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Obama Arrives in Baghdad

By Sudarsan Raghavan
BAGHDAD, July 21 -- U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama landed in Baghdad Monday morning for a fact-finding mission to discuss Iraq strategy and U.S. troop levels, an issue that has become a cornerstone of debate in the presidential campaign.

Obama was scheduled to meet senior U.S. and Iraqi leaders here, including Gen. David H. Petraeus and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. A U.S. Embassy official provided few details of Obama's tour, citing security concerns.

Obama arrived shortly before 8 a.m., said a U.S. official, as part of a congressional delegation that included Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), both critics of the war. They came after spending two days in Afghanistan and flew in from Kuwait, where they met with Kuwait's emir, Sabah Ahmed al-Sabah, and other senior officials, according to the official Kuwait News Agency.

Obama's visit comes as the debate over U.S. involvement in the Iraq war intensifies, both in the United States and in Iraq. Obama has indicated that he would withdraw U.S. combat troops should he get elected, ending combat operations within 16 months of taking office.

Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, strongly supports the military efforts in Iraq and has sharply criticized Obama's plans.

Over the weekend, Maliki appeared to support Obama's time frame in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel. Since then, the Iraqi government's spokesman has said that his comments were misinterpreted, although the magazine said it stands by its interview. Maliki's aides insisted that he was not injecting himself into the U.S. elections.

By Washington Post Editor  |  July 21, 2008; 3:11 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Comments


Why is Obama campaigning in Iraq and all those other countries? That is reason enough not to vote for him.

Posted by: katherine | July 21, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Who cares. This is just one big fat cheesy photo op. Is he in a position to make any agreements, form policy, enact policy. NO! He hasn't won the general election yet but of course I forget he is being crowned king before the people have spoken.

Posted by: flcracker | July 21, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama could accidentally set a foreign leader on fire and the media would cover for him and report it as a good thing.

Posted by: Jimbo | July 21, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Obama has been right on the major issues of Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan for months now. It is hilarious to watch the Bush/Chaney crowd struggling to catch up with Obama's positions. And how great was it to have both Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki and British PM Brown essentially endorsing Obama 's timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

For all his so-called expertise, McCain was seriously wrong about going in to Iraq and dead wrong about not seeking a swift and secure way to get out.

Obama, with his insight and intellect, easily leads the sorry pack of Republicans.

Obama '08 for a better America!

Posted by: deedee | July 21, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Go do some study and get back to us when you have a clue what you are talking about.

++++++
Obama has indicated he will withdraw combat troops from Iraq; Maliki wants them out of Iraq: So, Obama will move them to Afganistan (sp). Murder, is murder no matter where it is committed. I have no candidate; and I will have no president.

Posted by: linda | July 21, 2008 12:06 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama has indicated he will withdraw combat troops from Iraq; Maliki wants them out of Iraq: So, Obama will move them to Afganistan (sp). Murder, is murder no matter where it is committed. I have no candidate; and I will have no president.

Posted by: linda | July 21, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

This article neglected the fact that Obama has already healed thousands in just his first couple of hour in Iraq.
Posted by: Zowie | July 21, 2008 7:48 AM
---------
Seing the faces of our service members so happy to see Barack and to make to three pointers left their spirit even just for one day is enough for me. I don't care what McCain's rag about obama. Obama will be my president come November.

Posted by: bigben1986 | July 21, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse


When it comes to grasping for straws that is about as far a reach as you can make. Don't fall off your chair.

========

Obama the outsider has all the answers, courage and conviction. Problem is, as he gets closer to the nomination, his views seem to become more centrist, less courageous and more malleable. His supporters don't see this as "flip-flopping", but rather a necessary and planned trek that all politicians make in order to appeal to independents. So now we are left wondering whether the Obama, the fiery charismatic anti-war leader, or the new white-bread, Republican sounding, pragmatic - which one is real. Courage and conviction don't sound like characteristics that one can don when it is advantageous, only to shed later when they've outlived their usefulness. Karl Rove has passed the torch to Axelrod, and Barack Obama is the new George Bush.

