What's their primary reason for fearing an Obama presidency? They know it would empower Ahmadinejad's Iran. If the free American electorate can conjure up half the critical-thinking power that these former totalitarian subjects have accumulated in their 5 years of dictator-free politics, they will vote against Obama.
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.
"If the Iranians get the bomb they will become the Tarzan of the region," said the former teacher and lecturer at the University of Baghdad, referring to the vine-swinging strongman of the jungle in old Hollywood movies.
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.
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