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Iraq: Not asking the tough questions

L.A. Times' Rainey calls on the media to demand more answers from the candidates on Iraq. "Republicans pretend Sen. Obama can't lead on Iraq because he hasn't banked enough Green Zone photo ops. The Democratic charade is that Sen. McCain, who spent five years in a Vietnamese prison, doesn't care how long young Americans die in the desert. With the primary season over and conditions shifting on the ground in Iraq, it's time for the media to bear down on these would-be commanders in chief with a few tough questions. I called half a dozen of the most thoughtful commentators on Iraq, and they agreed that it's time, to re-mint a phrase, for some 'straight talk.'"

VIDEO: What do the presidential candidates really have to say about Iraq and energy? A Race for the White House panel discusses where candidates stand.

More: "'It drives me crazy,' said retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who led the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq. 'There is no post-surge strategy. We are talking about staying indefinitely. We have not mobilized the country in any real way. And the military is decaying before our eyes.' Batiste wonders why we haven't heard a coherent strategy from McCain or Obama about what happens after 'the surge,' the troop buildup due to expire next month."

And: "If McCain gets credit for supporting the surge, which has helped reduce violence, shouldn't he also be pressed to explain his less prescient moments, such as predicting an easy triumph in Iraq? How, despite his supposedly superior foreign policy credentials, could he have been so wrong? Obama gets credit for opposing a war whose initial goal -- protecting the world from weapons of mass destruction -- turned out to be an illusion. Shouldn't he have to account for opposing the surge, which has enhanced the safety of Iraqis and American GIs?"