Friday, July 25, 2008

In God We Trust

Sixty-three years ago, Nazi Germany had overrun almost all of Europe and hammered England to the verge of bankruptcy and defeat. The Nazis had sunk more than 400 British ships in their convoys between England and America taking food and war materials.

At that time the US was in an isolationist, pacifist mood, and most Americans wanted nothing to do with the European or the Asian war. Then along came Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and in outrage Congress unanimously declared war on Japan, and the following day on Germany, who had not yet attacked us. It was a dicey thing. We had few allies. France was not an ally, as the Vichy government of France quickly aligned itself with its German occupiers. Germany was certainly not an ally, as Hitler was intent on setting up a Thousand Year Reich in Europe. Japan was not an ally, as it was well on its way to owning and controlling all of Asia.

Together, Japan and Germany! had long-range plans of invading Canada and Mexico, as launching pads to get into the United States over our northern and southern borders, after they finished gaining control of Asia and Europe. America's only allies then were England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia, and Russia. That was about it. All of Europe, from Norway to Italy (except Russia in the East) was already under the Nazi heel. The US was certainly not prepared for war. The US had drastically downgraded most of its military forces after WW I because of the depression, so that at the outbreak of WW II, Army units were training with broomsticks, because they didn't have guns, and cars with 'tank' painted on the doors, because they didn't have real tanks. A huge chunk of our Navy had just been sunk or damaged at Pearl Harbor.

Britain had already gone bankrupt, saved only by the donation of $600 million in gold bullion in the Bank of England (that was actually the property of Belgium ) given by Belgium to England to carry on the war, when

Belgium was overrun by Hitler (a little known fact). Actually, Belgium surrendered after one day, because it was unable to oppose the German invasion, and the Germans bombed Brussels into rubble the next day just to prove they could. Britain had already been holding out for two years in the face of staggering losses and the near decimation of its Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain, and was saved from being overrun by Germany, only because Hitler made the mistake of thinking the Brit's were a relatively minor threat that could be dealt with later.

Hitler, first turned his attention to Russia, in the late summer of 1940, at a time when England was on the verge of collapse. Ironically, Russia saved America's butt by putting up a desperate fight for two years, until the US got geared up to begin hammering away at Germany. Russia lost something like 24,000,000 people in the sieges of Stalingrad and Moscow alone . . 90% of them from cold and starvation, mostly civilians, but also more than a 1,000,000 soldiers. Had Russia surrendered, Hitler would have been able to focus his entire war effort against the Brit's, then America. If that had happened, the Nazis could possibly have won the war.

All of this has been brought out to illustrate that turning points in history are often dicey things. Now, we find ourselves at another! one of those key moments in history. There is a very dangerous minority in Islam that either has, or wants, and may soon have, the ability to deliver small nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, almost anywhere in the world. The Jihadist, the militant Muslims, are basically Nazis in Kaffiyahs --they believe that Islam, a radically conservative form of Wahhabi Islam, should own and control the Middle East first, then Europe, then the world. To them, all who do not bow to their will of thinking should be killed, enslaved, or subjugated . They want to finish the Holocaust, destroy Israel, and purge the world of Jews . This is their mantra. (goal) There is also a civil war raging in the Middle East -- for the most part not a hot war, but a war of ideas. Islam is having its Inquisition and its Reformation, but it is not yet known which side will win -- the Inquisitors, or the Reformationists. If the Inquisition wins, then the Wahhabis, the Jihadist, will control the Middle East, the OPEC oil, and the US, European, and Asian economies. The techno-industrial economies will be at the mercy of OPEC -- not an OPEC dominated by the educated, rational Saudis of today, but an OPEC dominated by the Jihadist. Do you want gas in your car? Do you want heating oil next winter? Do you want the dollar to be worth anything? You had better hope the Jihad, the Muslim Inquisition, loses, and the Islamic Reformation wins.

