed enough to the cause.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  38. Andy M.

    Leaving Iraq quickly is practically impossible. Not only do we not have the capacity to bring many soldiers at once, but we dont have the resources here in America to care for the soldiers. These soldiers have been defending our country and our freedom the least the US Government can do is look out for them when they are back home.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  39. allen bernstien

    That is a really bad idea. Although I am against the war, his plan is arbitrary and would leave Iraq in chaos which could lead to a bloodbath.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  40. Ed


    5000 is a good start but its still a little high how about zero? Also immediately is much better for me and other Americans. I wonder which candidate will do that? Couldn't possibly be John "The Surge" McCain, its the only real American running for President, Ron Paul.

    Portland, Maine

    January 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  41. Jerry

    The time has come.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  42. Sebastian S.

    Of course its a great idea. My dad always said, "its never too late to learn how to play guitar". Lets get out and get right. ASAP. The chaos of war never wins over the hard fought Gandhi idealism of Ahimsa. PEACE to all-

    January 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  43. Justyn Miller

    I think this is a great idea. I'm glad someone has finally stood up to the problem with Iraq and truly wants to get us out of Iraq. Barack and Hillary want to continue keeping troops in a country that has been destabilized because of a phony war. John Edwards is showing that is truly different from Hillary and Barack.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  44. Dan Teesdale

    Yes Jack, it is time to leave Iraq. However, instead of leaving 5,000 troops behind, we need to bring them all home. We need to stop thinking we have the right to national intervention. Edwards is leaning towards the right idea, but leaving troops there misses the point. Ron Paul is the only candidate who will bring our troops home, and supports the logical foreign policy of Non Intervention. The troops agree with him, he has the most military donations out of any candidate!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  45. Jason Walsh

    Unfortunately I can never find myself voting for John Edwards! I assume he is campaigning the way he really would have wanted to in 2004 had the political winds been blowing in the proper direction. The only candidate I can support on the war issue is Ron Paul.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  46. Granville Grimm

    I might go for even 10,000 military in Uraq. NO MORE THAN THAT!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  47. John Haggerty

    It is a great idea and should, no, must be done. John Edwards is the only candidate who is for reason and not for big businees or the war profiteers.



    January 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  48. Matt

    It is probably too drastic to remove all but 5,000 troops in Iraq so quickly. I believe that a more phased approach would be safer for our troops.

    -Matt, New Hampshire

    January 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  49. Sean Glazier

    Gee this is what Ron paul has sadi and in fact would A. Actually do it B. Get it ton quicker C. Can be trusted to keep his word unlike the all the other slim balls running

    January 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  50. Charles Crabtree

    I think withdrawing troops is a good idea, but to leave any is a bad idea. We should not be in Iraq in the first place, so leaving troops is just saving face while endangering the nation. We are a safer country when we protect our borders and stay out of entangling alliances. The founding fathers had it right, so Ron Paul's policy is the only one I can support on this issue.

    Memphis, TN

    January 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  51. George Pospisilq

    Jack, My father always told me that two wrongs don't make a right. Entering Iraq as occupiers was based on lies, and was very wrong. Leaving our valuable men and women there risking their lives based on these lies is a second wrong. Edwards is very correct to remove them to work on other more valuable tasks, such as actually protecting this nation and responding to disasters.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  52. Billy O

    It's a great idea! Stop endangering American lives for the Bush/PNAC cabal's lies!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  53. Ash

    It is fairly obvious that Sen. Edwards has no military experience. At least Sen. Clinton has people like Wesley Clark advising her.
    His plan reminds me a lot of what happened in Somalia. I think we all remember what happened there. While there is no real solution to the disaster President Bush has created, I think a compromise such as the ones Clinton and Obama want.
    Then again, what do I know.. I'm just an Iraq War veteran!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  54. Charles Peterson


    January 2, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  55. Elaine Ellis

    Frankly, I thought that's what the American people voted for in 2006 when we voted in a Democratic majority – one that acts more and more like Republican lite all the time. Is it good idea? You bet, and long overdue. Edwards is absolutely on target on this topic, as well as the others. Let's hope the electorate – in Iowa, In New Hampshire, and around the country. We should never have been there, and we need to get out immediately.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  56. Larry from MO.


    This would be a worse decision than the decision of starting the war.
    From all reports, we are doing much better in Iraq in securing the country.
    We have to finish the job.
    Edwards says he's a fighter. Let 's see him fight this one.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  57. Ali Mohammed

    as an Arab foreigner, I fear that idea. Even thought I don't want the occupation of Iraq to continue by the United States in the long term, I oppose the idea that there can be no residual forces at least until the first two years of the next president. The situation there has improved but it is still fragile for us to just leave 5000 soldiers there. C'mon get a grip!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  58. Andi

    As a former U.S. Soldier, I think the thought of only 5000 troops left in Iraq is a fantastic idea. We have been there way to long and we are not doing a bit of good. Is our U.S. military going to continue dying when no progress is being made? Troops are stretched to the limit physically and mentally, as well as are their families. They deserve to come back to the home which they so willingly sacrifice. Keep up the good work Jack. Thanks.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  59. Greg

    You have to be willing to continue the loss of American lives if you want to leave the troops there. I am not.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  60. james

    edwards is right, that"s for dam sure

    January 2, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  61. Harlan Hiltner

    Continuing an error is still an error. I agree with John Edwards and perhaps even more with Dennis Kucinich. While a mess has been created in Iraq by our mistaken intrusion there perhaps the neocons should contribute their lifetime incomes to correcting their error.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  62. Troy Hawkins

    We need to leave Iraq immediatley. It's a failed country. They don't want to be free. How do we know this? As soon as we got rid of their dictator they immediatley turned their guns on those that liberated them. So it has been for two hundred years. The world gets into trouble they call the United States we do their dirty work and then they want us to go away. Heaven forbid if they should actually do something that benefits us for once.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  63. Clayton Wright

    Edwards' proposal is not necessarily wrong. The Republicans plan to go war in the first place was a stupid idea. However, now that the war has been going on for nearly half a decade without any definite conclusion, it would be wrong to pull out and leave Iraq in such dismay. Although Edwards means well, America needs to finish what it has started. It would be unfair to leave the Iraqi people under such poor conditions.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  64. Sean

    At this point in time, it is not realistic or responsible to pull that many troops out of Iraq in so little time. Clearly, there have been serious mistakes made in Iraq and this war is not going well, yet we are finally starting to see some positive developments in the country. A rapid pullot would destablize what little security Iraq has and would lead to Iran filling the power vacuum. We started this mess, let's at least try and fix it.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  65. Cecile D

    John Edwards has it correctly. Our government will still be using the excuse of "too fragile" and continue to stress the need for support troops twenty years from now if we don't have a definite exit strategy. Iraq does not need us and neither Iraq or the U.S. needs to lose any more precious lives.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  66. Henry

    It seems that his plan to do so is not fueled by genuine interest to help the situation, but to win him votes. It's a selfish approach to the idea for freedom for all. We can introduce the idea, but we have to do it in a way that provides a healthy transition. They have no interest in helping other countries succeed. The more we isolate ourselves from these issues, the more bridges we burn. Here we go again using Iraq to win votes. Put them in the House now and see how they fold.

