May 27th, 2008
12:22 PM ET

"A lesson" on Iraq

Barclay Palmer
360° Senior Producer

Now John McCain has invited Barack Obama to go to Iraq with him because "Obama needs a lesson in what is really going on over there."

This from the man lampooned for claiming Baghdad was safe as he walked through a neighborhood specially shut down by a massive one-day influx of U.S. troops, a stroll called an expensive dog and pony show that disguised the realities there rather than revealing them.

On the other hand, many say Obama's plan to pull out troops would leave a disaster. So, does McCain have a point, or is this just pure political maneuvering... or both? Whatcha think...we'd like to know.

Thank you.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Barclay Palmer • Iraq • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Tammy, Oregon

    Here's the deal, I don't care if Iraq was safe as my neighborhood. We want out! If Iraq is safe, we want out! If Iraq is a hell hole, we want out! So take your pick McCain, this about saving lives and billions that both can be here in the USA!

    May 28, 2008 at 12:45 am |
  2. joe tenorio

    If we are at war, then why are the oil companies permitted to 'profiteer'. Congress passed a law to protect consumers from companies that could take advantage of a war and raise prices to make a profit. Sounds like the oil comapnies to me. What do you think??

    May 28, 2008 at 12:39 am |
  3. Bill

    Hey grandpa. Sit me on your knee and tell me an old war story. Even better, take me to Iraq. Grandpa, your are so knowledgeable about war. I love my war loving grandpa. Is this what McCain's message is all about.

    My grandfather fought in WWII and he only told me about it once and that was when I convinced him to let me interview him for a school project. Other than that it was not a topic. He did not wear his war veteran status as an arm band as some type of self-serving proclamation.

    Are we a country of war and warring? Is that all we know? Is that what unites us and makes us whole? Is that the fabric of our society? We must reflect on our perceptions and how we are perceived in the world.

    McCain needs to move on and stop wasting our time in Iraq – his and Obama's.

    May 28, 2008 at 12:25 am |
  4. jana/NY

    THIS IS A JOKE. No one goes into enemy territory. Going to Iraq would be just a ploy by the republicans and McCain on Obama.

    As far as Bill Clinton about a cover up and bullying of the Super-delegates, because she's this poor little candidate running for president and everyone is against her. "I am trying not to laugh." This is another ploy and reverse psychology by the Clintons.

    She tells her husband what to say every once in while then she does not take the heat for it. The Clintons can play a lot of games to try to get in to the white house. She's a very sad case.

    If she gets in the white house the nation will have to answer to the world.
    She is such a big joke, a big looser. She gets no respect from me.

    May 27, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  5. molly

    Obama should invite McCain to the community college that I attend to meet some of the veterans of this war. Most of the vets I have spoken to, "just want to forget it ever happened." In fact, it is apparent in class and out that they are having a hard time even discussing the matter at all. So, my question is, " If vets and soldiers have a hard time opening up to their closest friends and family, what makes McCain or anyone else (even media) think they can show up in Iraq as perfect strangers and get full honest opinions from the soldiers?"

    May 27, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    I'm actually surprised that Obama and Clinton haven't gone to Iraq – just think of all the absentee ballots that will be cast from our military people there. Seriously, though, I think Obama and Clinton should go to Iraq if for nothing else to show support for our troops who are over there. Supporting the troops is far different from supporting the war and all the candidates need to show that they care about our men and women in uniform regardless of our stand on the war.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 27, 2008 at 9:47 pm |
  7. Cynthia

    The one thing that I do know is that if I were Senator Obama I would not go to Iraq with Senator McCain. I have just finished listening to them discuss the book written by McCellan(?) and his comments abouit the Iraq war are just plain disturbing to me.

    May 27, 2008 at 9:23 pm |
  8. Arachnae

    “Obama needs a lesson in what is really going on over there.”

    Wow. That's amazingly condescending.

    May 27, 2008 at 9:17 pm |
  9. Mari, Salt Lake City

    McCain is the one who needs a lesson. What is victory? WE INVADED A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY! They had nothing to do with 9/11, the Saudis DID! And we have seen Bush holding hands and kissing the Saudi Princes the VERY ONES WHO HAVE FINANCED Al-Queda. And McCain has the NERVE TO TALK DOWN TO SEN. OBAMA!