If the Reformation movement wins, that is, the moderate Muslims, who believe that Islam can respect and tolerate other religions, live in peace with the rest of the world, and move out of the 10th century into the 21st, then the troubles in the Middle East will eventually fade away. A moderate and prosperous Middle East will emerge.

We have to help the Reformation win, and to do that we have to fight the Inquisition, i.e., the Wahhabi movement, the Jihad, Al Qaeda and the Islamic terrorist movements. We have to do it somewhere. We can't do it everywhere at once. We have created a focal point for the battle at a time and place of our choosing..... in Iraq. Not in New York, not in London, or Paris or Berlin, but in Iraq, where we are doing two important things.

(1) We deposed Saddam Hussein. Whether Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the 9/11 terrorist attack or not, it is undisputed that Saddam has been actively supporting the terrorist movement for decades. Saddam was a terrorist! Saddam was a weapon of mass destruction, responsible for the deaths of probably more than a 1,000,000 Iraqis and 2,000,000 Iranians.

(2) We created a battle, a confrontation, a flash point, with Islamic terrorism in Iraq. We have focused the battle. We are killing bad people, and the ones we get there, we won't have to get here. We also have a good shot at creating a democratic, peaceful Iraq, which will be a catalyst for democratic change in the rest of the Middle East, and an outpost for a stabilizing American military presence in the Middle East for as long as it is needed.

WW II, the war with the Japanese and German Nazis, really began with a 'whimper' in 1928. It did not begin with Pearl Harbor. It began with the Japanese invasion of China. It was a war for fourteen years before the US

joined it. It officially ended in 1945 -- a 17-year war -- and was followed by another decade of US occupation in Germany and Japan to get those countries reconstructed and running on their own again a 27-year war.

WW II cost the United States an amount equal to approximately a full year's GDP -- adjusted for inflation, equal to about $12 trillion dollars. WW II cost America more than 400,000 soldiers killed in action, and nearly 100,000

still missing in action. The Iraq war has, so far, cost the United States about $160,000,000,000, which is roughly what the 9/11 terrorist attack cost New York. It has also cost about 4,000 American lives, which is roughly equivalent to lives that the Jihad killed (within the United States) in the 9/11 terrorist attack. The cost of not fighting and winning WW II would have been unimaginably greater -- a world dominated by Japanese Imperialism and German Nazism.

This is not a 60-Minutes TV show, or a 2-hour movie in which everything comes out okay . The real world is not like that. It is messy, uncertain, and sometimes bloody and ugly. It always has been, and probably always will be. The bottom line is that we will have to deal with Islamic terrorism until we defeat it, whenever that is. It will not go away if we ignore it.

If the US can create a reasonably democratic and stable Iraq, then we have an ally, like England, in the Middle East, a platform, from which we can work to help modernize and moderate the Middle East. The history of the

world is the clash between the forces of relative civility and civilization, and the barbarians clamoring at the gates to conquer the world. The Iraq War is merely another battle in this ancient and never ending war. Now, for the first time ever, the barbarians are about to get nuclear weapons. Unless somebody prevents them from getting them! .

We have four options:

1 . We can defeat the Jihad now, before it gets nuclear weapons.

2 . We can fight the Jihad later, after it gets nuclear weapons (which may be as early as next year, if Iran's progress on nuclear weapons is what Iran claims it is).

3 . We can surrender to the Jihad and accept its dominance in the Middle East now; in Europe in the next few years or decades, and ultimately in America, France and Germany and possibly most of the rest of Europe. It will, of course, be more dangerous, more expensive, and much bloodier. If you oppose this war, I hope you like the idea that your children, or grandchildren, may live in an Islamic America under the Mullahs and the Sharia, an America that resembles Iran today.

The history of the world is the history of civilization clashes, cultural clashes. All wars are about ideas, ideas about what society and civilization should be like, and the most determined always win. Those who are willing to be the most ruthless always win. The pacifists always lose, because the anti-pacifists kill them. Remember, perspective is everything, and America's schools teach too little history for perspective to be clear, especially in the young American mind.

