July 14th, 2008
03:21 PM ET

Would faster troop withdrawal help McCain or Obama?

Marines patrol in the town of Garmser in Helmand Province of Afghanistan. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP PHOTO)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Bush is thinking about speeding up the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq starting in September.

Reports say no decision has been made yet, but anywhere from 1 to 3 of the 15 combat brigades now in Iraq could be withdrawn by the time Mr. Bush leaves office in January. That would leave between 120,000 and 130,000 troops in Iraq, down from a peak of 170,000 last year.

One reason for an accelerated withdrawal is because more U.S. troops are needed in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have been making a comeback. Yesterday, 9 U.S. troops died in an insurgent attack there – the deadliest for U.S. troops in 3 years. In the last two months, more American and allied troops have died in Afghanistan than in Iraq.

The White House says that although the president hopes to bring more troops home, he will wait to hear what General David Petraeus says in September. If President Bush decides to announce troop reductions, it could impact the presidential race. John McCain could say that the surge, which he was in favor of, worked, and therefore troops can now be withdrawn.

On the other hand, Barack Obama has been against the Iraq war from the outset and has said he would immediately look at getting our troops out of Iraq if he's elected. Obama has said the war in Afghanistan has suffered because of the administration's misguided policies in Iraq. He says he would be in favor of deploying up to 10,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

Here’s my question to you: Would faster troop withdrawal from Iraq help John McCain or Barack Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Lynda from North Carolina writes:
Pulling a large amount of troops out of Iraq before November would help McCain for sure. Right now, many people (including me) are voting for Obama purely because he is against the war. If I see that the war has an end in sight, even with McCain, I will look to other issues and McCain might just have a chance to get my vote.

Pablo from Arlington, Texas writes:
Jack, Damned if I know, or care for that matter. As long as it helps the troops, I'm for it!

Kent from Illinois writes:
Pulling the troops out of a war that has no set mission helps Obama. Obama has said time and again that troops need to be in Afghanistan. Guess what? Now we are gonna send them to Afghanistan.

Marty from Idaho writes:
It will help America and both candidates should be satisfied with that.

Michael from Lorton, Virginia writes:
Jack, It would probably benefit Obama, since he opposed the war from the beginning. The Iraqi government wants the U.S. out of Iraq. And we should comply.

Tim writes:
John McCain clearly should benefit from the improved situation in Iraq. The surge worked. It has given the Iraqi people hope, kept the terrorists off-guard and provided a path to victory for the U.S. and its military.

Lisa writes:
The heck with Obama and McCain! Let's worry about it helping the American military, not the election. Bring our soldiers home.

Andy writes:
War? What war? It's the economy, stupid!

Filed under: Troop Withdrawals • War in Iraq
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    I really don't care if it helps McCain, or Obama, just as long as it helps our Military stay safe and out of further harm. The Iraqi need to step up to the plate and take over the work from the US Military.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  2. Randy, Salt Lake City

    I don't care! As long as they leave!

    July 14, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  3. Rosalynd Florida

    It helps Senator Obama who rightfully stated that troops could be withdrawn over a 16 month period. McCain on the other hand claimed we needed troops in Iraq for a long time perhaps a 100 years. McSame is wrong again.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  4. Jasmine in Germany

    Let's hope it helps the Iraqi people.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  5. Jim from BC

    I don't think it would help either campaign. Bush is determined to leave with a Bang. Let's see what that Bang is going to be before we decide who will be helped or harmed by a mior troop withdrawal.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  6. Jeremy D (University of Texas)

    Interesting question...

    I think Barack is right about changing our goal of war, but if troops began to be withdrew before the election it would help McCain because Obama wouldn't be as necessary as a change if withdrawal was already happening. That's a politics question, McCain may not see it that way but its just true. A lot of people see Obama as necessary to bring loved ones home, money back to the economy, and get us out of the mess in Iraq.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  7. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Jack, Obama opposed the surge and McCain pushed for it. Well, it's working. So if we can continue withdrawing to below pre-surge levels, it's only because McCain was right.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  8. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Obama has said that troops should be withdrawn,but over 16 months. I believe our troops should be withdrawn now. They are not accomplishing anything and now disabled and mentally unfit troops are being sent back to Iraq. Where is the American people's sacrifice?

    July 14, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  9. Benji, California

    Hey Jack,
    I think faster withdrawal would definitely help Obama
    I mean look how it helped Democrats win in 2006, by promising to end the war and bring the trips back home.
    Will Obama win on this platform? Of course.
    Will he really bring the troops back home? I doubt it.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  10. David, Orlando, FL

    No brainer, John McSame. Without Iraq troop withdrawal, Obama looses half his platform and McSame doesn’t have a loosing plank in his platform. Why do you think this is being talked about anyway? But don’t be fooled, it will just allow us to start a war with Iran, thus enriching Bush/Cheney friends Haliburton, Blackwater et. Al. coffers.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  11. BOB in Michigan

    It would help Obama Jack but ultimately it will help the Iraqi people the most. And after all wasn't this war supposed to be for their benefit?

    July 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  12. Miko Kansas City

    it will help the families of the troops. But what about the Iranian war when Mctriggerhappy McCain is elected? they will probably be redeployed and again without an exit strategy. if an iranian war is inevitable at least we need someone levelheaded to proceed. The war was bush's mess and McCain signed on for it!!

    July 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  13. mike, Navy Vet, California

    I don't believe that troop withdrawls will help either candidate more than the other. They will both take credit for it. The real benefit will be for the American people who are being saddled with billions in debt by the week. May I suggest that george and dick go over there and work out a deal for enough oil to get us by until we find a way to replace the need for foreign energy, you know, like businessmen instead of cowboys and iraq's.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  14. Jason

    Im not sure who would help, but all I can say is that its getting uglier out there, and I am waitng for you to write your second book.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  15. Redfoot, Hazlet, NJ.

