Jonathan Weisman and Jon Cohen of the Washington Post report on a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that finds the country split right down the middle on plans by Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain regarding when the troops can come home. Obama favors one based more on timetables, while McCain favors one based on conditions. Forty-seven percent of the poll's respondents trust McCain to handle the war better, while 45 percent trust Obama, a statistical tie. The public is also evenly divided on whether Obama would be an effective commander in chief, with 48 percent saying he would be effective and 48 percent saying he would not. Seventy-two percent think McCain would make a good commander in chief. When it comes to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, only a narrow majority -- 51 percent -- thinks Afghanistan is worth fighting. (Which is surprising, considering...) The same percentage said the U.S. must prevail in Afghanistan to win the larger war on terror. Only 34 percent believe that about Iraq. When it comes to specific withdrawal plans, 50 percent backed Obama's plan to withdraw troops within 16 months of taking office, but 49 percent back McCain's plan to ... stay in Iraq a lot longer. Among independents, 53 percent oppose Obama's plan. The poll was conducted July 10-13 among a random national sample of 1,119 adults. The margin of error is 3 points.
Lawrence Downes of The New York Times writes of the pain of Pfc. Joseph Dwyer, the Army medic made famous in a 2003 photograph but who killed himself last month.
Christian Science Monitor, USA Today and Wall Street Journal
No original Iraq coverage.