The Cold War lasted from about 1947, at least until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989; forty-two years!

Europe spent the first half of the 19th century fighting Napoleon, and from 1870 to 1945 fighting Germany !

World War II began in 1928, lasted 17 years, plus a ten year occupation, and the US still has troops in Germany and Japan .

World War II resulted in the death of more than 50,000,000 people, maybe more than 100,000,000 people, depending on which estimates you accept.

The US has taken more than 4,000 killed in action in Iraq. The US took more than 4,000 killed in action on the morning of June 6, 1944, the first day of the Normandy Invasion to rid Europe of Nazi Imperialism. In WW II, the US averaged 2,000 KIA a week -- for four years. Most of the individual battles of WW II lost more Americans than the entire Iraq war has done so far.

The stakes are at least as high ! A world dominated by representative governments with civil rights, human rights, and personal freedoms . . or a world dominated by a radical Islamic Wahhabi movement, by the Jihad, under

the Mullahs and the Sharia (Islamic law).

It's difficult to understand why the average American does not grasp this. They favor human rights, civil rights, liberty and freedom, but evidently not for Iraqis. Peace Activists' always seem to demonstrate here in America, where it's safe. Why don't we see Peace Activist demonstrating in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, North Korea, in the places that really need peace activism the most? I'll tell you why! They would be killed!

The liberal mentality is supposed to favor human rights, civil rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc., but if the Jihad wins, wherever the Jihad wins, it is the end of civil rights, human rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc. Americans who oppose the liberation of Iraq are coming down on the side of their own worst enemy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Raymond S. Kraft is a writer and an attorney living in Northern California that has studied the Middle Eastern culture and religion.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Truism - Election '08

A taxpayer voting for Barack Obama is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wisdom from an Irish Friend - On '08 Election

"We, in Ireland just can't figure out why people are even bothering to hold an election in the United States.

On one side, you have a pants wearing lawyer, married to a lawyer who can't keep his pants on...who just lost a heated primary against another lawyer who goes to the wrong church and is married to yet another lawyer who doesn't even like the county her husband wants to run.

Now .. on the other side, you have a nice old war hero pilot, whose name starts with the appropriate Mc terminology, married to a good looking younger woman who owns a huge beer distributorship.

What in the world are you lads thinking over there in the colonies?

The McCain Op-Ed The New York Times Wouldn’t Publish

http://www.drudgereport.com/flashnym.htm

NYT REJECTS MCCAIN'S EDITORIAL; SHOULD 'MIRROR' OBAMA

Mon Jul 21 2008 12:00:25 ET

An editorial written by Republican presidential hopeful McCain has been rejected by the NEW YORK TIMES -- less than a week after the paper published an essay written by Obama, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

The paper's decision to refuse McCain's direct rebuttal to Obama's 'My Plan for Iraq' has ignited explosive charges of media bias in top Republican circles.

'It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece,' NYT Op-Ed editor David Shipley explained in an email late Friday to McCain's staff. 'I'm not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written.'

MORE

In McCain's submission to the TIMES, he writes of Obama: 'I am dismayed that he never talks about winning the war—only of ending it... if we don't win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president.'

NYT's Shipley advised McCain to try again: 'I'd be pleased, though, to look at another draft.'

[Shipley served in the Clinton Administration from 1995 until 1997 as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Presidential Speechwriter.]

MORE

A top McCain source claims the paper simply does not agree with the senator's Iraq policy, and wants him to change it, not "re-work the draft."

McCain writes in the rejected essay: 'Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. 'I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,' he said on January 10, 2007. 'In fact, I think it will do the reverse.'

MORE

Shipley, who is on vacation this week, explained his decision not to run the editorial.

'The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans.'

Shipley continues: 'It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq.'

Developing...



http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/07/21/the-mccain-op-ed-the-new-york-times-wouldnt-publish/

by FOXNews.com

Monday, July 21, 2008

By Sen. John McCain

In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80 percent to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation now is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on January 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

Now Senator Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted.