    Honolulu, HI

    January 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  67. John Loucks

    Its way past time to get our troops out of Iraq. John Edwards has the right idea. Bring the troops home NOW. The Iraqi government and their so-called army must stop "milking our troops" to protect them. Three years of their so-called training to take over is a joke. If our Joint Chiefs feel we should stay and not pull all our troops out, sent the Joint Chiefs over to stay and fight, and bring our people home where they belong to protect America which is their main objective.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  68. Bruce Scotto

    While I support a plan of troop withdrawal from Iraq, John Edwards plan is wholely unrealistic and would result a complete collapse in the region, not to mention the increased danger the remaining forces would be exposed to. If Edwards wants to raise a white flag as his first act as Commander In Cheif he'll have to do it without my vote.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  69. George


    We as a country created the mess that Iraq is today. When America invaded, it did not take incredible foresight to see that the removal of Iraq's government, head of state and infrastructure would cause chaos. We should never have invaded, but now that we have, America owes it to the Iraqi people to stay in full force until they are ready and able to govern and police themselves. Withdrawl as Edwards wants would send the entire country into terror-breeding anarchy.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  70. connie

    I'm the mother of a decorated officer in Iraq. I believe he would agree that
    it would be an excellent time for a true troop withdrawal in '08. I've been
    feeling this way since the war began, and now almost 6 years in, it needs
    to happen. Mr. Edwards has been my choice all along and certainly remains
    so with this salvo FOR our troops. Peace must come with our initiation.
    God Bless Mr. Edwards and especially our troops.Happy New Year, Jack!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  71. Phil

    I completely agree with Sen. Edwards. By January 2009 it will be long enough. Enough money spent on a mistake and more imoprtantly nearly 4000 dead brave Americans. Enough is enough.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  72. Jerry Jaggers


    Great idea but who is going to defend all the permanent military bases we are building at the cost of billions of dollars?


    January 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  73. Ted Minnard

    I think the troop levels should match exactly what they were in February 2002. Zero. Withdrawal should take no longer than it did to put them there in the first place. Anything less is no more than a poor excuse. For Embassy Security, let them hire some more Blackwater mercenaries.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  74. John, Cocoa Beach, Florida

    I haven't heard a better idea from anyone else. Since we shouldn't be there anyway; maybe John Edwards is just the guy to get us out, and the sooner the better!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  75. Ash

    Ron Pauls ideas our dangerous. In a perfect world, sure, I'd love to live by his ideals. His ideas leave too much to chance and don't take the human nature factor into account. His foreign policy ideals are naive.. Plain and simple.

    Mobile, AL

    January 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  76. Shane Barber Mableton GA

    I think it is a great idea, and most likely the TRUTH, about protecting the U.S Embassy, and our citizens. I believe the other candidates want combat troops there..? John Edwards could really return this great country back to the UNITED STATES !! That great BEACON !!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  77. Jim

    Bad idea. Just a vote grabbing stunt. Sen. Edwards knows full well that this mess cannot be abandoned so quickly. His assertions about the Iranian Government are quite short sighted. We all would like to see things move faster but when it comes to a reform as drastic as this it could take many years. Has the Senator forgotten that our own democracy nearly failed after almost 100 years.

    Shelburne Falls, Ma

    January 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm |


    January 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  79. Ira Solomon

    "John Edwards says that as president there would be no more than 5,000 U.S. troops left in Iraq within 10 months."

    Notice that he is talking about what would happen form the time he became president/

    Edwards is not talking about withdrawing troops now. His time frame is about 22 months. After all he won't be president for another 12 months! I do not think that a 22 month time frame is impossible. We surely don't want to be there for ever.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  80. Andre

    Yes, we should get out of Iraq. Why don't you discuss the positions of what you call the "lower tier" candidates. They have a lot to say that does not get reported.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  81. Josh

    Jack, I fear that a hasty withdrawal from Iraq will be a deadly decision that will have a serious impact on future generations to come. The speedy withdrawal from Vietnam caused a collapse of the flimsy American-backed government there within a year, and while communism and terrorism are not truly comparable the major difference is that a terrorist state in the Middle East can and will access nuclear weapons. The possibility of a nuclear strike on America by a terrorist state is not a far-fetched scenario, again, communists never directly attacked American soil but we have seen that terrorists harbor no reservations in doing so.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  82. Eric

    John Edwards must not know about the Constitution because the last time I seen it, I think it suggest "No nation building".
    Other canidates should read the Constitution and stick with it.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  83. jason

    I beleive he should have a spine and say we should not spend money on private military forces and maybe john edwards should read the geneva convention and prosecute the bush administration for crimes. It sure didnt hurt U.S. to put german generals to trial so therefore a former president put to trial for murder isn't that bad compared to allowing overreaching executive branch.
    If only more bill hicks was played on television.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  84. Dee Mason

    I agree with Ron Paul. Bring ALL our troops home from overseas.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  85. Ruby Coria

    Jack, I think that John is right. If we just leave that alone and invest that money that we are wasting over there, invested here at home. We need to worry about us first, and then worry about India, Russia, China, Afaganistan, ect.... Ron Paul is also right, we are the police all over the world we need to stop. Besides we need to re-group.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  86. jim sykes

    It's about time one candidate sees the light; any alternative other that full withdrawal feeds into the malaise of inaction among Iraqi's annointed (by the US) leaders; leaves us as the invaders and occupiers, and destroys what's left of our national self-respect–nearly destroyed by bush and his cronies abetted by corporate america and a declining number of my fellow citizens who believe might (ours) makes right (as we see the "right." Enough already.

    Thank you John Edwards for speaking out with clarity and logic. As President, you will bring not only wisdom but also clear thinking to the white house–now darkened by bush's clouds obscuring truth (aka lying).

    January 2, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  87. Paul Watson, MD

    Yes, Get the hell out. Mission Accomplished.....When W goes let him take the war with him to Crawford............

    January 2, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  88. Molly

    The level of violence went down in Basra 90% after the British withdrew. Maybe we should follow their lead. And training Iraqi police outside of the country is an excellent idea.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  89. Brandin

    I believe Edwards leads in the issue of the occupation of Iraq as he does in many of the other pertainent issues facing our nation during this election year. He is responding to what he is actually hearing from Americans on this issue and the others. The American middle class is finally realizing that Washington is paying more attention and spending more money in Iraq than it is at home. Edwards was the first candidate to publish detailed plans for troop withdrawal, eductaion, universal health care, and climate change. He demands bold change, increased political involvement from the sleeping middle class, and dare he say it – American sacrifice! When was the last time a politician asked you for your help in changing our country for the better and not just your vote. Wake up America and recognize a fighter when you see one.

    State College, PA

    January 2, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  90. Ken (in Chicago)

    While getting into Iraq was a bad idea, forcing a pull-out prior to establishment of a governing body and security force that can manage the country is a poor idea, and illustrates the either naivety of some of our candidates, or their sheer willingness to say anything the general public wants to hear to get elected. Pulling out before these criteria are met will further destabilize the country, the region, and our own security here and abroad. It's a poor situation, but we created it and now we have to help clean it up.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  91. noel cassidy

    Reducing the troops in Iraq is key, but to put a time limit on it is another question. The Bush administration got us into the first oil war of the 21'st century and to just pickup stakes and leave without all the oil or at least control of it would flush a lot of tax payer dollars down a hugh sand toilet. The fact is we should have never gone there in the first place, But too leave now, without trying to fix what we broke would be wrong. Maybe Mr. Bush should run for Prime Minister of Iraq when he is all done screwing things up in this country. I wish us a lot of luck on this matter.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  92. roz welch

    I am the former wife of a now retired US Army officer, a career man. I look at the troops we STILL have in Europe and South Korea, where my then husband was stationed during his career. I want to see America bring ALL our troops, now! I don't want to see American taxpayers supporting troops in Iraq forty or fifty years from now, and if we don't bring them all home right now we run the risk of never being able to do so. Europe and Korea are all the example we need .

    January 2, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  93. john baxter

    thats fine would edwards like to be one of those 5000 I dought it . its easy to say that from where he sits

    January 2, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  94. MatthewsP

    John Edwards' plan to withdraw most all of our troops within 10 months is the only solution to stopping George W. Bush's illegal and failed War of Aggression against Iraq. Bush has sacrificed nearly 4,000 American troops so far in this huge travesty. The Bush Administration lied us into the war, and they have continued to pursue it despite a near total public rejection of it. The bumper sticker on my car says, "SUPPORT OUR TROOPS! BRING THEM HOME."