    Hey Jack, Let's face it , our Brave Men and Women were sent there on a lie and for all the Wrong reasons.
    Why are we even wondering "Who" It would "Help". It will Help America and Iraq. The Middle East as well.
    I will NEVER UNDERSTAND How and Why we Ever Allowed this addministation and congress to send OUR Young People to fight for a country who's been fighting each other for Thousands or Years.
    Go Figure !

    July 14, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  16. Joe in DE

    It would hepl McCain – Iraq less important. Makes other issues dominant. Choice of VP vry important. McCain no choices that will really help – Huckabee probably best or someone like Colin Powelll. Obama lacks the self- confiodence and maturity tp make the obvios best choice for Democrats. Polls show widl flucations -every vote important.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  17. Pietro from NYC

    Doesn't matter which. Either one better spin the troops leaving Iraq in the direction of Afghanistan ASAP to prevent a complete catastrophe in this ignored and forgotten conflict. There is no easy answer. I give this one to McCain if I had to pick.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  18. Jim Fox in Florida

    If troops start coming home now then I can't see it as anything more than a political stunt from the republicans to try and help McCain in an area where he disagrees with 80% of Americans. Start sending troops home to help con us into believing thats what he'll do after he's elected.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  19. Independent Voter in Georgia

    Sen. Obama for sure. Getting our Troops out of Iraq has been his talking point for over a year. Sen. McCain will loose big time if the Troops come home. Winning a war that's not a war, and staying there when the Iraqis tell us to leave is what Sen. McCain is banking on.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  20. Dan, Maryland

    Let's see, we have one candidate who wants to stay in Iraq until we can declare a "victory" no one has been able to outline and we have one candidate who has called for troop withdrawls from the beginning. So if we're withdrawing troops, who was right? Seems like a no-brainer Jack.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  21. Harry

    That would be hard to tell. I don't know who the people are, that are yet to be scarred by this war. Therefore, I don't know how they would vote.

    It would take a parallel universe to figure that out. Sometimes, I think our leaders must be using one of those to make their decisions, as those decisions don't seem to make sense in this one.


    July 14, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  22. Mertis in Atlanta


    This is all being done to help the Republicans retain control of the White House. If McCain was a stronger candidate President Bush wouldn't even consider drawing down the troops. Look at his record.

    This is all being done to try and take the wind out of Senator Obama's sail. This thinly veilled at best.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  23. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Why ask? There isn't going to be any rapid troop withdrawal soon, anyhow – at least not before the election.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  24. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Simple minded McCain would benefit, this is a Karl Rove tactic and it just might work again. After all the American people are pretty big suckers.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  25. Tearched Scott Chicago, IL


    I believe that the U.S. Troops coming home really strengthens Sen. Obama. He was against the war from the being and also has been talking about bring troops home in his terms in office. McSame has been talking about keeping troops in Iraq for 100 years. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like his plan when troops are coming home.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  26. Emma, San Jose, CA

    It would definitely shift the dialogue more to global warming, economic deficits, health care, and show a promise of spending less in Iraq. In my mind, it would help Obama. John McCain is so focused on winning a war, that it might take some wind from his sails.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  27. J, Maryland

    Barack's the one advocating for us to leave, so him.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  28. Rick Havre Montana

    It would help The United states of America and that is what is important.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  29. Carlos C.

    I think no matter what happens it will hurt McCain and here's why.

    If the war gets worse in Iraq then Obama has the message "Let's get out now". On the other hand, if things get better, then doesn't that mean that Iraq becomes less of an issue and we can start withdrawing troops anyways?

    If so, the biggest issue then becomes the state of the economy which McCain admitted himself that its an area he's not as comfortable handling. So either way it favors Obama.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  30. Ann Briggs

    Jack, I think faster troop removal would help the American People the most!! If it's done right now, it will help the Republican's (god help us!). If there is any talk about removing our troops now or in the VERY near future, it's because Barack Obama has initiated it. Hopefully, americans will realize that. Go Obama!!!

    July 14, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  31. John in San Diego

    Jack, that's a poor question. The only fact that matters is that it would help all Americans – and even help the war-weary people of Iraq.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  32. Major Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It would probably benefit Obama, since he opposed the war from the beginniing. The Iraqi government wants the US out of Iraq. And we should comply. Retrograde out of Iraq is complex. It is not how fast we can get out....it takes tremendous time, effort and planning. So easy to get involved, not so easy to get out.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  33. Jenna Wade

    Would faster troop withdrawal from Iraq help John McCain or Barack Obama?

    Neither. It will help their families!

    Roseville CA

    July 14, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  34. Nancy Howe, Texas

    That depends on what happens as the troops are withdrawing. Who knows what that will bring when it finally does happen if it ever does happen.
    I think the American people will benefit more by a fast withdrawal more then either politician running for president because it will bring r loved ones home even though the money will still be spent on Iraq. Don't fool yourselves thinking when the troops come home the money stops pouring in to Iraq. That money our money and some borrowed from other countries will still flow to Iraq for decades to come. As long as there is oil in Iraq those dollars will keep that oil flowing to those countries that demand it for survival. Sadly, America right now is one of those countries.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  35. Bruce St Paul MN

    Since he is on record as being opposed to it, Mccain should suffer politically if troops start to leave. His only hope would be to immediately declare victory, and claim it was all due to the "surge". Or he may fall back on his standard "I can't recall how I voted on that" response.. After all his trips to Iraq, and meeetings with Generals, McCain has never suggested tropp withdrawals. So if he wants to go along with Bush on this one, he would be a maverick standing up againt himself.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  36. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    It depends on what the withdrawal looks like. If it's a fast and bloody withdrawal, it will favor McCain who will say that it happened too fast. It will propel Iraq back onto our TV sets and back into the public consciousness at a more equal level with our economy, which will also help McCain. If it is a safe and uneventful withdrawal, it will benefit Obama because it will not get as much news coverage and the economy will stay in the forefront of our concerns.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  37. Larry, Ohio

    Jack, I don't think it would help either,but it would most likely help the military and the nation,and isn't that what really matters!?