    McCain, sir, you are so out of touch it is pathetic. The war was started on lies by your friend, W. Please tell us, how the US will have victory? In a country that has been destroyed so that we can continue to drive our SUV's.

    The troops who have died, the ones maimed and the ones who commit suicide each month deserve to have the BEST Veterans Benefits and Pay possible. That would be victory for these poor folks and their families!

    May 27, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  10. Heather L.

    ~Vince. Can you even imagine what kind of planning there will be before Obama goes over to Iraq? If they think McCain’s trip over there was carefully coordinated to show the positive side of the war I can’t wait to see what Axelrod and the rest of the Obama campaign is planning. I hope they are going to allow the soldiers to question him about his plans for withdrawal and why he refused to come out of his office to speak to two dozen veterans in Illinois on April 8, but is willing to talk to Ahmadinejad without any preconditions. I am still waiting on the definition of preparations.

    Maybe Obama can explain to the troops why he has never visited Afghanistan. Why, when he went to Iraq in 2006 he decided not to go to Afghanistan in favor of visiting Israel, Kuwait, Jordan, and the Palestine territories instead.

    You forgot that Obama thinks that PA is in the Midwest, and that the Great Lakes are in Oregon!

    May 27, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  11. Spencer

    Leaving is better than staying......Anyone who dissagrees with that is and idiot............

    May 27, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  12. Anders Scooper

    McCain has a point. Obama thinks his uncle which was his great uncle liberated the Jewish people in Germany during the war. What a laugh. If Hillary isn't instructing him, John McCain is.

    May 27, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  13. John Wohlmut

    The military reports to a civilian boss – the president. The president determines what the objectives of any military engagements are. (Unless you want a military junta running this country.)

    If you believe the miltary knows when to best leave any engagement, I recommend you see a film called "7 Days in May" with Burt Lancaster.

    May 27, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  14. Larry

    Dunno why Canadians post on here, its our election and we don't tell them who to vote for in Canada.

    May 27, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  15. Susan

    Keep ALL the politicians out of Iraq. Let the military do its job with no interference from Washington DC. The generals should be able to tell the politicians when and how to remove troops. They are the ones living it day in and day out. They would be the ones that know best.


    May 27, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  16. Lesli

    To Gary Chandler from Canada

    This blog is not about your rantings – it is about the war in Iraq. Pick another blog to vent at... but to respond to your post...

    Please take the entire message of what these Pastor's say. The only reason that people take offense is they have no understanding of Pastor Hagee's reference for the entire speach and therefore they don't understand it.

    Pastor Hagee is a supporter of Jews – He is a Zionist Christian. They support the claims of the Jewish Nation of Israel. Please look and get the point correct.

    I don't know enough about the other thing going on with the Catholic church, but they aren't sinless either in their ways of worshiping God.

    I truly believe if Jesus came to earth today he would be upsetting the pews and the alters in a lot of churches.

    As a Christian I believe God does have control over everything that happens weatherwise – he determines its course and we determine where we will be when it hits. Gods reasons are his own, and Christians don't do themselves or others any favours when they speculate on God's purpose.

    Was Aids a punishment for freedom of sexuality from God – a judgement so to speek. Maybe not, but it sure has punished a lot of sexually free/active people, along with too many innocent ones.

    Bad things happen to good people to strengthen God's nation. That is the reality.

    May 27, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  17. Lesli

    SFC B

    Thank you for the input of someone who is there. I just hope its worth it, but the truth is that apart from the human live the money it costs will pull America under if this continues for muich longer. The future will be spent in trying to pay off the debt, for a country that will be one of the richest in the world if it can every get an infastructure built and start getting that oil out of the ground.

    May 27, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  18. Lesli

    I was watching the news on CNN at 1:00 PM and they were saying McCain told a group he would never withdraw the military until they had won – under no conditions it seems... scary, very scary.

    May 27, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  19. Mello Doug NM

    Regardless of what it looks like on the ground there is no political progress. McCain needs to go get a good history book and look up the last few hundred years of this area then come back to the table and talk about what he knows. A history of centuries does not just disappear because Bush intervened.