    Paul in McLean Va

    January 2, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  95. Diane Woods

    I think that Edwards' plan for Iraq is excellent. We aren't doing any good there and we're getting a lot of people, both ours and Iraqis, killed and maimed for no good reason that I've ever been able to see. It's time to get the HELL out of there. Which any sensible person should be able to see. I support Edwards but unfortunately I doubt that he'll win his party's nomination. We seem to have a shortage of sensible people in this country. You, Jack seem to be one of the sensible. Thank you for what you do.

    Diane, Houston

    January 2, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  96. James Joyce

    America was attacked by a terrorist network AQ. Spending 1.3 Trillion on war and to not "get" the culprits responsible for 911 is irresponsible. Now we are mired in a no win situation in Iraq, while Osama is at large. This is simply insane. Oil now $100.00 a barrel. Our corporate and political leaders have done well protecting the vested interests of American's over the past 30 years........Herein lies, t(r)eason when in the interest of political expediency “Reason,” is replaced by the servile prejudices of policy makers, using the “executive powers” of the presidency of the United States and our military, not for the benefit of American society and the general welfare of the governed, but rather to guarantee corporate oil’s stranglehold on America and profit, while enabling America’s oil addiction,” Iraq’s occupation and subjugation of its right to self determination, to western interests is a continuation of existing policy, patently inconsistent with the American values. Now Pakistan? Hmmm

    January 2, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  97. Chris S.

    Yes, John Edwards is right on target.

    Now is the time to bring our men home and focus on domestic issues.

    Iraq can take care of itself if we stop enabling their leadership that we will resolve all of their problems, militarily and economically.

    We have enough fire power from the air to always come back.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  98. Glen Smoke

    Contempt is not a strong enough word for my opinion, as an Iraq veteran for this idea. The issues in Iraq are so much more complicated than the body count that Democratic voters are myopically focused upon. We've finally begun to see major military progress in Anbar and elsewhere, so now if Edwards wins we're just gonna pop smoke and leave? I lost seven friends over there, and the mere thought that a candidate for president of the United States wants to make their sacrifice absolutely in vain makes me physically sick. Semper Fi,
    Glen A. Smoke III,
    Formerly a Corporal with First Battalion, FIfth Marines

    January 2, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  99. Harris

    Notice how we are STILL discussing leaving Iraq?
    Why ask the question? We should never have been there in the first place.
    We, the American people, were lied to by a president who has endangered every
    American in ways we aren't even aware of.
    Have you been out of the country lately? Where ten years ago we were one of the most revered people on the planet.
    Now look!
    Gas is at record levels, corporate executives are awarded bonuses that we, the Middle Class, will never make in our lifetimes, innocent American military personnel are being killed or severely wounded at an alarming rate and people really don't like us or value our friendship.
    GET US OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  100. Artus Register

    That would mean only 5,000 too many, but I suppose it's a start. This war has been an abysmal failure based solely on lies, Despite the politcal nonsense said to the contrary, there is nothing patriotic about supporting policies that only ensure more Americans come home in boxes. How did supporting endless wars fought for vague objectives become a position Americans are comfortable with?
    The only candidate with a sane take on ending this debacle is not John Edwards, but Dr. Ron Paul. Maintaining this empire is bankrupting us and few seem to care.

    Artus Register,
    Tampa Bay, Florida

    January 2, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  101. Eric H. from NY

    Yes, it is a step in the right direction. Our occupation of Iraq has not served our national security interest at all. The only thing the occupation of Iraq seems to have resulted in is a weaker US dollar and nearly quadrupled oil prices. Iraq is even less stable than before we went in anyway. Is there anything at all that has gone right? Like Dr. Ron Paul says, when you administer the wrong treatment, you change the treatment, or the patient dies. It is about time we correct our foreign policy and discontinue making these mistakes.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  102. Rich, McKinney Texas

    John Edwards voted to invade Iraq in the first place. Now he wants everybody out. Umm Humm. Can you say FLIP FLOPPER. Mr. Edwards needs to tell that to the dead troops and Iraqi civilians that died as a result of his and his cronies vote to go to war in the first place. He was wrong then and he is wrong now. You can't have it both ways Mr. Edwards.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  103. Matt, Alabama

    Is this the same John Edwards that said he can't have the troops out by 2013? He must be confused, or maybe it is political expedience. I hope Iowan's have done the research on who will really bring the troops home.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  104. Jamie Harrison

    I think that is by far one of the stupidest things to come out of someones mouth. My question is when are we going to help these people with power &utilities, and help create jobs for them. I also think that we need to help the Afgan people with utilities, and jobs. Would these things not help stabilize their economy? One can't help to think this may help win hearts and minds. And by the way. Why is it no one really speaks of Afganistan, seeing that some of us would love to know where the canidates stand on the issue?

    January 2, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  105. moose clifford

    You can bet your sweet bippy thats a good idea.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  106. PB

    Wow, a presidential candidate that shares a clear, focused plan to the American people? I think we've forgotten how to handle that! Not only is it a good idea to get out of the bad situation created in Iraq by the Bush Administration, but getting out will allow us to refocus on the 'war on the middle class' and the war against the people who attacked us. Isn't that why we went to the middle east in the first place?

    PB, North Carolina

    January 2, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  107. Matt Porter

    Yes, I think it is neccesary to get our troops out of Iraq as soon as possible. This war should have never began, this is my first time voting in a presidential election and it is about time that our leaders set aside their pride about "admitting defeat". I personally will admit defeat any day if it means that thousands of American troops could be saved.

    Matt from Alabama

    January 2, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  108. Ben

    No, I feel that if we are to be a respected nation we must show the world that we can and will stand with them during their hardships. Running away from a tough situation may seem like the decision to make to a shortsighted observer, however, rebuilding a nation that we ourselves tore down is a more ethical and reputation building act. Previous to this statement, Edwards was my second favorite candidate. Now I feel he would be just as unacceptible as Hillary.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  109. Fives Fivenson

    Edwards has the best idea of the Dems, but he does not go far enough. 5,000 US troops in Iraq will still serve as a symbol to inflame hatred against America. Also, what will happen to those 5,000 troops should Iraq degenerate into civil war and chaos? I am voting for Ron Paul, as he will pull all of our troops out immediately, along with the rest of our troops around the world.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  110. larry jeppesen

    Ron Paul says he would close the 700 US of A's military bases we maintain overseas, Damn good idea!!

    He also said he would do away with various Government boondogle agencies, like the Dept of ED.

    When I was a teacher in Boise, Idaho, someone said that if the earth opened beneath the District Adm bldg and swallowed up the administrators, not one student would know it!!!

    Hoooray for the Wash DC new Superintendent!!

    Let's get rid of the boondogle bureacrats!!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  111. Cherie Hunton

    Dear Jack,
    Excellent idea. It looks like Edwards is the only one listening to America!
    Either things are getting better in Iraq and it is time to leave OR things are getting worse in Iraq and it is time to leave!

    Have a great New Year!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  112. clay barritt

    Maybe Edwards finally got it. Most Americans want an end to the war, the sooner the better. Leave Iraq to the Iraqis. Lets bring our troops and our money home where it is needed.

