Obama visits the War Zone

Posted: July 22, 2008 in john mccain, military, obama

After months of being badgered by McCain about visiting Iraq and Afghanistan to meet the troops and see the realities on the ground, yesterday Obama kicked off a whirlwind tour of the CENTCOM theater of operations doing exactly that.  So, how’d the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee handle it?  Did he get the dose of reality that McCain obviously wanted him to get?  Well… not quite.  Here’s what happened so far:

  • Discussions with troops and generals “on the ground” resulted in general agreement (no pun intended) that we need to draw down our presence in Iraq and redeploy troops to Afghanistan, the real front in the war on terrorism
  • The democratically elected president of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, told the international press that he wants American forces “out of Iraq” by 2010
  • McCain further demonstrated his foreign policy credentials by altering the geography of the region:

Throughout the tour, Obama was greeted enthusiastically by the troops and welcomed by commanders, unlike the canned-crowd, forced enthusiasm usually associated with visits by, say, President Bush or Senator McCain.

You can’t fake that kind of resonse.  This wasn’t a hand-picked crowd.  There is real enthusiasm and support for Senator Obama among the troops.  Will it translate into a victory for Obama in November?  I don’t know.  I do know that a lot of the troops are more left-of-center than the Republicans would like us to believe.

I also know that if McCain expects to win in November, he’d better stop campaigning for Obama this summer.  Every time he opens his mouth he further makes the case that he’s not fit to be President.


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