    July 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  38. Paulina, Deventer, NL

    Who cares, it would help the whole planet.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  39. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Troop withdrawal would certainly help our troops and our country..
    Also it is what the Iraquis want.
    But, you know, if this happens prior to the November electtion
    it will be only to help MccCain/Bush get votes. It will not be
    because it is the right thing to do or what American people
    want as that has never been a McCain/Bush consideration.
    However, to do so would be more beneficial to Barack
    Obama, as this is what he has campaigned on.
    McCain has never supported that, so would be "interesting"
    to hear his explanation.
    Also, we need more troops in Afghanistan, so our abused
    troops won't have much of a reprieve. Don't even want to
    think about Iran.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  40. Ralph, Corpus Christi

    Hmmn: "will a faster troop withdrawal help McCain or Obama?" Duh- it'll help the troops more than either!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  41. anthony in New Hampshire

    Faster troop withdrawal won't help either candidate. Withdrawal will only help the troops , their families, and George W. Bush's Historical legacy.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  42. Bob in Boise

    I suspect that one of the October surprises will a considerable size withdrawel of troops in an attempt to help McCain. It will be a deliberate attempt to say, "See, the surge worked!" And I also suspect, a lot of people will fall for it.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  43. bob kilburn

    The troop withdrawel is political, and it is for Mccain to show he was right about the surge,also to make Bush and the party to look better.Its still about who controles the White House.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  44. Joe St Louis, MO

    It will help all America citizens. Does anyone remember us?

    Joe St Louis,MO

    July 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  45. sarah, indiana

    it certainly proves that sen. mccain was right all along. and i believe it will hurt obama because he has nothing else to yap about.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  46. Mandy, Alabama

    I fear it would be a precursor to the wack-jobs at the White House, and their "best friend forever" McCain, attacking Iran – which will help Obama politically, but be such a great loss for America.

    However, if the troops actually come home, it will help them and the Iraqi people. Isn't that really all that matters?

    July 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  47. Pat,Lexington, Ky.

    At this point it would seem to help McCain. Obviously Bush is stepping things up in terms of wanting to nab Bin Laden and bring hom,e some troops – such blatant politics! In the long run, I don't know who it may help – fact is, these troops that come home are going to rest up a little and then head for Afghanistan.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  48. Mark - Asheville, NC

    Of course it would help McCain, because it takes away Obama’s only issue. It is plain that neither he nor McCain know anything about economics, so that, the biggest issue now, is a wash between them. If it comes down to national security, Obama is toast.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  49. circy in New Mexico

    I think it would help both of them. Most Americans want us out of Iraq and the Iraqis want us out. The only people who want us to stay are those who are profiting from our presence there.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  50. Patricia F Upstate NY

    Withdrawal is Obama's idea and Bush/McCain are trying to beat him to the punch. They see the handwritting on the wall. As they say, you can fool some of the people all of the time.....

    This, and the fact that we were asked to leave by the Iraqis. Guess Bush/McSame really have no choice. Obama wins, hands down.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  51. Jerry from Fayetteville, TN

    It would probably help McCain if it is done responsibly, since it might placate the anti-war crowd...but based on the track record of the current administration I wouldn't bet on it being done responsibly.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  52. JS

    I read a log op-ed this morning written by a General, his point about the surge is that it is not the reason violence is down, the primary reason is that we started to pay the other side to help us, of course ethnic cleansing had made most of Bagdad empty anyway.Bush said when the Iraqi govt asked us to leave we would do so, so what is the problem.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  53. DMAC in ID

    I think McCain. But you have to realize since we started this mess we better be ready to be called in for back up and will be their "bodyguard" for a log time to come. To many others would like to take them over and I don't believe their people are capable of defending there country with out help. SOOOOO SAD ( a crime) we had to have people reelect the Bush /Chaney war machine. I wonder how many of them are yelling to get our troops out.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  54. Mike Nunn - Hot Springs, Ar.

    I do not believe that it will make any diff. The war has ceased to be the determining factor. We as a nation are now just about Broke and I guess Bush has done what he set out to do.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  55. Greg in Cabot AR

    I think the faster troop withdrawl is designed to help McCain. If he gets elected, he can always send them back.

    If Obama gets elected, he can redeploy them to Afghanistan where they shoud have been in the first place.

    Most Americans want us out of Iraq, the soldiers want to go home and the Iraq's want us out too.

    It must be time for the republicans to declare victory and go home in time for the election.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  56. Annie, Atlanta

    It's going to help McCain, and Bush knows this – though it has taken a week or so since Maliki asked for a timetable for it to occur to him – pitiful! Someone's been watching the cable news programs.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  57. Karl in CA

    I doubt it will have much effect on the election. Most folks will see it as a political ploy like everything else this administration has done. Oh, yes, and speaking of September, has Dick Cheney e-mailed General Patraeus his speech yet? Somebody please check the VP e-mail log. Oh that's right, there isn't one.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  58. marie from sc

    Sounds like a future flip-flop in the making – or at the very least – hypocrisy. McCain thinks we need troops in Iraq much longer for stability, but the Republicans will claim a victory of some sorts with the speed-up of withdrawals. Our soldiers have been fighting for too long and hard to be used as political pawns and photo-ops at the eleventh hour of an election year.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  59. Bill,Quarryville. PA

    I am not sure of which candidate it would help the most. I know it would help our budget by not borrowing any more money from China, Japan, Britain, and Saudi Arabia to keep our troops there. But who would benefit the most are the worn out battle fatigue troops and their family's.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  60. John