    Clay Barritt,
    A snowbird in Florida

    January 2, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  113. Harold Jennings

    We should get out of Iraq according to John Edwards' plan. We never should have been there in the first place. Bush doesn't care about democracy in his own country so don't tell me he cares about it in Iraq. The war is about OIL! Bush is represented by an elephant but when it comes to intelligence, I give the edge to the elephant.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  114. wayne

    I think that 10 months for withdrawal to 5000 troops is probably not reasonable. I really think that it would take a little bit longer. I like the idea of having special ops. forces and infantry forces in country for contingency operations and training. Only the "battle fighters" know what that number is. I really think having a regional forces well over 5000 troops is probably a more realistic option. Maybe a fighting/training division in several regions. I do think and believe that reducing the forces from over 100K is practical and meaningful. My greatest fear is that radical Islamic forces would create a battleground out of Iraq without the US forces (or other forces) to control their actions. Thus, US forces would have to be redeployed to control the situation. I like the idea of relocating the training of Iraq forces to Europe, Africa, and/or the US. Just as we send brigades to train and fight in Iraq, Iraq can send brigades to training centers for training and development.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  115. Charles Farmer

    Jack, I think that would be a wonderful idea provided the troops brought home are put on the US/Mexican border to stop the invasion! If they aren't going to put them to a better use, then leave them to try and finish the job in Iraq. I don't , however think that job will get done either.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  116. Richard Gammel

    You bet! As a retired military man, I think John Edwards' idea of pulling troops out is a great idea. This is an unwarrented war and we need to get out. We are viewed as war mongers by other countries.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  117. Jeff Ferguson

    10 months or ten years it dosent matter. What part of its a diplomatic problem not a military problem dosent anyone understand. Talk about a money pit. Has the price of gas gone up or down since we entered Iraq. Iraq must stand alone or it must cease to exhist. No one helped America pull its young boot straps when we were a struggleing country. I don't recall learning in history that the British stuck around to ensure our stability after that revolution.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  118. Doug

    Yes. The illegal war concieved by Bush and authorized by a congress of cowards has cost the iraqis at least 600,00 dead; Has cost the United States it's global honor and the trust of the American People in it's government. It has taken the lives of 3919 of our best and bravest people and injured 28,773 more.
    We need to get out. The sooner the better. Down this road lies madness.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  119. George Pickett


    It seems like a noble plan for John Edwards to make such a promise. He is standing up for what the democratic congress is afraid to do. 70% of Americans want US forces out of Iraq. The fact is that we are in a war we cannot win. We went in under false accusations. Yesterday I changed my party affiliation to republican to vote for Ron Paul. Ron Paul voted against the war and wants immediate removal of troops. If we do not act fast, as he proposes, our dollar will fall further and America will be bankrupt.

    George Pickett, Florida

    January 2, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  120. Carolyn OzVath (OKC)

    Hell NO! We have more troops than that in Japan! Don't get me wrong, I want our troops out, I hate this war, the lies that got us into this war, and the people who told the lies. However, As a Democrat, I DO NOT want them pointing the finger at us. We pull troops out with the kind of thought that troops were put in, and Democrats will be blamed for the total collapse of Iraq. No, no, no.... we need to show the Republicans, the Iraqis, and the wold that we can do this right. We will get our troops out, but in a responsible way. Yes Bush, It's called being responsible!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  121. Joe

    Dear Jack,

    If we leave Iraq in such a quick manner...our progress will completely collapse and allow the terrorists to win. We have fought this war for a long time...why squander our success, and let the terrorists re-group? I think the only candidate that has the right idea would be McCain, who showed America his strategic decisions can work, like the surge, which has gained us a good amount of progress in recent weeks. Lets not allow the terrorists to succeed, lets finish the job, and do it right. Not only is our national security at risk, but our image around the world.


    January 2, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  122. Edward McCarthy

    Well the multimillionaire has now become a magician, pulling figures out of the air. What experience does Edwards have that qualifies him to arrive at a figure of 5,000 troops, when our military leaders who have spent their entire lives defending our country completely disagree? These leaders cannot place a total of troops needed until the situation stabilizes so what makes Edwards so much smarter?

    January 2, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  123. Derek

    Edwards is now just trying to back peddle and take a position that Ron Paul has advocated all along; just bring the troops home. What's really upsetting is that he can't even do that, he still wants 5000 troops left there. All these politicians just dance around the issues, next week Edwards will probably be saying that he agrees with the surge if he thinks that will get him some votes. Edwards, just take a position and stick with it, what's so hard about that?

    Buffalo, NY

    January 2, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  124. David Williams

    Although I’m an Edwards supporter because of his stand on big business, trade, etc., I have to agree with Ron Paul on this one.
    Portland, OR

    January 2, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  125. michael

    That's almost a good idea but Dr. Ron Paul has it right "bring em ALL home NOW." (asap). From every country bring them home. We'll be safer then. Plus we'll be saving Billions of $.
    Thank you for all YOUR support and mentions of Dr. Ron Pauls name & all the air time he has had.

    VOTE Dr. Ron Paul 2008

    January 2, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  126. Chris S.

    Yes, John Edwards is right on target.

    Now is the time to bring our men home and focus on domestic issues.

    Iraq can take care of itself if we stop enabling their leadership that we will resolve all of their problems, militarily and economically.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  127. Patrick

    Why don't we ask the coalition forces to stay in full and leave 5000 US troops strictly for training? I'd like to see equal UN participation. Either we get UN peacekeeping support or why don't we get out of the UN as well. What a waste of time and money. We need peacekeepers in half of Africa as we speak. A trillion dollars and hundreds of thousand in deaths and the Bush plan is to stay forever to protect his oil and business interests.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  128. Bill Fant


    I believe our country desperately needs leaders like John Edwards who will make bold decisions such as reducing our armed forces in Iraq and refocusing on Afghanistan where the 'real' war on terror began. We can always re-deploy if the situation spins out of control, but we won't know otherwise. Bush, Cheney, and other criminals have taken us for a ride and new blood is needed to restore the faith of true Americans and our status within the global community.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  129. Bill Batjer

    I think that this is a great idea. we have been there long enough - with little change in the violence there. The action of returning our troops should put the full responsibility on the Iraqi government to deal with violence issues there. The original intent was not - and should not be - to provide a police force there, which unfortunately has turned out to be the case. if we do little or nothing, this is likely to continue indefinitely.


    January 2, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  130. John Barltrop

    As a Canadian I would go I step further and remove all foreign troops from Iraq and Afghanistan by the end of this year. I personally feel that the monies spent there by our countries, Canada and the U.S.A., could be better used to improve our own home front problems- lack of medical coverage for all, increase homelessness on our streets, improve our education systems etc. However. we need to reach out positively with empathy to improve the living standards of our planet neighbours- the 3rd world countries. Be a friend not an enemy! Canada and The U.s.A. have the resources to do good not evil.

    John Barltrop

    Markham. Ontario


    January 2, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  131. William Muse

    I'm in no way for the war but i still think it's a bad idea because we as a Americans have allowed this war to continue by not all being involved when the vote counted during the election of president Bush for the second time so we have to make sure that it ends and that Iraq is just as stable and safer then when found it and invaded because there are regular people trying to live in peace and they all deserve a chance! By the way I'm only 19, who says young people are not aware of todays issues!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  132. Drew

    Dear Jack,

    Edwards will finally end this war. I don't want my brother or cousin, or anyone else to go back to police a civil war. That's why I'll be caucusing for Edwards tomorrow night!

    Ames, Iowa

    January 2, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  133. Mike in West Virginia

    Jack, sounds good to me, Bush lied and got us into a war we never should have been in anyway! To bad John's wife isn't running I like her better than him!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  134. Alan (Buffalo, NY)

    Yes, it is. Our elected officials are supposed to represent the people who elected them and 70% of Americans want our troops out of Iraq. It doesn't matter what is better for the Iraqi's, or what any other country wants us to do because OUR president has the duty to represent OUR country and OUR country wants us out.

    "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed'
    – Thomas Jefferson in the Delcaration of Independence

    January 2, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  135. Mark

    I find it very hard to beleive that the top priority at this point is getting our troops out of Iraq. At all costs. If that's the ONLY priority, ... why 10 months? Why not all immediately? Because we CAN'T just leave Iraq in the mess it's in now that's why. I can't believe how short sighted people can be. Regardless of "if" we should have been there, we ARE there. I don't know HOW we are supposed to stabilize the country. Obviously it's not going how we had hoped. But according to the news reports, it's not stable and I'm not hearing reports that it's getting any better. More of the same doesn't seem to be working. It may never be "stable" but surely it can be better than it is now. Everyone hates the US anyway so anyone who thinks that our pulling out, regardless of the mess we are leaving, will help our standing in the world, they are ignorant. Here's a question for you,... since everyone likes to report and say that the war was about oil, why aren't we having the Iraq oil pay for the rebuilding and restructuring?

