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McCain's Thanksgiving in Iraq

Sen. John McCain, seen here greeting troops earlier this month, is making his seventh visit to Iraq. (AP).

Since the question of how to wage the war in Iraq has dominated Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign, it seems only fitting that he spent the Thanksgiving holiday with U.S. troops in Anbar and Baghdad.
McCain, along with Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) arrived in Iraq yesterday and continued touring the country today.

This week marks McCain's seventh Iraq trip in the past year: he and other senators spent Thanksgiving day with troops in Anbar and Baghdad eating a meal of turkey, white bread and lobster, according to his spokeswoman Melissa Shuffield.

The group of lawmakers met yesterday with General David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker for a briefing on "new developments and progress in the region," she added, and today they are meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Vice President Adel Abdulmahdi -- along with Iraqi police, Iraqi security forces and constituents -- in Kirkuk.

"Senator McCain, like everyone, continues to hope for more political reconciliation and has been encouraged by recent signs of progress on the ground," Shuffield wrote in an email.

While McCain did not issue a formal statement in Iraq, it won't take long for voters to learn what he picked up on his trip: the Arizona senator returns home tomorrow, and will appear as a guest on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" on Sunday.

--Juliet Eilperin

By Post Editor  |  November 23, 2007; 2:15 PM ET
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Let's face it folks. This war in the Middle East is about oil. Since the 1970s, with the creation of OPEC, most of the world set forth to free themselves from the Middle East influence. South America now employes alternative fuels, Europe employes alternative fuels as well as Russian oil. China is now drilling its own oil which estimates that in 8 years they will be sufficient to propel their industries ahead. Ah - but the US and Great Britain, and the British Commonwealth in general - still tinker and manipulate in the Middle East - living the grand life of luxury in Dubai. Meanwhile, the people of the US and Great Britain maintain the viability of their outsourced oil endeavors in the Middle East by paying out vast oil subsidies to their national oil companies in order to continue their oil exploration and drilling not in their respective countries but outside where labor is cheap and where BIG OIL can buy off the government in order to gain control of the nation. The issue defined in the Middle East is about profits, pure and simple. OPEC was once a cartel of privately owned companies. Now, since the 1980s, Iran, Venezuela, Libya have defaulted and nationalized their oil, thus the battle is between privately owned oil vs state owned oil.

Posted by: Truman_Plan | November 25, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I wonder who paid for this political photo-op - the taxpayers or out of his own pocket?

What the Presidential Candidates should address is the real problems impacting on the United States, rather than this Hollywood stump of "being one of the Band of Brothers", which McCain is trying to secure - the political votes of the military.

To really support the troops is resolving the vast issues that face this nation.

1) Our reliance on Middle Eastern oil which has forced our military into a godless bloody war, and to unintentially support the "Beduin-ism", or "Dubai-ism" of US corporate policy and impact (power without borders or nationalism). US Subsidies should beneift the people, not a handful of corporate elites. 2) corruption in our political parties. 3) Propaganda within politics or as the Republicans think, "Drive, drive, drive the message but refuse to sink to the details". 4) Power to the people rather than power to a select few. 5) The lawyer-ism of our Congress - the people are tired of a House and Senate that is dominated by lawyers, for what does a lawyer do best - argue. And we wonder why our parties are bitterly divided and polarized? When Congress acts like a court-room with the President as the judge - wow - this nation is in touble.

Its We the People who have power, not a handful of political and corporate ambitionists. The problem with Republicans is that they truly believe that most Americans are dumb. On the other hand, most Americans think politicians are dumb.

Once this is resolved, then and only then can we truly support our troops.

"I don't give the Republicans hell, I tell the truth. The Republicans think that is hell..." Harry Truman

Posted by: Truman_Plan | November 25, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I don't agree with John McCain on many issues, but I give him props for spending Thanksgiving in Iraq. Yes, it is good for his presidential campaign, but based on what I have observed from him, I can't see a boost in the polls as being his primary motivation.

Republicans have been pointing to the security improvement as a sign that the surge is working. But I thought the purpose of the surge was to create breathing space for political change.

Posted by: psychodrew | November 25, 2007 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Ole McCain is at it again. His seventh photo-op in Iraq! How much is his security coverage costing the taxpayer this time? Is he going to go visit a market again surrounded by an entire battalion and 100 helicopters and declare Baghdad a peaceful place? Or is he just going to sit down with the soldiers that he enthusiastically sent to be butchered in the hellhole of Iraq? McCain is a creep. And a costly one at that.

If anyone thinks that McCain is showing his mug in Iraq to "try to understand the issues" (what's there to understand anyway?), I have a lovely piece of beachfroint property to sell you, right there in Arizona.

Posted by: Gatsby1 | November 25, 2007 3:47 AM | Report abuse

But you're not one of the troops in Iraq now are you, lonewolf? Had you been there like I have you wouldn't presume to speak for them, the vast majority of whom don't want to leave in defeat. Those who cannot acknowledge the successes we're now having there are, ironically, in as much a state of denial as Bush was when he couldn't see the failures there four years ago. McCain has been right in both timeframes.
Regardless of your view of him, shouldn't you war opponents be HAPPY that we're finally making progress? It's almost as if you want the US to fail. Odd.

Posted by: spicyolive | November 24, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

ah yes, a grand tour of the iraq debacle by none other than the "ONE FINGER ON THE NUCLEAR BUTTON CLUB". the warmongering group of travelling politicos who bomb the most of the middle east outside of isreal and turkey back into the stone-age. i know one thing for sure, if i was one of the troops in iraq and i saw john mccain coming, i would begin planning on speding a lot thankgivings there. because i would realize that i might never, ever be coming home!

Posted by: wa_idaho_lonewolf | November 23, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of what you think of his position on the War, you have to admit that he puts the time in to understand the issues and always makes a well informed decision.

I admire his passion too. I wouldn't mind him as president--you can rest assured he would do everything in his power to make the country a better place. In my mind, McCain exemplifies what a Public Servant should be. I'm sure the troops he visited felt the same way.

I'm a little disappointed that Lieberman was the only Democrat to visit. Visiting the troops and meeting with leaders on the ground should not be a political thing. Both sides should want to understand how best to proceed in this critical time. I'll give the Dem's the benefit of the doubt for now though, and assume they are planning a Christmas visit.

Posted by: HokiePaul | November 23, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

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