May 27th, 2008
11:21 AM ET

More progress in Iraq - for real?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/27/art.iraq.soldier.jpg]

Eric Bloom
360° Producer

Over the weekend McCain and Obama continued to mix it up over their visions for Iraq.

As they went back and forth the U.S. government pointed to signs of tremendous progress on the ground to coincide with Memorial Day. U.S Ambassador Crocker said al Qaeda has “never been closer to defeat than they are now.” Military officials also said violence in Iraq has decreased to levels not seen since March 2004.

McCain’s campaign would love to point to the surge’s success on the ground. But we have heard similar claims by the government that wound up being inaccurate. This would be a good time for a reality check on the war.

Filed under: Iraq • War on Terror
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Bonnie

    If violence is down and Iraq is doing so good fighting, then why are we still there? Bush, Mc Cain and others with their heads in the closet do not look at the facts. They see what they want to see and make decisions from that. Elected officials are supposed to make decions as citizens they represent and we have't seen that for a loooong time!
    With every year of age the higher risk there is of heart of attack, or closer anyone is to the of their life. For this nation to elect a president at the age of 72 and run our country for 4 years is a major risk.
    After a new president is in office our men will start coming home!

    May 28, 2008 at 1:59 am |
  2. Bill

    Stating that levels of violence in Iraq have decreased is probably true when the measuring stick is the first days of death and destruction that existed when we went in there shooting everything up. Kind of like a wild west movie, or a Texas, round 'em up flick. It's all relative to the reality that we have created in Iraq.

    To bad diplomacy was not considered a better option. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, as my physics teacher once told me. And if you do not believe that, may the earth open up and swallow you whole. In this case, Iraq is swallowing us whole.

    May 28, 2008 at 12:48 am |
  3. Annie Kate

    I'd like to hear Michael Ware's thoughts on this; he's about the only honest voice coming out of Iraq on what is happening. I'm sure not going to believe the government on the war.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 27, 2008 at 9:51 pm |
  4. Cynthia

    Progress in a war that should have never been fought – just look at the numbers of lives lost.

    May 27, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  5. Marie-Lynn

    NO wonder the guy is 72 years old...

    May 27, 2008 at 8:32 pm |
  6. jana/NY

    I spent over a year in Iraq. What war are all these "Know it All " looking at?.

    People, don't believe a word you hear and a half of what you see.

    McCain, the president, Ms Rice, Ms Clinton are never where the real action is taking place. That also goes for CNN folks

    Just pray for all my comrades love ones and friends that are going through the hell of this war.
    McCain has been through his own war. His battle field is now in the Obama arena. He's not doing so good.

    May 27, 2008 at 7:33 pm |
  7. Heather L.

    Vince; Touché! Glad to hear it from the horse's mouth instead of its ass.

    May 27, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  8. Spencer

    When there is fighting, that is not progress, its just killing american soldiers for nothing.......Bring the troops home............

    May 27, 2008 at 6:05 pm |
  9. Vince in CA

    Where does Eric Bloom get his infor from. It's too bad all you reporters un-embedded yourselves after the invasion. You would have learned that it was worse in Iraq in 2004. Do you know how I know? Because I was there. And I never saw you. Although I'm sure you had an opinion. I'm not the only vet who knows this. It's gotten better compared. We were holding the Iraqi's hands much more then. We needed a surge back in 2004 but the politicians wouldn't give it to us. Get your info right before you "hit save" please. It's disrespectful to the one's of us that give you your freedom.

    May 27, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  10. Dennis

    As to why we went to Iraq in the first place, I think it's hard to argue, with 20/20 hindsight, that it was a great idea. We'd have been much better off, in my opinion, to simply get Sadam to "play ball" with us again. That being said, the US now has a strategic and moral obligation to see this conflict through to a satisfactory conclusion – the generally accepted deffinition being an Iraq stable enough to defend itself from threats both within and without. The price of early withdrawl is too high: a genocide in Iraq and a Middle East in open war; as well as another generation of soldiers who suffered and sacrificed in a war they weren't allowed to win.

    May 27, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  11. Tee

    and we've heard that again and again, right

    May 27, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  12. Michael, NC

    I would think it is hard to tell the level of progress being made in Iraq against Al Qaeda. I mean, there are still acts of violence being committed on a daily basis aren't there, and how are we truly going to "defeat" them? I support our presence there, but I mean, aren't violent acts going to pick back up as soon as our troops leave? It's really hard to tell, I just don't see how we can label a victory on this one...it's a tough call...

    May 27, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  13. Chris - Hemet, Ca.

    If the war is going so damn well why does McCain want to stay until 2013? That's five more years of $330,000,000. per day and probably four to five thousand more lives. That means any family that has a child 13 years or older can be the proud parents of the last soldier killed in Iraq.

    May 27, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  14. AJ

    Just because Iran has personally quelled the Sadr militia violence doesn't mean the US is making huge progress in Iraq. Al Sadr's militia has simply melted back in with the general population until they are called up again.

    Let's not fool ourselves, again.

    May 27, 2008 at 1:15 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    McCain needs a lesson on judgement. The violence by U.S. troops has ceased in Iraq only because the United Nations keeps a close account of how many Iraqi lives are lost which holds U.S. military's fee to the fire. The opposition in Iraq is alive and well and those people will continue to fight for years to come. The middle east is divided by sects and will never allow one to control the other or the U.S. settle their differences.

    May 27, 2008 at 12:55 pm |
  16. Rob

    it's all relative isn't it? Things change there everyday. I'm still waiting for the children greeting the troops with flowers. How the heck could Bush/McCain go in there with no plan to get out?

    May 27, 2008 at 12:47 pm |
  17. Marc - Canada

    There is only one reason that Bush and McCain remain determined to stay the course in Iraq – It's called Iran.

    Look for an attack on Iran well before the election. The Republicans will stop at nothing to score political points and keep their party in power.

    A vote for McCain/Bush is a vote for the inevitable return of the much feared DRAFT and the start of WW III.

    May 27, 2008 at 12:22 pm |
  18. Cindy

    Well I hope that there really is a lot of major progress in Iraq and that it isn't just all talk. I mean for the sake of our soldiers and the people that live there I hope that things are moving along really fast! It's hard to say what is happening there since the media barely reports on the war! That is a shame btw!!

    I wish that Obama would take up McCain on his offer to go to Iraq! I mean how can you possibly have an opinion on something if you haven't been there and done that? I mean come on...McCain is right, Obama has never been in the military so he really can't down anyone else who has. He needs to step up to the plate and go to Iraq!!

    May 27, 2008 at 12:12 pm |
  19. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    All I ask, of the so called media, is to report the facts. If there is hopeful news or bad news out of Iraq, I want it all told. If the surge has worked on some level, let's hear about it. I don't want any of the political parties spinning something as important as Iraq, for their parties gain. Just my two cents.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    May 27, 2008 at 12:08 pm |
  20. Fay, CA

    Who can truly trust what the government says about progress in Iraq after "Mission Accomplished"? I'd prefer to hear Michael Ware's perspective on what's actually taking place in Iraq.

    May 27, 2008 at 11:54 am |
  21. AZM

    I hope it's correct... it would be nice to see a decrease in the violence... get the gov stood up there and get out.

    I spent a year in Al Anbar... and can say I saw a large decrease in violence in that timeframe... it was much better then I left than when I got there. I hope the trend continues!

    May 27, 2008 at 11:54 am |
  22. Michelle

    Does that mean Michael Ware will be on
    tonight's 360.

    May 27, 2008 at 11:43 am |