    January 2, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  136. Johnny D.

    Just when things are "starting" to get better......we leave?!
    That would be a great way to make friends and bolster our credibility on the world stage wouldn't it? Just when the Iraqis are starting to see the light and truely understand that we are there to help, we're gonna leave 'em to the wolves.
    The American credibility around the world has been eroded. Are we going to weaken it even more by abandoning the Iraqi people? I hope not.

    I've been deployed to Iraq twice and have had plenty of opportunities to deal with the people on a one on one basis. Believe me when I say that I don't much relish the idea of going back there again for 15 months, but in the long run.....it will benifit us. If we leave now, there will be very deep resentment towards the U.S. by the Iraqi people for abondoning them just when things are turn for the good.
    I hate to say it but, if we leave now, the country will end up worse than the Sadam era.

    By the way.......does Edwards "REALLY" expect us to move ALL the equipment and infrastructure (that took 5 years to build up) to be moved out within 10 months? Does he really know what he's proposing from a logistical standpoint? I would venture to guess that his ten month goal is another one of those "elect me campaign promises" that never quite materialize.

    Trust me...I don't want to go back, but my answer is still NOPE.

    U.S. Army

    January 2, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  137. Nancy Eckert

    Hell, yes. I never did care for Edwards, but now he just sounds stupid.

    Bellefontaine, OH

    January 2, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  138. Matt

    Was World War II won by politicians or by Generals and soldiers? Was Vietnam lost by the army or by the politicians? Allow the military leadership to fight the war the way they want and give them the resources to win. John Edwards has zero experience commanding an army. No candidate does, except John McCain. Generals do not have to worry about poll numbers or political factors. Their primary concern is victory, which can only be achieved if backseat politicians but out.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  139. Don Bruno

    Dear Jack,
    The American electorate sent a strong message to the White House and the Congress; namely, "Bring our young men and women home!" Either the White House & the Congress doesn't understand English or they are too busy running for election; because they continue to poor money into that bottomless hole that Bush & Cheney created. John Edwards is right. On the Republican side, Ron Paul wants to bring our troop home not just from Iraq; but, from all our bases around the world! God bless these two congressmen!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  140. Linda Enterkin

    Yes, it's a great idea. Until the Iraqis understand that we will not be there forever, they will never solve their problems on their own. We need to stop mortgaging our children's futures by helping the people in Iraq. It's time we took care of America first. Our middle class is suffering, losing their homes and their jobs, and we're using our national resources to bolster up a country that doesn't truly want us there.
    America is selling it's future and taxing it's middle class into poverty to take care of the people of Iraq. The only way to stop is just to stop, now, rather than during some decade in the future.
    Russia fell because they destroyed their economy by pursuit of a war in Afganistan, and we're destroying ours with this war in Iraq. We need to learn a lesson from history, but somehow, we just never do.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  141. David

    I don't believe that a draw down of this magnitude would be prudent. Large progresses are made on a daily basis in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Debasing the faith of our troops with regards to the support from our nation is unwise.

    I would caution official with regards to making a grand stand so definite, this type of declaration, as well as support in favor of it, would be bad policy. I would not recommend trusting the future Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States to be so definitive about such a fluid and volatile situation such as this, effectively removing the aura of support from the same troops that are serving our country. What other items would be next if the media decided that they were bad policy?

    If the political structure of our country wants more support for an election platform, look no further in this direction. Refocus on other issues and do not try to garner more votes by removing support from our current operations overseas, which could effectively demoralize the troops serving our great nation.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  142. Jesse

    Excellent idea. I mean how can it not be a good idea to stick a tiny enclave of troops in the middle of a hostile populace. Seriously though, this is a half baked idea brought about by a need to appear to be against the occupation. If he was really against our occupation he would commit to pull all of our troops out like Ron Paul, otherwise he's just pandering to get nominated.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  143. Frank


    Eddie is just playing politics on the eve of Iowa's vote. What are the 5000 troops going to do? Be targets for car bombs? Or how about standing up Bush's so called Iraqi army. Believe me, it will not be 5000 but more like 100000.


    January 2, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  144. Dan

    Half should come home the others redeployed to Afganistan for two years then come home. We cannot appear to be a permanent occupying force or they will never move to self determination or aspire to find there own pkace in the world...
    Abandoning our friends and responsibities would make for a far greater dangerous world. Ron Paul and repubs are dangerous as thier priority would be perserving Bush's legacy. John Edwards is only half right. Obama is not realistic and only Hillary makes the pieces or the puzzle fit. So the choice becomes simple.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  145. John Ley


    June 2005: Eighty two Iraqi lawmakers from across the political spectrum have pressed for the withdrawal of the US-led occupation troops from their country. The Shiite, Kurdish, Sunni Arab, Christian and communist legislators made the call in a letter sent by Falah Hassan Shanshal of the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), the largest bloc in parliament, to speaker Hajem Al-Hassani, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP). “We have asked in several sessions for occupation troops to withdraw. Our request was ignored,” read the latter, made public on Sunday, June 19.


    Will Withdraw if Asked
    President Bush said in an interview on Thursday that he would withdraw American forces from Iraq if the new government that is elected on Sunday asked him to do so, but that he expected Iraq's first democratically elected leaders would want the troops to remain as helpers, not as occupiers. . . . But asked if, as a matter of principle, the United States would pull out of Iraq at the request of a new government, he said: "Absolutely. This is a sovereign government. They're on their feet.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  146. Ira Solomon

    “John Edwards says that as president there would be no more than 5,000 U.S. troops left in Iraq within 10 months.”

    Notice that he is talking about what would happen from the time he became president.

    Edwards is not talking about withdrawing troops now. His time frame is about 22 months. After all he won’t be president for another 12 months! I do not think that a 22 month time frame is impossible. We surely don’t want to be there for ever.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  147. Clay Howard

    This shows how nieve Edwards is about the interactions of the US with other countries. We left one country in disgrace, how do you think the US will look to other countries if we cut and run with this one. We were fighting these type elements as pirates before we ever became a country because they preceived us as being weak. 911 will have been a cakewalk if we leave now. The price of liberty has never been cheap and will never be.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  148. Leonard Tate


    January 2, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  149. Gordon Cole

    5000 US troops in Iraq are too many. As long as the US occupies Iraq, the body bags will keep being filled on both sides. US military presence in Iraq is not welcome or warranted. True, Saddam was one of the ultimate scum bags of modern history, but the US attacked a sovereign nation without provocation, a congressional declaration of war, and based on misinformation . So what does that make us? Staying in Iraq is a bad foreign policy that weakens our nation on the world stage and at home. Ron Paul has it right! Leave now. Perhaps once our troops come home we could re-enact the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  150. Evan

    5,000 Troops? Is he taking a play from the Vietnam playbook? We pulled a similar stunt when trying to withdraw from Vietnam. Consequently, Saigon fell shortly thereafter, and Cambodia found itself in a resulting state of genocide. This doesn't sound like a plan for withdraw, instead it sounds like a half-hearted attempt to turn our backs on the mess we started. Seems like we're becoming quite used to the "Shoot first, whoops 'its a casualty of war' later" approach to foreign policy.