    General Petraeus should not be guiding the decision on winding down the war in Iraq. After being drafted into the Army in 1967, I learned how things work in the military from the billboard sized sign in the Fort Dix infantry training area. It said, "War is our business, and business is good". Someone with a civilian mentality should be making this call.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  61. PS from Tennessee

    The surge is working because neighborhoods are segregated from each other. There are "walls" everywhere requiring neighbors to walk miles out of their way in order to get around the "walls". What would happen if the "walls" came down? That's the question that needs to be answered.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  62. Ryan, Champaign IL

    Troop withdrawals would help McCain. If we're not fighing in Iraq, it will no longer matter that he doesn't understand the difference between Sunni and Shi'a, and has embraced the lies and deceit that landed us there in the first place.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  63. juice-Canyon Lake

    Obama, because he has said that we need to withdraw our troops and the Irag government want us out as well. It is a shame however that we have spend billions of precious dollars in that country and for what! President Bush will go done in history as the worst president of all time because of this fiasco!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  64. gary lee, san luis obispo, ca.

    i don't think any either nominee will benefit from an early toop withdraw.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  65. joan ont.ca

    If Bush brings the troops home today and it helps Obama, the troops will be sent back tomorrow.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  66. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    It would help America, never mind McCain and Obama.

    To heed the warning of General Eisenhower, instead of continuing to flush our national resources into the toilet that is the centuries' old Iraqi civil war, we need to fund some essentials in America.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  67. Chryssa

    If Bush decides to withdraw troops from Iraq beginning this September, we can be sure it's only for McCain's benefit – not for the safety of our troops or our country.

    Boise, ID

    July 14, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  68. George

    Let's see if we can figure this one out. At present Obama is saying "get our troops out now". and McCain is saying "keep the troops there for a 100 years". The closer to the election, I believe McCain will switch whis beliefs a long time before Obama does, so that gives the edge to Obama.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  69. Cliff Dick

    I don't care who it helps, it is really important how such a reduction will affect achieving our mission in Iraq. This question is the problem with the reporting on Iraq since many in the Media wishes to politicize the issue

    July 14, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  70. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Forget about "helping" McCain or Obama. They aren't the ones who need "help". Our troops and their families are the ones who need help and YES, it would help our soldiers and let those cowardly Iraqis fend for themselves for a change.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  71. James D. Cary NC

    It might help McCain, but bringing troops down to pre-Surge levels isn't the same as bringing the troops home for good. Is this what they call an "October Surprise?" Maybe Bush and McCain can bring back the "Mission Accomplished" banner to go with it.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  72. Raj, Toronto

    The question is not how fast, its if they will or will not?

    Obama will and McCain will not. The republicans can play games saying Obama is now flip flopping but all he is saying now is what he has been saying all along. He is talking about the speed of withdrawal and if that means saying another 2 months to the promised 16, so be it. If it means 2 months earlier thats fine with me. But that will be up to the commanders on the ground in executing Obama's strategy. However you look at it, it will strengthen the US ability to go against Al-Qaeda.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  73. Connie

    Jack, It's not about who it helps,It helps the troops.The one thing that will not help any of us is a war with Iran.

    Connie from Indiana

    July 14, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  74. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    Faster troop withdrawal world help either candidate if one was brave enough to take it on. There is not peace candidate.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  75. Steve

    John McCain will spin this as a victory for the surge.
    Obama will say, I told you so.
    George Bush will claim "Mission Accomplished"
    The real beneficiaries will be the soldiers who will come back to their families from that hellhole.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  76. Dan from Kitchener

    This shouldn't make or break either one of them in this election with the main issues being the economy and you bunch of whiners just thinking you're in a recession.

    Give McCain a chance and he'll get rid of the funding for social security and let the old geezers fend for themselves. The same goes for McCain's health care plan that trusts Insurance Companies to use compassion and voluntarily lower their rates and expand their coverage.

    Besides the less people there are with medical coverage the better chance those with this coverage will have to get quicker treatment.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  77. Duane... Bloomington,In

    Iraq has stated they want us out...So we should have already started. If Bush was doing his job this should be happening. But to answer the question it would be Obama...McCain wants to be there for a 100 years.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  78. Nora Corpus Christi Texas

    I just want it to help our troops that are over there. Some on 2nd and 3rd tours. As for Obama and McCain being helped it does not much matter, cause they are here and their cups runneth over with plenty of other issues. They are all important but lets get our military home!!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  79. Raj, Toronto

    The question is not how fast, its if they will or will not?

    Obama will and McCain will not. The republicans can play games saying Obama is now flip flopping but all he is saying now is what he has been saying all along. He is talking about the speed of withdrawal and if that means saying another 2 months to the promised 16, so be it. If it means 2 months earlier thats fine with me. But that will be up to the commanders on the ground in executing Obama's strategy. However you look at it, it will strengthen the US ability to go against Al-Qaeda.

    McCain has no more options since Iraq's government is in charge of there soil. And McCain cannot say that he wants to stay if they don't want your presence in there nation. The US are now unwelcome guests that stormed in to begin with, so its time to smarten up and stop using fascist double think and new speech terms against our people.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  80. Marie Ontario

    A faster troop withdrawl would help America and all the friends and families of the all the troops being held hostage there by the Bush/McCain exploitation for oil policies.

    It isn’t about either McCain or Obama it’s about common sense and decency and since Obama seems to be the only candidate with these qualities I guess you would have to say it benefit him the most.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  81. Glen in Laurel, MD

    Which candidate it will help will depend on the results and how much media coverage it gets. However the thought that the President would make the decision based on this calculation is depressing. I hope the timing, four months before the election, is a coincidence.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  82. Geri Britt

    Leaving Iraq will help our troops. Which candidate would be favored by an early withdrawal of our troops remains to be seen. Besides, I still have my doubts that there will be a presidential election and Bush will actually leave office.

