Obama Leaves War Zone as McCain Attacks Iraq Stance

Sen. Barack Obama's whirlwind world tour took the Democratic contender to Jordan on Tuesday, his first stop since leaving the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"There are all kinds of things that I learned," Obama, D-Ill., said while speaking in the shadow of Jordan's temple of Hercules. "I think one of the things that was most eye-opening was the extent to which the porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan makes it very difficult for our troops, as good as they are, to decisively defeat the Taliban and the terrorist operations in Afghanistan."

But for the most part, Obama said his visits to Afghanistan and Iraq reinforced his confidence in his vision for America's foreign policy. The trip is Obama's first overseas venture since the start of the campaign, and is one of many steps the candidate is likely to take between now and November to prove his ability as a potential commander in chief.

Barack Obama
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The Battle for Iraq

One of the focal points of Obama's trip was his time in Iraq.

The Illinois senator was repeatedly asked about comments he made to ABC News' Terry Moran Monday, in which he acknowledged that the surge succeeded in providing greater security, but that he stands by his original opposition to it.

"We don't know what would have happened if I -- if the plan that I put forward in January 2007, to put more pressure on the Iraqis to arrive at a political reconciliation, to begin a phased withdrawal, what would have happened had we pursued that strategy," Obama said during his Tuesday press conference in Jordan.

Obama argued that if the U.S. ends the war in Iraq "responsibly," leaving Iraq to a sovereign government, its military would be strengthened as well as its efforts against al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

After meeting with some of Al-Anbar's Sunni sheiks, and the American commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus Tuesday morning, Obama acknowledged that, at this point, there was no consensus on his 16-month plan for troop withdrawal.

"If I were in his shoes," Obama said in reference to Petraeus, "I'd probably feel the same way. But my job as a candidate for president and a potential commander in chief extends beyond Iraq."

McCain Fires From Shore

Meanwhile, back home, Sen. John McCain used some of his strongest words yet to criticize Obama's Iraq stance.

"This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage and the judgment to say that I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Sen. Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign," McCain, R-Ariz., told a Rochester, N.H. , town hall crowd.

McCain also attacked his Democratic rival on the surge.

"He was wrong then, he's wrong now, and he still fails to acknowledge -- he still fails to acknowledge that the surge succeeded. Remarkable. Remarkable," McCain said. "He's just received his first briefing ever from Gen. Petraeus. And he declared his policy towards Iraq before he left, before he left."

Obama was asked during a press conference in Amman, Jordan, if voters should give McCain credit for his support for the surge.

"I will leave it to the voters to make that decision. And, you know, my hope is to avoid a colloquy with the McCain campaign over the next four or five days," Obama responded.

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