Presidential Candidates Address VFW Convention

Senator Hillary Clinton tells the VFW that new military tactics in Iraq are working but the best way to honor soldiers is "by beginning to bring them home.''

Speaking at VFW national convention in Kansas City, the Democratic presidential front-runner praised the work that soldiers have done in Iraq. But she described the Iraqi government as "on vacation'' as American troops are caught in the middle of a sectarian war.

General David Petraeus followed Clinton and said that in some areas, partnership between coalition forces and Iraqi soldiers are "quite robust.'' He noted that Iraqi losses have been three times as high as those suffered by the U.S.-led coalition.

Petraeus said that coalition and Iraqi forces are making progress against al-Qaida insurgents and Shia militia with links to Iran.

Republican Senator and presidential hopeful John McCain had a different message for his fellow veterans. In his speech late this morning, McCain said withdrawing from Iraq would be a historic mistake far worse than previous U.S. missteps in Iraq.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and fmr. Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN) will both speak tomorrow ahead of President George W. Bush who will visit the VFW on Wednesday. You can watch all the speeches live on

The hall where Clinton and others were speaking can seat 6,000 people, but Clinton drew about half that for late-morning speech. The crowd was mostly friendly, at times drawing polite applause.

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