Friday, September 26, 2008

Presidential Debate #1 - Live Blog #4 - What Can We Learn from Iraq

McCain: We can't go in with failed strategy, he went to Iraq in 2003, we needed to change course, now we are winning thanks to a good general. Consequences of defeat would have been a wider war, might have had to go back. We will come back with victory.

Obama: First question is whether we should have gone into Iraq in the first place. Stood up and opposed because of dangers, and because we hadn't finished job in Afghanistan, thought it would be a distraction. Wishes he had been wrong for the sake of the country. Lost money and lives, Al Qaida is resurgent, we took eye off ball. Should never hesitate to use military force but use it wisely.

(Subjective: Obama seems to be saying more new material than McCain.)

McCain: Next president doesn't have to address whether we should have gone in or not. Next one has to decide when and if we go and what we leave behind. Says Obama opposed surge and mentions Obama went overseas only after 900 days. Talking about Obama's committee and that he never met with Patraeus.

Obama: Proud of his VP pick, issues don't go through his subcommittee, go through committee as a whole. McCain is right that troops and Patraeus. McCain likes to pretend war started in 2007 instead of 2003. Hitting McCain on location of WMD and being greeted as liberators. Judge us on our judgment.

McCain: (looks agitated) Obama doesn't know difference between tactic and strategy. Mentions story about meeting with 680 troops, "let us win". Obama doesn't agree that we are winning in Iraq. (Obama: that's not true). Says Obama voted to cut off funding for troops.

Obama: Says McCain opposed funding for troops because there was a timetable, he opposed funding because no timetable, says they only agreed on the timetable. Does know difference between strategy and tactic. Was this wise? Raises Afghanistan, says McCain said we were successful there. Give Iraq back its country. Commanders in Afghanistan say we don't have enough troops.

McCain: Says Mullen opposed Obama's plan (Obama says not true). Iraq is central battleground. Obama's plan will snatch defeat from jaws of victory.

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