President Bush’s update on Iraq

The World

Bush’s statement on Iraq this morning was short, about four minutes and he got right to the point by talking about reduced levels of violence. The President said progress has allowed the additional deployed troops as part of the surge to come home. Mr. Bush said reducing the deployment time by three months will relieve burden on the troops and their families. This announcement has been giving credence to McCain, who says he was a supporter of the surge while Obama opposed it. This professor says Bush’s announcement helps McCain, but it doesn’t mean McCain is going to win the election. But Obama’s supporters don’t see this as a victory for McCain at all, because this is a tactical victory but the larger issue of whether we should’ve gone to Iraq in the first place is a strategic difference and one which McCain was wrong about. What’s interesting is how much McCain and Obama agree upon regarding Iraq, and both want the Iraqi government to succeed so troops can be brought home. What do Iraqis want? More than half of Iraq’s Parliament has called for a timetable for US troops to leave. Iraq’s Prime Minister wants a timetable too, and opinion polls overwhelmingly support the idea too. But those same polls also show support for keeping the peace and surveys suggest that Iraqis want the Pentagon to continue with counterterrorism operations and provide training and support to Iraqi Forces. In other words, there’s fodder for both McCain and Obama in those polls.

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