    Geri – Mead, OK

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  83. angel in Louisiana

    Neither! It's too late to make a difference. It was too late the moment George Bush ordered the first bomb to be dropped.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  84. Kenny in NC

    It does not make any difference which one it helps as long as we bring out troops home from a place where they are not wanted. We need them here to rebuild our own house and to protect our own people. After we take care of our own then maybe we can consider helping another that may ASK for help.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  85. bob, oshawa, canada

    Jack, it would help Barack Obama because then the Iraqi people can get down to the business of establishing the government suited to their diverse differences mostly along religious lines. The current government, set up by the Bush administration, would soon crumble if U.S. troops leave. McCain wants them there indefinitely in order to say he is keeping America safe from another terrorist attack. Americans are suckers for that lame excuse even though it was the current government that was mostly responsible for allowing 9/11 to happen.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  86. Mike from Baltimore, MD


    I don't think it would make a signifcant difference in either direction. This election is going to be about the economy and whether Americans feel comfortable with Obama in the White House.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  87. Dee from Canada

    What happens when you go where you weren't invited, promise to stay forever...and your "hosts" end up asking you to leave? No one wins here. However since McCain has been campaigning on the war, he'll now have to switch to the economy – which he admits he knows nothing about. The key is to get out with as much dignity as possible, and not beg to hear "thank you".

    July 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  88. Gigi in Alabama

    The only reason that George Bush would draw down some of our troops is to help McCain and the Republican Party.
    If he had done the right thing from the beginning, we would not be having a discussion about bringing troops home or leaving them there. The right thing would have been to go after bin Laden and left the Iraqi people to deal with Hussein. He was not a threat to us, but bin Laden and his Saudi cut throats were.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  89. Betty - AL

    Since the Iraq govenment is handing out money to all their people for the huge oil profits they have received this last year, I think it would benefit the American people.

    We can bring our troops home and save our money for ourselves. Quit spending it on the people with all the oil. Instead of giving them everything, rebuild here.


    July 14, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  90. Michele, Oregon

    It is interesting to note that the proposed, possible troop withdrawal is scheduled for September.....Anyone else get the significance of this time- frame politically????? A calculated move just before the elections???? What I have never understood is how strategy is more important than the reason we were supposed to be there in the first place. The Republicans lose on this one. There are lots of compelling evolvements that will have contributed to end the war aside from the surge.

    And of course, there's a whole range of issues to consider in this election as well, whether responsibility and caring for one another wins over greed and big business is one.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  91. Jackson from Rome, GA

    I don't care whose campaign it may help. The troops need to be back. Period.

    Rome, GA

    July 14, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  92. Ralph, Long Island, NY

    It would help the soldiers stationed in Iraq, and that should be ALL that matters.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  93. Stacy from Fairfax, VA

    We need to begin withdrawing from Iraq – it doesn't matter who it helps or not. I have always been concerned with Afghanistan, which is getting more dangerous for our troops. Now I get to deal with the fact that my daughter will be deployed there next year. We are fighting two wars at the same time. What the heck were they thinking?

    July 14, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  94. Jann in Denver

    A faster troop withdrawl would help the American people – period.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  95. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    Helps McCain more. Obama can't stand for "change" if he continues a Bush policy, but it does mean that the hippies might be right for once when they say that McCain and Bush are the same. They'd both be pulling the troops out.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  96. Anna, SW Missouri

    The McCain-Bush campaign has been saying that we need to stay until we have "a victory". If Bush declares a victory and starts to withdraw our troops, then possibly it helps McCain. I think it will be hard for Bush to risk another "Mission Accomplished" moment, so it just shows that our military is really hurting, which is what Obama has been saying.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  97. bridgette

    I would think it would help our military and our families. Let's not politized everything.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  98. Jenny Rome Ga

    Jack, I really do not think it matters as long as the troops come home. Question is what are they coming home too?

    July 14, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  99. Greg form Mechanicsburg PA

    Yes! It would be better for ALL Americans, regardless of party affiliation. Get out of Iraq. Get the job done in Afghanistan. Get Osama Bin Laden. Crush Al-Qaeda. And get our troops home as soon as possible!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  100. Damian Salter

    Obama... then he will be prooved right, and McCain an old tired out of touch fool!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  101. Diane Glasser

    John McCain will take credit for it but those troupes are not coming home they are being redeployed to Afghanistan where more of our troupes are being killed daily than in Iraq. It is just a ploy by the administration and hopefully the American voters will see through this guise. Obama and the Democratic Party need to let the public know what is happening otherwise in November we will being getting four more years of Bush like administration.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  102. Bruce

    If the current President announces planned significant troop withdrawals from Iraq in September or October, It will help McCain a lot. It'll give the impression that Obama's troop withdrawal plan is not needed. I completely expect it too. Of course the big question is can they get bin Laden before the election too.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  103. L.M.,Arizona

    Since Obama has set a timetable it would probably help him because it give credence to his plan.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  104. Brad, WA

    Troop withdrawals is Obama's thing. Mccain would rather attend a square dance in places like Kentucky or Texas than to think of pulling troops out. Maybe he'd even invite Hillary Clinton as his partner if shed wear something besides suit pants.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  105. Lynn, Vancouver

    The Republican motivation is that they have to pull out troops in Iraq to shole up the war in Afghanistan, no matter what way they spin it. Obama was right about this being the real and neglected war on terror.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  106. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    This will help Obama, bushe will be doing what Obama said he would do all along.

    bushe tried not to do anything but Afghanistan, is pushing him and the Iraqi's want us out.

    It will be good to bring the troops home, I am happy for them and happy for their families.

    Just so sorry for the lives we have lost and all the hurt and pain caused unnecessarily!