Perhaps he is unaware that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.” Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by the benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s new-found willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City — actions that have done much to dispel suspicions of sectarianism.

The success of the surge has not changed Senator Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and a speech this week, he offered his “plan for Iraq” in advance of his first “fact finding” trip to that country in more than three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops at some unspecified point in the future.

Senator Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military’s readiness. The Iraqi Army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not, as Senator Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi Air Force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications, and other complicated functions needed to support frontline troops.

No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his “plan for Iraq.” Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t want to hear what they have to say. During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what Major General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, recently said: that leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”

The danger is that extremists supported by Al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we’ve had too few troops in Iraq. Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.

I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war — only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president. Instead I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic allies.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Did You Know (Iraq)?!

http://www.defenselink.mil/


Did you know that 47 countries' have reestablished their embassies in Iraq ?

Did you know that the Iraqi government currently employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?

Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 new schools are now under construction; and 38 new schools have been completed in Iraq ?

Did you know that Iraq 's higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all currently operating?

Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January 200 5 for the re-established Fulbright program?

Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational? They have 5 - 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment.

Did you know that Iraq ' s Air Force consists of three operational squadrons, Which includes 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft (under Iraqi operational control) which operate day and night, and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 Bell Jet Rangers?

Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion?

Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?

Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers every 8 weeks?

Did you know there are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq ? They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.

Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations?

Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?

Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%?

Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consists of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations?

Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?

Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a televised debate recently?
OF COURSE WE DIDN'T KNOW!

WHY DIDN'T WE KNOW?

BECAUSE OUR MEDIA WON'T TELL US!

Instead of reflecting our love for our country, we get photos of flag burning incidents at Abu Ghraib and people throwing snowballs at the presidential motorcades.

Tragically, the lack of accentuating the positive in Iraq serves two purposes:

It is intended to undermine the world's perception of the United States thus minimizing consequent support; and it is intended to discourage American citizens.

----
Above facts are verifiable on the Department of Defense web site.

Osama Obama...BS

Welcome To The Republican Party!

So, I was talking to this little girl, Catherine, the daughter of some friends, and she said she wanted to be President some day.

Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there with us - and I asked Catherine - "If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?"

Catherine replied - "I would give houses to all the homeless people."

"Wow - what a worthy goal you have there, Catherine." I told her, "You don't have to wait until you're President to do that, you can come over to my house and clean up all the dog poop in my back yard and I will pay you $5 dollars. Then we can go over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $5 dollars to use for a new house."

Catherine thought that over for a second, while her mom looked at me seething, and Catherine replied, "Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and clean up the dog poop; and you can just pay him the $5 dollars?"

And I said, "Welcome to the Republican Party".

CO2 - The Key To Life On Earth!!!

Great article on the mis-founded fears of global warming. Also heard about a new report that says that glaciers on the west coast are building up (Mount Shasta, Mount St Helens, etc). When the radical environmentalists were asked about this phenomenon they responded that although there are many glaciers that are melting there are areas where they are building up. However, they stated there are too many glaciers in the world to monitor and they can't determine the net overall effect. Too many glaciers to monitor? What's the beef about then.

G-8, CO2 And The Garden Of Eden

INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY Posted 7/8/2008

Climate Change: A study on the impact of rising CO2 levels finds a future world of thriving agriculture and lush vegetation. Carbon dioxide, the gas some see as a threat, is indeed the key to life on Earth.

Even as the G-8 Summit announced plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, researchers at the Johann Heinrich von Theunen Institute in Germany find the rise in carbon dioxide levels may in fact be a boon to plant life on Earth.

The Theunen Institute, which has been monitoring the phenomenon since 1999, trained CO2 jets on plants, raising CO2 concentrations in the air around them to 550 parts per million (ppm), significantly higher than today's levels.

The researchers announced on Tuesday that such increased exposure to carbon dioxide appears to boost crop yields.