    May 27, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  20. Sharon from Indy

    McCain's invitation to Obama to join him in Iraq is a maneuver to place McCain in the parental role of showing a teenager a "reality check."

    Obama is thoroughly aware of what is going on in Iraq along with the rest of Congress. It really doesn't have anything to do with Iraq; it has to do with politics and the race for the power of the presidency.

    The presidential campaign is no longer about stump speeches, kissing babies or bus trips; from now on it is about endurance and dodging the bullets of discrediting sound bites, half-truth advertising and trumped up rumors.

    May 27, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  21. lynn

    The thing is that although we can predict probabilities – nonone can predict consequences for sure, although many would have us believe that they can, and i think that we unfairly expect our leaders to – i think that it will be a disaster whether we stay in or whether we leave, so in this light it is better to leave and stop the bleeding : (of the lives of our young men and women – on our economy, not to mention the emotional and mental toll that war takes on our troops, their families as well as the nation) – another thought – where are our priorities ? – contrary to the bush admiistration belief – our resources are limited and we need to prioritize about how we want them utilized we've spent trillions on this war, going deep into debt with china, while at home our economy and our educational system is continueing to spiral downwards and there are many people in this country who don't have running water and electricity – i would much prefer to spend our resources in much needed ways at home first.

    lynn – california

    May 27, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  22. Vince in CA

    They'll shut sections down for Obama also. Whenever some "bigshot" showed up we had to up security and baby-sit them. I would rather go on patrols.
    To carmen: When I was there we were fighting several different Muj' so I can forgive that screw up. But, Obama has visited 57 states? Said that the "Soviet Union" (by the way it's Russia) is more of a threat than Iran? Then later admits to Iran being a threat only because he's talking to a group of Jews. I can go on with "misteps", "mistakes", and "miswords" but there's no point. Fact and Question...How many times has Obama had to apologize or explain something he said?

    May 27, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  23. Lisa

    Not in any way meant to diminish the sacrifices of our men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan ... but maybe Obama ought to take McCain on a tour of the inner cities here in the US to show him a war zone. He could also explain how building new soccer fields here (like the many that have been built in Iraq) may be beneficial to us, here at home. I think McCain needs a lesson in how the money being spent in Iraq on daily basis could truly benefit the US in terms of infrastructure, programs for our youth, etc.

    May 27, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  24. carmen

    Is this the John McCain who does not know the difference between the different religious sects in Iraq and is confused about Iran and thinks Hamas endorsed Obama? John McCain needs a lesson in hypocricy.

    May 27, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  25. Tee

    Oh yes. Obama should go to Iraq as well as Hillary. Why wouldn't they want to go? They should go and check it out.

    May 27, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  26. Gary Chandler in Canada

    McCain, here is a lesson in military strategy, do recon!
    As for political strategy; hire a researcher!
    When you were chasing Hagee and Parsley, their comments were already on UTube. Eg From my post at CNN BLOG on May 9th. >
    "Oh, when the Republicans bring up Wright, will it be okay to counter with religious leaders backing McCain? His religious leaders are on record as saying AIDS and Katrina were punishments from God."
    It was all over the Internet for anybody to see what these men said and believed! How can anybody trust the astuteness of your team?
    Now that you have 'denounced' them, does that mean you have retracted the public and recorded comments you made about them?
    "Family friends" , "Great American Leaders", "spiritual guides" "should do the speaking" for your campaign?
    You have been able to disenfranchise the evangelical vote by your denunciation of their leaders. The Jewish vote who Hagee lionizes, the Catholic vote for not denouncing on the whore comments, the gay vote for not denouncing on the Katrina comment.
    The Muslims will be glad you denounced Parsley for his incorrect interpretation of the Bible concerning Islam.
    Now we hear your pastor, Dan Yeary claims God punished the world with a flood! < ( a bit of humor, okay? Noah)

    May 27, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  27. Cecil Jones

    Obama should place an ad that goes something like this: Help Wanted, Sweet Saddam Type for Figurehead Position overseas. Must have strong communications skills, be a strong military motivator, and must be extremely generous in sharing oil revenue. Perfect candidate must respond to strong supervision and absolutely cannot seek WMD. Tarik Aziz and Baghdad Bob types need not apply.