    July 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  107. Jay-Mississippi

    Jack; it would help both, Mccain will spin it as the surge worked. Obama will say that we need more troops in Afganistan. Both will be right. Who will be more right? Good question Obama will. Why? Because we seem to forget why we invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq, for WoMD. Oh by the way we never found them. Oh by the way we know Osama has been in Afganistan for the last 7 years.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  108. Dave from Maryland

    It would help our Country. I'm to the point where I don't really care who was right or wrong or if the surge worked or didn't... WE DON'T BELONG THERE! Even Iraq wants a timetable for our exit. It won't change who I support for President. Our only hope for a recovery from the carnage left by this administration is Barack Obama.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  109. Shane from Boston

    I believe that this helps Obama more than anyone. It makes the Republicans look like flip-flopers. Here's why: The war started about finding WMD's. Once we (the public that is) realized the erroneous miscalculations and the misguided trust we put in our elected officials, the war/occupation then became about staying until the job is done. The problem is, the job isn't done, but we're going to pull troops out anyway?

    This is nothing more than a political stunt done to help John Mcain garner some of the Independent voters in November. However, the flipside is that it will make the staunch Republican war backers up for reelection do such a hard 180 that most of them are going to have whip-lash and need emergency care to recover their political careers.

    I do hope the Independents out there see what this move really is and vote not only a Democratic President, but an overwhelming Democratic congress so we can figure our way out of this global mess that we're in.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  110. Winston in Berrien Springs, MI

    It's difficult to say who wins politically in this case. You could argue that the troop withdrawal is a win-win for both candidates...it certainly proves both of their points. One thing for sure is this–whether you lean Democrat or Republican, we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  111. JT

    I see America starting a World War III when McCain wins the election. He will be sending all women and children to war after he runs out of soldiers.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  112. Jill

    I can tell you who it won't help: President Bush. He's trying to go out with a win, but it's not going to make the American people forget about the last eight years of bad decisions. Whether it helps McCain or Obama really depends on who spins it better and which side people want to believe.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  113. Erica from Ga

    Both. Along with the rest of America.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  114. gary saari

    Jack, it really doesn't matter. It would help the American people, our image throughout the world, and George Bush's so called "War on terrorism" which was so misguided because of George W's stupidity.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  115. Jim - Clearwater, FL

    It's a win for Obama. The pressure on Bush Inc. to get the troops out is beginning to take his toll. McCain on the other hand will look foolish as he already stated that troops will be there til 2013 or longer.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  116. Cynthia

    I think it benefits Senator Obama because he was among the first groups that came out against the war in the beginning and has said that he would bring the troops home in 16 months. He also said tha he would be as careful getting out of Iraq as they were careless getting in. You also remember what Black said about Iraq.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  117. Darren S.

    It would help Sen. Obama more because Sen. McCain has no intent of leaving (oil rich) Iraq.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  118. Kerry Diehl

    Who cares about those two “over-rated used car salesmen” and what it will or will not mean for them or their political parties?

    What’s really important is what it means to all of our brave military people who are still over there serving. Did they accomplish their mission and goals, are they comfortable in leaving things in the hands of the Iraqis to fend for themselves and will those lives given by so many of our young heroes not be in vain.

    For those who are serving or have served in Iraq, this is who it is all about. (This ain’t their dad’s political Viet Nam fiasco!!)

    kerry diehl
    grosse ile, mi

    July 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  119. RD

    With the non negotiaiting Bush Admin. Iraq is likely to throw us out before either Obama or McCain will have a choice in the matter.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  120. Fleming

    Faster troop withdrawal would help America and Iraq.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  121. dennis north carolina


    July 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  122. Quinton Pierce

    Taking the troops out of Iraq will help Mcain because it will make the Republicans actually look responsible for a change. More importantly, why isn't the depleted uranium issue being reported on?


    July 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  123. Lynn

    Jack – I don't care who it helps. I just want our troops home, but I just worry what kind of a country will we leave behind.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  124. Terry in Hanover County

    It would help McCain who will claim The Surge worked; therefore, the troops can come home sooner rather than later. He will declare victory and he won't have to wait until he's sworn in because Bush could start the withdrawal process at any time, if Bush chooses. Right now, the power of the current Presidency is in McCain's court.

    Bush won't do anything to help Obama, and, more likely, will bomb Iran to create a bigger mess for Obama if he's elected. Bush loves his bungled war. I suspect it made him and his friends far richer than any of us know right now, and at worst, Bush will be perceived as the dumbest president ever - all the way to the bank.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  125. Ralph in New York

    Sorry, Jack, I meant haste makes waste, and our troops should not pay with their blood. Our withdrawal from iraq should be carefully considered, as we have ties to take care of even as we leave. We shouldn't think merely of campaign promises, but what is best for the free world.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  126. G-Ma from Lake View, SC

    You can bet that if Bush starts a faster withdrawals from Iraq in September, it will be because the Republicans think that it might help McCain get elected. These people are trying to protect as many avenues of power-and control of money-as possible. Trying to block Obama's political coat-tails-and increase McCain's-is job one for them. The Republicans have figured out that much of the electorate is SO DONE with them. They just haven't figured out yet how to "hoo-doo" them again.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  127. Stacy from Beautiful Loudoun County Virginia

    Jack, a faster withdrawal of troops is a wash for either candidate. The ones that it would really help are the husbands, wives, significant others, sons, daughters, and families of those who are currently serving there. I would much rather have them here than over there.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  128. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    I don't know if it benefits either one of them. If the Iraqi military want us out, them we should begin plans to do so. Obama has always been against the war and good ole [agree with everything Bush wants] Mccain wouildn't mind staying forever it seems. We just need to leave asap and let them take care of themselves.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  129. A Kraft Naples, FL

    who cares...most important it would benefit the troops and their families....