    Danville, KY

    January 2, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  151. James Joyce

    Edwards message is larger than that. He recognizes the economic realities of our live's......we are controlled by corporate elites whose power and clout is used to maintain cash cows. America's corporate aristocracy has usurped the rule of law by politicizing hence compromising, the entities charged with equitable enforcement of existitng law. Congressional failure to impeach manifest the power of corporate influence. Jefferson fought a King and his corrupt corporate cohorts in colonial crime. His efforts gave rise to America. Today our inaction enables this assault on our founders efforts. Jefferson Quote: "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. "

    I guess Jefferson understood what most American understand and Edwards keeps saying: "....... you must take power from the corporations." The mechanism to achieve that is, the constitution!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  152. Dick

    Jack, I'm with John on this idea. We need to get out A.S.A.P.! We're not the worlds COPS!!
    Windsor, Ca.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  153. Jim Billingsley


    John Edwards is correct in planning to pull our troops out of
    Iraq in ten months. We should be re-deploying some of them
    as soon as possible to Afganistan to try to get it stabilized and
    chase the Taliban back to the mountains and look for and try to
    wipe out Bin Laden and his crazy crew.


    Would it be feasible for Romney to tell Huckabee when he
    makes Romney mad to just get the "Huck" out of here. If the
    "Huck" wins will we be covered up with "Huckaberry Hound"

    Jim B.
    in Tennessee

    January 2, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  154. Andrew Kelly

    As I understand it, the majority of Americans want our family and friends home. So there is no debate. Americans should run America, not a handful of rich politicians. Our next president should be worried about the repercussions of fatally bad and greed driven decisions. Lets educate Americans and find solutions to our fuel problems here at home. And no, I'm not talking about waiting for the ice caps to melt so we can use up all the resources under it. Bring the troops home, secure our borders, impeach Bush and Cheney, and think of our children and what they will ask us about the terribly misguided war in Iraq. And has anyone heard anything about Osama Bin Laden???????

    January 2, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  155. cleo

    Dear Jack,
    No, it's 3,500 to 5,000 too many.

    Cleo from Texas

    January 2, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  156. James Judkins

    Jack, Edwards is thinking in the right direction. However i think ALL troops should be out Iraq within the first year of a new administration. The Bible tells us that there will always be fighting amongst the people of that region. The USA don't need to be in that area as aggressors.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  157. George Lewis

    I believe we really should pull our troops out of Iraq, ASAP! Their government
    has demonstrated it's effort (including a vacation.... while our troops were being
    blown to hell) to take control of their country. As long as our troops are in Iraq,
    they will continue to sit on their duff.
    China is rapidly building their military, Iran is going nuclear, and we had better start using some of the billions of dollars being wasted in Iraq to build up our own defenses here at home before we get caught with our pants down!

    George Lewis

    January 2, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  158. Cody Watson

    No it's not a good idea, it's a great idea. I say, along with bringing most of the troops back home, we bring our money back home as well. This country is on the same path as the child's inevitable piggy bank...once it's smashed...that's it.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  159. Ed Chapman

    As an American who thought going into Iraq in the first place was ill advised, I think at this point candidate John Edwards and others in the presidential race will say just about anything to get votes. I am sure if Mr. Edwards was in that position (the Presidency) in reality he would find that reducing the number of troops to 50,000 within ten months would be a logistical nightmare!! I agree with the notion of bringing our troops home as soon as possible, but Mr. Edwards and all the current crop of candidates ought not to make promises of this magnitude when they know that this promise would be a hard one to keep!

    Having voted in several presidential elections in my lifetime, this American has reached a point where he is basically fed up with political promises from people who really have no idea how they are going to deliver on their bogue promises!!

    Ed Chapman

    January 2, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  160. Rosalind Lewis

    Yes, it is an excellent idea!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  161. Mike Kruger

    Getting all of our troops out of Iraq is an excellent idea! A majority of Iraqis think it is ok to kill American troops. They did there job of getting rid of Saddam, it isn't our job to referee a civil war. Bill Richardson has been saying this for a long time. It is nice to see Edwards adapting his position (again) to agree with the candidate with the most direct foreign policy experience in the race.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  162. Bob

    Why Leave 5,000? Get'Em all out

    January 2, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  163. Roger

    If we pull out of Iraq now, we will disgrace the lives of the brave men & women who have died there. Edwards is reaching for as many votes as he can, and thankfully, he won't even come close to getting enough!

    January 2, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  164. Bishop Caleb Kinley

    John Edwards ideal of pulling all but 5,000 troops from Iraq is insane. If he does something that stupid, he better order 5,000 body bags. I say bring'em all home right now and Ron Paul is the only Presidential candidate that is willing to do so.

    January 2, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  165. Marcus


    I like the idea of getting out of Iraq, but why leave 3,500 to 5,000 still there? Isn't it our troops on Arabian soil the reason they hate us so much in the first place? By the way, why do we still have troops in Korea, Japan and Germany? Let's save social security and bring them home too. I'm tellin' ya Jack, there's only one man making any sense at all in this election, and it's Ron Paul.


    Marcus in CA

    January 2, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  166. Chris in Florida

    Considering the $456 billion already appropriated, and the $66.4 billion tacked on for 2008, and considering the billions that the Iraqi government has misplaced what's our return on investment if we stay? I mean come on oil hit $100 dollars a barrel today, I thought like lots of other Americans including the Bush administration that we'd be swimming in the stuff by now!

    January 2, 2008 at 6:05 pm |
  167. Tin

    No War No ILLEGAL ALIEN whos sucking middle class no made in craps communist china monopoly global start by clinton sold out middle class to child labor slave and billary say good for economy...thats bull of craps

    January 2, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  168. Michael Ford

    Of Course it's a good idea. We need to get out of there as soon as possible. The Iraqi goverment is not living up to it's obligations and we should not continue to sacrifice American lives for a group that would have us stay indefinately, while they do nothing. This has been a cluster f**k from the begining. To pseudo-quote LBJ " We should not send American boys to a job that Iraqi boys should be doing for themselves."

    January 2, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  169. Alice

    Dear Sir,
    I am wondering why the US can not just stay out of all the problems in the world. The US only gets a bad wrap and hated. Why not let everyone just take care of their own problems. Imagine how rich your country would be again if you were not paying for all these world headaches. Go where you are wanted.

    January 2, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  170. carrie

    My husband is in the Army, has been to Iraq twice and slotted to go back to the Middle East again. I am fine with that, UNLESS he is there during an "Edwards" withdrawal and I certainly do not want him to be one of the 5000 left behind. The attacks on our military and Iraqi would explode!! This kind of talk is just encourages the terrorists who want us out of Iraq and all of the Middle East today for their own political and radical Islamic reasons, to continue on with their Jihad against us. Not only would our Military have to leave, but no American or "Infidel" would be safe there. It will only get worse all the way around.
    If there is 70% of Americans wanting the Troops out of Iraq and that feel this war is not winnable and that there is no hope, then they should ask those troops serving now!! The Army Times did just that in a recent survey, and over 60% of the troops who are actually there or have been there and actually know what is going on disagree with them. They see a change, want the themselves the "Troops" there and feel there is hope!! They also see us being there at least 10yrs and still have hope!
    What is up America? Our soldiers are ready and able, why cant we stand up for America just as they are.

    January 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  171. Rebecca

    I applaud Jon Edwards for his plan for a drastic and rapid reduction of US troops in Iraq. It is refreshing to hear a Democrat take a strong stance on a real issue rather than taking a moderate approach with the hopes of not rocking the boat. I want a president who can stand up for our nation. Our troops have been exhausted by this war effort, with individuals (and therefore their families) seeing excessive tours of duty and the US troop death toll mounting to new highs with each year of involvement that goes by. I believe Jon Edwards' plan for rapid withdrawal is the most support of our troops that any of the candidates have proposed . In addition, bringing home our troops would return billons of dollars to our economy that would be better spent on issues at home, such as education or social security. Kudos to Jon Edwards!

    January 2, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  172. James Joyce

    MISSED ONE JACK New State Laws: Massachusetts as of Dec 31st 2007 all residents "must " have health insurance. Now the sad reality, to add insult to injury, corporate lobbyist operating under tax exempt status, PACs lobby our representative to vote for laws mandating that the citizen now purchase health insurance from tax exempt not for profits like Blue Cross Blue Shield. Something is putrid here. It reeks like decomposing organic matter. Odious!!!! It is a twisted plan which will further eviscerate Americans and extracts vast sums of money out of the population, while business goes on as usual. If national healthcare reform is similar, pack it up and go home. We need some good independent journalistic reporting here. It is a Trojan horse by design where perceptions have little nexus to reality/

    No news at all on this little bit of history

    January 2, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  173. Ed Clark

    Bring them all home now...or we can wait until Dr. Ron Paul is in office and he can get them home.