    May 27, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  28. SFC B

    Obama does need to come over here. He needs to hear first hand from the troops that we don't want to pull out on some time table. We want to finish what we started. That we should only leave as milestones are accomplished. He and his rhetoric are operating in a vacuum.

    May 27, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  29. Chris - Hemet, Ca.

    Make sure Lieberman goes so he can explain the difference between Sunni and Shi'a to McCain before McCain explains the war to Obama!

    May 27, 2008 at 1:24 pm |
  30. Jenn/Monrovia, CA

    I don't know, but I'd like for Obama to say yes and go over there, just to see the look on McCain's face. LOL

    May 27, 2008 at 1:06 pm |
  31. Cindy

    I think that McCain is right on the money about us pulling out like Obama wants to do. If we did it like Obama wants then there would be total chaos and a blood bath like we have never seen. Then the rest of the world would hate us even more than they do now! What is Obama going to do and say about that then!?

    Obama needs to go and see first hand what is going on before running his mouth! If he won't go then the question is why!? If he wants to be our pres he has to lead by doing not just saying! Talk is cheap!!

    May 27, 2008 at 1:05 pm |
  32. Kim in NY

    As much as I would like to see the troops come home, I don't understand how, logistically, it can happen safely. If one could snap their fingers and bring all the troops and munitions and equipment home (or at least to allied area) bringing every one home would work. But how do we "draw down" at this point. Wouldn't that leave the last 15,000, 10,000, 5,000..... troops in an extremely dangerous situation? I don't know how much it matters anymore that we shouldn't have gone there in the first place. We are there, we need to make it work, somehow, so the troops can home safely, knowing they accomplished the mission that they sacrificed so much for.

    May 27, 2008 at 12:50 pm |
  33. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This is a shameless invite by McCain as if the American people haven't spoken against this war. Once again McCain proves he is so out of touch and more like Bush refusing to listen to the American people. This war was started on a lie, McCain voted for it and of course he wants to justify the progress of a failed war. Shame on McCain, he's the one who doesn't know what's going on and Obama needs to teach him a lesson of judgement.

    May 27, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  34. Larry

    What? No invite to Hillary? I guess somebody has to stay home and look after the country:)

    May 27, 2008 at 12:47 pm |
  35. Rob

    ummm disaster? what could possibly be worse then the mess that McCain has supported and created there now? How could it get better when you keep doing the same things day after day with no new ideas? The best solution is to make it clear to the Iraqis that they need to step up and it will only happen if they know the US will no longer have an army there to prop them up. The costs fo staying there any longer are much too high and McCain has absolutely nothing new to offer or 'instruct' Mr. Obama on. It's not working time for a new direction.

    May 27, 2008 at 12:44 pm |
  36. Amy

    When John McCain speaks like that , he sounds like the crotchety old man he is .Whomever inherits this mess in Iraq is going to have to take in to consideration the conditions at the time before leaving. As long as leaving is the main goal, the American people will understand. What we will not stand for is another 50 to 100 years of occupation while our soldiers are dying! John McCain needs to revisit that!

    May 27, 2008 at 12:43 pm |
  37. Vivian Fauntleroy, Largo MD

    Political posturing at its worst. So the two presidential candidates are going to trapse into a war zone TOGETHER accompanied, as they must be, my a security detail numbered in the legions. Is this the "anything could happen" scenario Sen. Clinton is referring to?

    May 27, 2008 at 12:36 pm |
  38. Sam Johnson

    If McCain took Obama to Iraq it would be a dog and pony show. I do not believe either candidates would get an accurate assessment of what is going on over there.

    The main reason we need to get out has to do with how things have played out since the beginning of the war. Disaster capitalism is being exercized to it's fullest and the Iraq people are suffering the consequesnces. When we shell out jobs to the private sector, who then contracts out those jobs again, there is a long trail of money and nothing getting done. EVERY ONE OF YOU need to read The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein to get an idea about why we should pull out of Iraq, regardless of the consequenses...

    May 27, 2008 at 12:28 pm |