    July 14, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  130. Shafi Alam

    Senator Barack Obama has been consistent in telling for a long time that we should divert our too much attention from Iraq to Afghanistan. The Bush Administration is doing apparently being influenced by Obama’s thoughts. So Obama should get the credit and consequently more votes on November 4th.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  131. Caycee

    A faster withdrawal would help both, but most important it would help US.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  132. Ann CA

    I think President Bush will bring them home and say once again,"Mission accomplished." Of course bringing our troops home
    from a war that should of never occurred will be so positive that McCain will jump on that band wagon. Meanwhile, while President Bush and McCain are celebrating, Obama will bow his Christian head in prayer for all those lives we have lost.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  133. Perry J

    as long as it helps the troops i do not care who ever is helped, wether we go left or right ,up or down what matters is the safty of our nation and our troops

    perry j
    council bluffs iowa

    July 14, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  134. Tom

    Jack, you mean to get back down to pre-surge levels!! The surge was suppose to last a few months instead it has gone on for two years. The surge which was suppose to be tactical has now become strategic. John McCain would be happy to have a 100 year surge. Of course, the US would be bankrupt by the 35th year.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  135. Sid-Texas

    I'm not sure that a troop withdrawal help one candidate anymore than the other,but, I know for sure that it would help the troops to return home to their families and give them a chance to live out a complete life. It would give president bush an excuse to thump his chest, and say "'look what I done". But, who cares about bush anymore. Just bring our troops home where they belong in the first place.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  136. PAUL, VA

    Neither ! IT HELPS THE TROOPS, stupid !

    July 14, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  137. sandy in Ohio

    Jack, If we withdraw troops from Iraq because they are needed in Afghanistan, that proves Obama was right. If we withdraw troops and they come home it looks good for McCain and Obama. One will say the surge worked and the other will say that he was right to want to begin withdrawals. However, if they withdraw troops and the violence increases then neither canidate was right. Increased violence will mean the surge didn't work and that it is not safe to begin withdrawing. Sounds like business as usual to me.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  138. Lee, Richmond, VA

    Well certainly it would help McCain. The "surge" was his baby, so to speak, and things have improved since it was implemented. A reduction in troops would further prove McCain's point and show that he has the knowledge on foreign affairs to be President.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  139. Carmelo, Brooklyn, NY

    As a former Marine and Vietnam veteran I can say that the sooner American trrops come home the better is for the Iraqis and not to mention the euphoria of family members of the American troops

    July 14, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  140. Deb from Lancaster, PA

    Bush (the name makes me cringe) got this neat idea to withdraw troops from Iraq from none other than Obama.

    If it weren't so disgusting, it would be downright entertaining to see how the GOP manages to find a way to slap Obama in the face for his own idea. Unfortunately, a faster withdrawal will help McCain, since he is so closely aligned with Bush on the war and because the electorate is too stupid to see through this.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  141. Michelle- Washington, DC

    One word: Obama. (He'd get to say, "I told you so!")

    July 14, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  142. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    Definately not McCain, it's the only issue he thinks he knows about. WRONG AGAIN!!

    July 14, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  143. Patricia ID

    It neutralizes the War in Iraq as an issue in the race.

    We have a very short memory and a very short attention span. The past is past and we don't want to go there.

    The attitude will be that whether the war was right or wrong, it's going to be over now and I'm still paying $4.50 for gas.


    July 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  144. Nancy, Tennessee

    Just bringing the level of troops down to the pre-surge level isn't going to help either candidate. Obama will still have a monumental task in front of him to bring the troops home. McCain can still have the majority of troops in Iraq for possibly another 100 years. The troops probably feel like they're in a tug-of-war in this contest.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  145. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Obama has been advocating withdrawl, so it would seem to help him more than McCain who is prepared to stay the course for the next hundred years or so.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  146. DeeDee

    Seriously? Who cares? It will benefit our long suffering troops and their families...that's what matters!
    Phoenix, AZ.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  147. Ricky T. from Roseville, Michigan

    Obama's already won. The Iraqi government is calling upon the US to begin thinking about a timetable for withdrawal. And America's ready to end this war that should have NEVER been authorized. The answer to your question is obvious, this is a win for Obama, and a loss for George Walker McCain.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  148. Kellie, Fairview Park, Ohio

    Who cares which campaign it would help. . . it would help our troops and their families that have suffered most from this ongoing war. Bush should have brought them home a long time ago. In fact. . . he should have never sent them there in the first place!

    July 14, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  149. Ray Kinserlow

    Both, Obama because he would look right, McCain/Bush because they would look flexible. It would be a win/win move for both of them and all of us.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    July 14, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  150. Linda Brewer

    Neither. It's a wash.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  151. Kevin

    Jack, to actually answer the question, Obama would benefit regardless. Reduction of troops is not what the American people want. A substansial withdrawal is what our military families need.

    Warren, MI

    July 14, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  152. William in Sacramento, CA

    Jack , any troop withdrawl would help both Obama and McCain and above all the American People.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  153. Johnny, Las Vegas

    I reject the premise of this question. Wake up- no president will withdraw forces. If you think America will return the second-largest oil reserves to the people we've been at war with, then I have a bridge to sell you. The occupation is here to stay. Get used to it.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  154. Brenda of Saginaw ,Michigan

    It would help US!!, the UNITED STATES, we need to protect our country as soon as possible. The broaders are open to everything and everyone. Get our soldiers home.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  155. Richard in London

    In the UK every politician is talking about withdrawals from Iraq but no one has a plan which actually makes sense, and now the same seems to be happening in the US, lots of talk but no actual plan which can be ratified by all sides. Things seem to be getting worse with more US soldiers being killed, we must come up with a plan which all sides agree on instead of political talk which sounds good with all the right words for the voting public but little substance.