'Output increased by about 10% for barley, beets and wheat' when the plants were exposed to the higher levels, according to the Institute's Hans-Joachim Weigel.

That the Earth is getting greener due to higher CO2 levels was confirmed recently by satellite data analyzed by scientists Steven Running of the University of Montana and Ramakrishna Nemani of NASA. They found that over a period of almost two decades, the earth's vegetation increased by a whopping 6.2%.

'Higher CO2 enables plants to grow faster and larger and to live in drier climates,' explained Lawrence Solomon in a June 7 article on the Running/Nemani findings in Canada's Financial Post.

'Plants provide food for animals, which are thereby also enhanced. The extent and diversity of plant and animal life have both increased substantially during the past half-century.'

Carbon dioxide has become the poster child for global warming advocates who constantly claim it's the major greenhouse gas. According to Al Gore, each time you exhale while reading this editorial, you have contributed to global warming.

Carbon dioxide is in fact not a pollutant. Rather, it is the basis of all plant, and therefore all animal, life on Earth. So says Dr. Robert Balling, director of the Office of Climatology at Arizona State University, who notes that 'carbon dioxide concentrations were much higher in the past, millions of years ago, when plants evolved around the world.'

'When carbon dioxide levels increase, plants grow faster, bigger, more resistant to any number of stresses, and far mare efficient in their use of water,' Balling says. Hardly the scorched Earth scenario painted by global warm-mongers.

As atmospheric CO2 levels consistently have been increasing, global mean temperatures have not kept pace. Warming has not been constant. In fact, it has been interrupted periodically by — dare we say it? — global cooling, and seems to have stopped entirely in 1998.

These are not the kind of temperature fluctuations you'd expect in the face of steadily increasing CO2 emissions, if CO2 was the main culprit.

Richard Lindzen, of the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, notes that global mean temperatures have risen about 1 degree Fahrenheit over the past century, rising significantly between 1919 and 1940, declining between 1940 and the early 1970s, rising again, and remaining essentially flat since 1998.

As Solomon notes, CO2 levels were five to 10 times higher when dinosaurs roamed the Earth on a fertile planet where lush vegetation sustained those immense beasts. The Earth is cooler now than then, and cooler than it was during the Medieval Warming Period.

In that era, the climate was so warm that Vikings settled Greenland and grew crops there for centuries. When Eric the Red brought settlers to Greenland in 986, the climate supported the Viking way of life based upon cattle, hay, grain and herring for the next 300 years. Was it man-made pollution that allowed 300 years of Nordic settlement in Greenland? We don't think so.

While others worry about the demise of the planet, we're going to sit down and enjoy a nice green salad and take a deep breath.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Iraq's Comment On Obama Visit To Iraq

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080718/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_obama_voices

By The Associated Press
Fri Jul 18, 1:37 PM ET

Some comments from around Iraq on Sen. Barack Obama's expected visit:

"We are worried that he might win the presidency and pull out (American) forces because chaos would prevail in Iraq and militias would return." — Mohammed Abbas, 19, Shiite primary school teacher in southern city of Hillah.

___

"We hope Obama will fulfill his promise of pulling out American forces if he wins the election. If he is sincere with this pledge, we hope he wins." — Hussein Jassim, 35, Shiite laborer in the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City.

___

"I wish God would inspire Obama to do something in the interest of the Iraqi people." — Harith Abdullah, 52, Sunni engineer in Baghdad.

___

"I think that after visiting Iraq, Obama will change his mind about pulling out American troops because the security in Iraq is more stable with the forces here." — Bahra Khalid, 39, Kurdish teacher in northern city of Irbil.

___

"America is like a giant company whose only concern is profit. Obama's visit is for propaganda." — Sami Hassan, 36, Shiite engineer in Baghdad.

___

"The American forces will not withdraw whether Obama wins or not. If they withdraw, that would create a big vacuum and Iran would be the first to fill it." — Ahmed Samih, 55, Sunni official in Ministry of Higher Education in Baghdad.