    January 2, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  174. Dave McCoy

    5,000 troops left in Irag are 5,000 too many. Being the most powerful nation in the world, why can't we quit policing, quit feeding, quit giving jobs to and quit trying to prove who we are to the rest of the world? Each life I see lost is a devistation to some family and if we are that strong, take care of those within our borders (and I mean our legal borders) first. Bring EVERY troop home now, give them a job and save America first!

    January 2, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  175. john

    after spending a year in Baghdad as a member of the army i think 5000 troops are still 5000 to many. i watched as 5 of the original 15 men in my platoon were killed. and i'd have to say i don't feel any safer now that i'm back here. i like Ron Paul's plan of bringing everyone home. we could give the men and women of the armed forces their pride back by doing what they signed up for. actually protecting America by putting the on the borders. i'd consider going back into the army if that was the case. instead we attack country after country that did nothing to us. and it looks as if more countries are going to fall under that category soon

    January 2, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  176. Anthony

    I would make it mandatory for food establishments to add 20% gratuity to any one with an accent, especially European/ English.

    January 2, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  177. william fitzwater , ca

    If Edwards;

    Is the president he will have 5,000 troupes in Iraq ? Maybe and maybe not. That is his story . In real truth we have to protect our interests our allies interests . Protect the oil that our counties are addicted to or our allies are addicted to .

    I love Edwards railing against corporate greed but I find him a little hard to believe. This is the high fructose type of candidate gives you what you want (a real rush) but oh boy what a let down.

    To be honest I would like to see all the troupes out of Iraq . I have opposed the war from the start. However realities have to be meet logistics manpower and security . This statement that Edwards makes can mean anything .

    It is easy to say something than to do something . This is the problem we have many elected people who do things but they don’t often do what is right.

    I guess the politics that are idiotic.

    In other words don’t make promises that can’t be kept.

    January 2, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  178. Martin M. Ervin

    Jack, I agree with John Edwards it's time to leave Iraq and if anyone believes we need to stay, then pack your bags and see you next year. This war has done nothing but ruin our nations creditability, depleted our military readiness and preparedness but look on the bright side George W. Bush and company (Oil Industry) have capitalized from the billions in blood money at the expense of our service men and women. Not mention, allow the creation of a private army (Blackwater) at the expense of the American taxpayer. I served my country honorably for 24 years, I was held responsible for everything I did either right or wrong, when will we hold this Administration responsible for their actions.

    January 2, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  179. Lloyd M Abrahams CPA

    Like Charlie Wilson was passionate about the fight by the Afgans against the Russsian, I am as passionate about winning in Iraq with honor for our troops,without cutting and running. Charlie in very prophetic language stated that we screwed up the end game in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is now time to win the end game in Iraq and in the War on Terror.
    All of the politicians, Presidential Candidates, the President, the Congress, the Generals and the media have misread the Iraqi people and missed the boat by a mile.
    We have the political solution to winning in Iraq that our military needs
    All we need is to use it.

    For a very specific plan all they have to do is read THE CANDU MEMORANDUM, and they will find the new solution, a dffierent direction, and a new mission on how to succeed in Iraq. The Surge is plate for the cake, THE VOTE WEAPON is the icing on the cake.

    January 2, 2008 at 6:47 pm |
  180. Ralph Harding

    John Edwards is just acknowledging what the Bush Administration and its enablers in Congress has been in denial about: that the Iraqi government is never going to be anything but fragile. Some of the military leaders on the ground in Iraq have tacitly acknowledged the fact by going around the Iraqi government and dealing directly with local sheikhs and militia leaders. The question is how many more Americans are going to be sacrificed to delay the inevitable. As far as leaving 5000 troops to protect the Embassy, if they needed that level of protection, the diplomatic staff would not be able to accomplish anything anyway.

    January 2, 2008 at 6:58 pm |
  181. Charles

    If we don't fight the war there, then we will fight it here, and it
    won't be pretty. Millions of americans will die.

    January 2, 2008 at 8:26 pm |
  182. Jeff From Jersey

    Absolutely!Let the UN start carrying some of the load.Yes Bush led America to making this mess but it's more than about time to own up to it and hand some of the load to the UN.A lesson in humility is just what our government needs to teach them to think things through before they jump into the quicksand of an ill-conceived and ill-advised war in the future!

    January 2, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  183. Ralph

    You cannot stay there indefinately. Now it is clear that our troops have won and it is time to phrase out before the tribes go to war with each other again. They have moved operations south to Basra and with the withdrawal of the British, are setting up shop. Then they will most likely go north again once they have control, with support from Iran. Time for a rational withdrawal plan for a three-to-five year drawdown and exit. Mission #1 should be energy independence with primary development on solar and energy efficiency. We'll be fighting wars like this over and over until we get off oil. We went to the Moon.....this is the next mission.

    January 2, 2008 at 9:00 pm |
  184. Lloyd M Abrahams CPA

    However it is important to remember the troops, so here is a special excerpt from THE CANDU MEMO


    Another suggestion so the American People can support the troops, the vets, and their families, which we really need to do after recent events such as the problems from Walter Reed. We need a check off box on the form 1040 just like the $1.00 box for the Presidential fund. This one could be labeled the


    Each taxpayer could check off whether they want $5.00 of their taxes to go to the fund (or less if Congress does not want to give up some pork). I would make Bill Gates and Warren Buffet co-chairmen of the fund All other employees hired by the fund to assist in its administration, should either be, if qualified, Disabled War Vets, unemployed War Vets, or members of their families. This idea will not be a favorite for the Presidential candidates, who seek matching funds. However, Gates and Buffet I am sure would make the plan work properly with cost effectiveness. They are proven business managers. If necessary draft Donald Trump, he will get the job done without an apprentice.

    January 3, 2008 at 1:21 am |
  185. Jamie

    Why not isn't it time to stop the madness by this hopelessley incompetent administration that has consistently lied to the American people about everything to do with this war. BushCheney Co are so used to lying and misleading everyone they can no longer discern what is the truth! Thank God there is only one more year left before these two are shown the door.....Good riddance!!!

    January 3, 2008 at 3:08 am |
  186. Christian Maier

    The troops should stay, if not then the US looses all what is left of its credibility. Iraq was invaded to bring the people freedom and democracy (at least thats the current version) but now after the US bombed and shattered the country which lead to more than 80.000 civilian deaths. And now when the US hits some resistance they want to run and leave the population of Iraq at the mercy of death squads.
    If the US really does this the rest of its international credibly will be gone and it won't be any better than China or the dissolved UDSSR.

    You (=the United States. After all Bush was elected democratically so you can't simply say that he alone is responsible for this) have to pay for your mistakes and in war the currency is blood. As tragic as it is take that as a lesson when the next election comes or when the government is again thinking about attacking other countries.

    January 3, 2008 at 5:28 am |
  187. Herbi Rihiratu

    Partial withdrawal isn't enough. America should change its foreign policy, taking troops out from korea, germany, iraq, etc. I think Ron Paul is correct to connect the foreign policy with US economy. Decrease govt spending on military which such spending will not increase GDP growth anyway. Eliminate budget deficit, lower inflation, control money supply, its all true, and because the war is so problematic with American and civilian casualties, wholesome construction of US base, sinister local militias, so the government neglected its domestic economic role, if not to say, the US Govt neglect to promote welfare to its people.