    Obama and McCain have nothing to lose as the election will be over by the time the supposed withdrawals happen and then they can blame it all on Bush.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  156. Mervyn

    Surely from now on mccain's dreams are over.
    Obama's campaing has hit the Jackpot
    What president bush is doing is just helping obama getting the troops back home quicker if he is president.
    And Now since mccain's friend president bush wants to bring the troops home in early september mccain may forget his "100 years in iraq"

    July 14, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  157. Robert

    We (I am a Soldier) are over in Iraq and Afghanistan watching our friends die, while the media asks questions regarding what campaign will benefit, McCain or Obama. Who cares who it benefits? The only people it should benefit is us along with our families.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  158. Claire, Melbourne FL

    Who knows – I've lost faith in the American electorate – people don't pay attention and listen to these candidates. They pay attention to the media hyping every remark these men and their surrogates make just to gin up a fight. It's better for the media, sells their airtime!

    July 14, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  159. Bob in Mesa, Az

    Obama cuz it would endorse his position he has held all along that the Iraq war is wrong

    July 14, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  160. Phyllis Williams

    I think this will help Ombana because it depicts that McCain's idea that we would stay for 100 years and this country wants us out of it.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  161. David

    A quick redrawal would benefit Obama more because it would fit Obama's Judgement about ending the war in Iraq and finishing the Job in Afganistan.

    McCain wants to stay there for decades, a quick redrawal would be a slap in the face for him.

    By the way it's been a long time that George Bush is using the Obama's playbook. Good to see how Obama lectures this Administration about foreign policy.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  162. olalekan

    either it matters or not ,the end result is more american troops casualty . from nigeria

    July 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  163. Ammar

    Jack, I believe the faster withdrawal wont benefit either of the candidates, however it would lead iraq faster towards peace and stability.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  164. Karen

    Obama. It will appear that the government will be doing the very thing he has advocated for throughout this entire campaign.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  165. Emmanuel Nanje

    When I see the young people dying I wonder what the politician are doing in Washington? Anyway It will favor Obama especially after the Prime Minister of Iraq expressed his thought about a timetable last week. Republican donot want to hear this. Afganistan is a center stage where we should be concentration and that has been Obama's stance long time ago, not Iraq where the war was based on false intelligence and oil.

    Emmanuel, Marietta

    July 14, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  166. Tamara Burgos

    If Mr. Bush wants to pull out Troops from Iraq now at this time just before the Presidential electon. What does that make him? A flip flopper? a liar? a politician? A poet?
    No...it makes him Mr. Bush a foolish man, a foolish soul..a foolish, Human, A foolish American. Mostly it makes him an exiting president with the worst American regard in our know History.
    It makes him a desperate man pulling all the stops in an attempt to superglue a fine piece of art, (AMERICA) We will never be the same.
    If he pulls the Troops, which I hope he does I will consider it a desperate act, which he seems to rehearse over and over again.

    Tamara Burgos
    Anaheim Ca

    July 14, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  167. Jackson Boston

    Barack Obama would benefit more because he has stated, if elected troop withdrawl from Iraq would occur within 16 months, thus setting a timetable. The Prime Minister of Iraq has ask President Bush for a Time table of withdrawl in the past two week , probably due to a call from Obama for a timetable. This is also due to our, USA negligence of the Afganistan conflict and resurgence in fighting there, where Bin Laden has been seen. What have we gained from the war in Iraq

    July 14, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  168. easyice

    It would help the people of the united states that's who.
    the troops need to just stop right now and come home
    so the money can stop being wasted. One of the problems
    about the war is that it is NOT a war. A war is when you
    fight your enemies when they harm you or they are a
    serious threat to you and Iraq is neither. you have those
    phsyco's over there fighting for their religous believes
    which they have done their entire lives and they will continue
    to do so. The U. S. cannot change their believes so they need
    to get out. There is no such thing as success or a victory when
    you have over 4,000 troops killed. PLEASE GET OUT NOW!!!!!

    July 14, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  169. Marquis Gabriel

    It would benefit Obama if there was a quick troop withdrawal because it re-enforce his message of the immediate troop withdrawal campaign versus McCain's maybe we need to be there 50 or up to 100 years campaign. How many more troops do we have to lose in Afghanistan before we all realize that we are in the wrong war in Iraq. Wake up people!!!

    July 14, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  170. Tim Olson

    John McCain clearly should benefit from the up turned situation in Iraq. The surge worked. It has given the Iraqi people hope, kept the terrorists off guard and provided a path to victory for the United States and its Military. This should help John McCain who advocated for surge levels even before the administration thought of it. However Barack Obama now wants to play arm-chair quarterback and plus troops up in Afghanistan without acknowledging that he was wrong about the surge. Clearly he is not a leader. I'm a member of VetsforFreedom and Senator Obama does not have my confidence, he is just a another puppet politician

    July 14, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  171. David, Israel

    A quick redrawal would benefit Obama more because it would fit Obama’s Judgement about ending the war in Iraq and finishing the Job in Afganistan.

    McCain wants to stay there for decades, a quick redrawal would be a slap in the face for him.

    By the way it’s been a long time that George Bush is using the Obama’s playbook. Good to see how Obama lectures this Administration about foreign policy.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  172. Jeff in Philly

    McCain will benefit. A lost war that we got a handle on to the point that we can reduce manpower via the request of the Iraq government. That supports that McCain was a better judge of international political reality, then someone that wanted to just pull out (I think the term was "useless sacrifice".

    But seriously. This is one of those NON questions that are good for media time, but don't really matter in the real world like the Supreme Court arguement. The troops (big chunk) are coming home after the election no matter who is elected. It's all just posturing right now. Senator Obama is saying "withing 16 months", but with exceptions. Senator McCain is saying "based on the general" who are standing down for a better show in Afganistan.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  173. Marquis Gabriel Atlanta, Ga.

    It would benefit Obama if there was a quick troop withdrawal because it re-enforce his message of the immediate troop withdrawal campaign versus McCain’s maybe we need to be there 50 or up to 100 years campaign. How many more troops do we have to lose in Afghanistan before we all realize that we are in the wrong war in Iraq. Wake up people!!!

    July 14, 2008 at 6:32 pm |