Senator John McCain who has been arguing for a continued American presence in Iraq was undoubtedly disturbed by demands of the Iraqi government for quick withdrawal of US troops. Unfortunately, for the Republican candidate, the Iraqi government appears more in tune with the “inexperienced” Obama than the man who claims to be conversant in foreign affairs. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari emphasized the United States must provide a “very clear timeline.” This change in attitude reflects growing confidence among Iraqi leaders they can handle security issues in their nation without American assistance. Zebari told Reuters news agency there has been progress in discussions about withdrawal and “the deal is very close. It is about to be closed.”
A major stumbling block is over US demands for immunity for soldiers if they are charged with violating Iraq law. Other issues pertain to American rights to detain Iraqi civilians and to the entire nature of military operations. Bush for years claimed he wanted Iraq to assert more control over fighting terrorism. Now, they are, and Bush is somewhat unhappy.
Barack Obama is discovering a new constituency in the streets of Iraqi cities as most Iraqis appear to regard him as their favorite in the upcoming presidential election. Mustafa Salah, an office worker worker in Basra, exclaimed with passion, ” I support Obama. I think he is the best thing for Iraq and the world. If McCain wins, I will be devastated.” In a dozen interviews, Iraqi citizens told reporters from the Reuters news agency they much prefer Barack Obama over his opponent John McCain. Hisham Fadhi, a doctor in the northern city of Kirkuk, expressed the view of many when he commented: “He(Obama) is much better than others because he is black and black people were tyrannized in America. I think he will feel our suffering.”
Iraqis most probably are divided over Obama’s plan to withdraw American troops since they are now enjoying a few weeks of peace as the surge has made al-Qaeda forces retreat from many urban areas. Kamiran Mohammed Said, who recently was on a study trip in America noted: “I found Democrats are more peaceful and avoid wars.” But, undoubtedly, many shared the view of Abdul-Mahdi Hadi, a teacher who commented: “For the moment, I’m thinking about getting enough electricity.” First things first.
Posted in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democrats, Iraq, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Iraqis, Obama, troop withdrawal
The government of Iraq has made clear its intention of establishing a clear time line for withdrawal of American troops from their nation. In sharp contrast to the views of President Bush and Senator John McCain, the Iraqi government and American officials have agreed to seek a “general time horizon” for deeper reductions in the size of the US armed force in Iraq. The White House said President Bush and Prime Minister Maliki in a phone conversation agreed that any accord between their nations should include, “a general time horizon for meeting the aspirational goals, such as the resumption of Iraq security control in their cities and provinces and the further reduction of U.S. combat forces from Iraq.”
Bush has vetoed efforts by the Democratic Congress to establish time lines on withdrawal although he now is negotiating with the Iraq government for the same end goals. Admiral Mullen insists things are much better although he hesitates to announce it is time for the complete withdrawal from Iraq. At the same time, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is talking about sending troops currently in Iraq to Afghanistan to deal with that ever worsening situation.
Senator Barack Obama must be smiling as events unroll in Iraq. He has been urging the establishment of a time line only to be ridiculed by Senator McCain. Now, the president is discussing a timeline. One can only wonder if George Bush has decided to brush off John McCain and join the Obama bandwagon. In any respect news of discussing timelines is not good news for John McCain.