Monday, July 21, 2008

The Obama Rainbow Tour -- Day 2, Iraq

There you are, I told you so
Makes no difference where she goes
The whole world over just the same
Just listen to them call her name
And who would underestimate the actress now? 

Evita - Rainbow Tour

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was in Iraq on Monday for talks with local leaders and US commanders, after pledging to pull out US troops in 16 months if he takes over the White House next year.

He will meet Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, President Jalal Talabani and senior US military commanders, Iraqi and US officials said.

"Senator Barack Obama arrived in Iraq this morning as part of a Congressional delegation, along with Senators Jack Reed and Chuck Hagel," embassy spokesman Armand Cucciniello said.

Obama's camp has said the aim of his tour is to make an on-the-ground assessment of the war in Iraq and to meet the country's leaders, whom he has criticised for not doing enough to rebuild their country.

"Iraq's leaders have failed to invest tens of billions of dollars in oil revenues in rebuilding their own country, and they have not reached the political accommodation that was the stated purpose of the (US troop) surge," Obama wrote on July 14 in The New York Times.

Obama also confirmed his pledge to declare an end to the Iraq war from the first day of his presidency if he wins in November, and to withdraw most US combat troops within 16 months.

Residents of Baghdad's Sadr City, the stronghold of anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, were sceptical of Obama's plans.

"This proclamation is a mere political stunt," said Abu Ali, 43. "The American policy would not change with the change in the president, especially the military policy which is planned by far-sighted commanders."
Wait, did this guy just call Evi, er um, Obama short sighted?  Even Abu gets it!

All the while our Media Messing Itself in Describing Obama's Trip? and the European press is being excluded -- probably to help control the appearance of being a post nationalist.


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