    I think Ron Paul is the best candidate, not John Edward from the Republican, even from both parties. Ron Paul can be describe in one latin sentence:
    VOX CLAMANTIS IN DESERTO which in english would mean: A voice of one crying in the wilderness.
    He is shouting the truth in the wilderness of compromising and ineffective politics and politician in Washington. Truth in latin is VERITAS. What's funny, the latin sentence and word above is the motto of Ivy League school Dartmouth and Harvard. How come graduates of those school do not live up to their alma mater's motto? VIVA RON PAUL!!

    January 3, 2008 at 6:33 am |
  188. Sonny

    Let me see if I got this right, John Edwards wants no more than 5K U.S. troops in Iraq within 10 months.

    Can't help but ask with that nut case Mahmoud Ahmadinejad leading Iraq's neighbor Iran, how long will it take for those 5K U.S. troops plus a lot more of there fellow troopers to have to go back to Iraq and how long will it take for
    Mr. Edwards to hear the "POP" of his head coming out of his anus.

    January 3, 2008 at 9:41 am |
  189. Chas

    Does Edwards think it will take 5,000 to protect the U.s embassy?

    January 3, 2008 at 10:05 am |
  190. Roy

    Jack, this country had to go through a civil war to sort things out. Why not reduce the troops to a size to secure the borders of Iraq to a point where foreigners and supplies could not get in and let the Iraqis go at it. In the end maybe they could determine what's best for them and not have it imposed by anyone.

    January 3, 2008 at 10:49 am |
  191. Randolph Wilson

    I'm beginning to re-think the whole extra-terrestrial conspiracy theory.John Edwards.There may be other life out there but its not intelligent!

    January 3, 2008 at 11:13 am |
  192. Ranger7

    Yes,,…since Bush made the mistake of attacking an innocent country..!

    We would be better off… in saving lives and US dollars.. to just… provide aid to
    Iraq… vs his bomb, destroy, kill, execute, torture.. and ..then rebuild….method!

    As long as we are there ..we will be considered occupiers and continue receiving
    attacks from the Iraqi people and or “insurgents” as Bush calls them..

    Also, EXILE Bush to Iraq.. this would solve many problems for the US and Iraq… I’m sure Iraq won’t have any political patience ……. for Bush’s war crimes…
    and he would …be ….quickly sentenced!

    US Army Vet!

    January 3, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  193. bblackshear

    all of the CNN operatives, including cafferty, have worked the past one to two months to negate any postive visibility for Hillary Clinton. They ask questions like "what if Hillary comes in second" or "what if Hillary comes in third". Everyone knows there are hundreds of "polls" going on. Everyone knows that the results of the poll depends on the person running it (Repubican, Democrat, etc) and how they slant the questions asked. CNN and all its operatives constantly choose to show polls with Clinton second and not show those with her in the lead.

    I would have thought Cafferty would have had the honesty to quote/show polls across the board. I would have thought he would have had the honesty to apply hypothethical questions (what if _ _ __ _ comes in second/third) to all candidates instead of implying they only affected Hillary.

    Unfortunately, CNN has not attempted to report on the events honestly and have tried to sway the public with their rhetoric. I am an independent voter but hope Clinton comes in five to seven points ahead of all democrats just to upset the CNN objectives.

    January 3, 2008 at 7:23 pm |
  194. Steve

    5,000 soldiers on the ground, no way Jack. Edwards has about as much knowledge of foreign policy as the Conservative Republicans. Get them ALL out of there and let the Iraqis determine their own future....like what we should've done in Vietnam in the sixties. Big oil has us weaving our scent through the mideast while companies on the edge of newer energy development are hustling for rent money. Eight years of Republican-Corporate foreign policy is about as much as this planet can take.

    January 3, 2008 at 7:38 pm |
  195. Paul Ojeikere

    Edwards suggestion comes across as whimsical, and of course very political. Most Americans want out no question but how really practical is reducing approx 150,000 troops to 5,000 within 10 months given both potential miltary and political ramifications of such action in Iraq?
    You gotta give it to Mr. Bush for making the presidential seat the hottest for a democratic president!

    January 3, 2008 at 8:03 pm |
  196. Bill from CVille

    I think it makes perfect sense. The harsh reality is that Iraqi's don't appear to be mature enough to handle democracy. We've offered our help. We've spent billions and suffered the death of thousands and the wounding of tens of thousands of our own citizens to try to help these people transition into a better way of life. They don't seem to be able to get past taking the opportunity to kill anyone, even their own neighbors, because they don't worship in exactly the same way as themselves. Why should we help them if they don't want the help? Because the terrorists will take over Iraq? Good luck to them. Perhaps our best tactic against the terrorists is to LET them take over Iraq. Worst case scenario is that we get them all in the same place at the same time. It's a shame that innocent people have to suffer, but 1) they're suffering now anyway, and 2) the terrorists and killers are the cousins, brothers, kin of the innocent so let them come to the realization all by themselves that there's no Santa Claus. Enough is enough.

    January 4, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  197. Ron Ballard

    Jack, It's a darn good idea to get out of both Iraq and Afganistan. We should have stayed with the military planning of hitting countries that support terrorists and terrorist themselves hard and fast then get out. The heck with staying around to provide them with American troops for targets, and billions in American money to rebuild their miserable countries when those dollars could be better spent in our own backyard.

    January 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  198. Jack Johnstone


    Your comment that Barak Obama will benifit from South Carolina's huge black population may be true but it's not something you should call attention to. As soon as the country gets the idea that all African Americans are going to vote along racial lines, other ethnic groups may decide to do the same and then Barak can say goodbye to his chances of ever becoming president. Right now he evidently has huge appeal to all ethnic groups. Let's keep it that way.

    Jack Johnstone
    San Diego
    An Obama supporter

    January 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  199. Carlton Colquitt

    Why ask us? We are the ones who willingly bought the lies. We are lazy, ignorant cowards We love sensation and hate responsiblity. We have finally committed enough crimes against humanity that the rest of the world is finished with us. We have come through so far on bluster. But we have been unmasked, now, for all time. Next up: why, China, of course. The dictatorship that eagerly murders anyone who will not conform. 1984 is here.

    January 4, 2008 at 8:40 pm |
  200. Don

    America doesn't need to be there, period, but it will take a lot more than 5000 troops to protect the Haliburton interests. The mess will go on forever.

    January 5, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  201. Charles Reese

    It seems to me that the media can appoint anybody they want to for president. After watching all of the debates with all of the hype and hoopla raised by the media it seems to me that the candidates are not competing against each other but against the media. When will the media get off of it's high horse and start airing substance about the issues instead of which candidate is more likeable than the other. A reasonable solution might be to have all of the media giants such as CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS to have a debate with each other so they can tell us who our next president will be.
    A concerned citizen,
    Charles Reese Bullhead City, Arizona

    January 6, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  202. Linda

    Regarding the success of "the surge" and presidential candidates:

    It's a puzzle to me how any politician can tout progress in Iraq as a result of "the surge". The invasion of Iraq was unnecessary, did not produce much of anything other than more terrorists, and was illegal in terms of international law and our own history of not pursuing the notion of preemptive war. Tens of thousands of innocent people have died, or are maimed and terrorized, and millions are homeless and without work, electricity, clean water, and a sense of safety. The country has not returned to the state it was in before our invasion. This so-called progress means what? That Iraq is desperately trying to return to pre-invasion conditions? It has not, and it will take decades and billions more to restore this nation. Meanwhile, we have squandered lives, billions of dollars, and have lost standing in the world. How can we take pride in this?
    Honestly, these politicians are either out of their minds, or blind as bats, or both. The Bush administration flunked in every respect, and they can't cover it up with false prospects of progress in Iraq. Can they restore the dead to life? Bring back missing limbs? De-terrorize Iraqi children? Reunite families and return them to their homes? Any candidate who support this view of the surge flunks, too, in my opinion, and is forgetting completely that we never should have invaded and bombed and killed and maimed and destabilized in the first place. Admitting that would be progress, indeed.

    January 6, 2008 at 9:15 pm |