I am glad to see SOMEONE acknowledging the progress our brave troops have made. For those of you who think it's a good idea to put someone with *no military training and experience whatsoever* in charge of thousands of lives and billions of dollars, please think again. Those who have to live it want good leadership: link here.
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For five years Ali and Mohammed have lived alongside US soldiers in their Baghdad neighbourhood near Rasheed Street, a prominent commercial artery running through the heart of the Iraqi capital.
During that time American culture and politics have become familiar to them, and they say that if they could, they would vote for Republican candidate John McCain in next week's US presidential election.
"McCain would be best for Iraq because he would ensure stability," said Ali, 66, an expert on the Sumerian era.
The personal qualities and political platforms of McCain and his Democrat rival Barack Obama are of little import to Ali, however. His focus is on Iraq and its neighbours such as Iran.
"The Iranians believe that if Obama is elected he will not take action against them despite their nuclear ambitions. That worries me," said Ali, sitting on an old bench in Al-Zahawi coffee shop.
Mohammed, also a professor at the university, said he too preferred McCain "because Obama supports a rapid withdrawal of US troops."
"Our army is still too weak and Turkey and Iran are threats. Iran's President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad has warned Iran would fill the void left when US troops depart," he said.
"I trust the Republicans more. They're more capable of establishing democracy in the world, especially in Arab countries," said the 33-year-old. "Obama is far too left."