Posted by: David | July 21, 2008 10:23 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama the outsider has all the answers, courage and conviction. Problem is, as he gets closer to the nomination, his views seem to become more centrist, less courageous and more malleable. His supporters don't see this as "flip-flopping", but rather a necessary and planned trek that all politicians make in order to appeal to independents. So now we are left wondering whether the Obama, the fiery charismatic anti-war leader, or the new white-bread, Republican sounding, pragmatic - which one is real. Courage and conviction don't sound like characteristics that one can don when it is advantageous, only to shed later when they've outlived their usefulness. Karl Rove has passed the torch to Axelrod, and Barack Obama is the new George Bush.

Posted by: David | July 21, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Obama has a staff of advisors and has had for the last year, who are some of the best and smartest people and experts on a variety of subjects. Obamas staff, are and this is a fact, better then the presidents. I recently saw an interview with one of the foremost experts on middle east politics on the Charlie Rose show and after them discussion his latest Rose asked what was next for him. He answered he was working for senator Obama as an advisor. Rose said how interesting, when did this begin. He said he had been working with Obama for a year.

I will repeat myself. Obama may already have a more knowledgeable and qualified staff then the president does and has for a long time. Obama is a brilliant man and is not playing this by ear. He is already on the case in all areas. That is why as Mccain says, "How can he make policy when he hasn't even been there yet". He really doesn't have to be there he already knows what is going on as well as Mccain or the president. We don't really know who Obama talks to in Iraq.


+++++++
I don't think OBAMA has to play catch up.
The so call experienced Bush and Mccain seems they are the ones to play catch up, since everything Obama has said seems to be right.We need to get our troops out of Iraq. Obama has been saying since day one.Bush and Mcsame wants to stay.Maliki says no. We need to take the fight to Afganastan and Pakistana border. Bush and Mcsame said no, now they are flipping on that.They are ready to send 3 brigades to Afganastan. They should just let OBAMA tell them what to do.After all he has been right from the beginning.

Posted by: tygirl | July 21, 2008 9:33 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Obama has a staff of advisors and has had for the last year, who are some of the best and smartest people and experts on a variety of subjects. Obamas staff, are and this is a fact, better then the presidents. I recently saw an interview with one of the foremost experts on middle east politics on the Charlie Rose show and after them discussion his latest Rose asked what was next for him. He answered he was working for senator Obama as an advisor. Rose said how interesting, when did this begin. He said he had been working with Obama for a year.

I will repeat myself. Obama may already have a more knowledgeable and qualified staff then the president does and has for a long time. Obama is a brilliant man and is not playing this by ear. He is already on the case in all areas. That is why as Mccain says, "How can he make policy when he hasn't even been there yet". He really doesn't have to be there he already knows what is going on as well as Mccain or the president. We don't really know who Obama talks to in Iraq.


+++++++
I don't think OBAMA has to play catch up.
The so call experienced Bush and Mccain seems they are the ones to play catch up, since everything Obama has said seems to be right.We need to get our troops out of Iraq. Obama has been saying since day one.Bush and Mcsame wants to stay.Maliki says no. We need to take the fight to Afganastan and Pakistana border. Bush and Mcsame said no, now they are flipping on that.They are ready to send 3 brigades to Afganastan. They should just let OBAMA tell them what to do.After all he has been right from the beginning.

Posted by: tygirl | July 21, 2008 9:33 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't think OBAMA has to play catch up.
The so call experienced Bush and Mccain seems they are the ones to play catch up, since everything Obama has said seems to be right.We need to get our troops out of Iraq. Obama has been saying since day one.Bush and Mcsame wants to stay.Maliki says no. We need to take the fight to Afganastan and Pakistana border. Bush and Mcsame said no, now they are flipping on that.They are ready to send 3 brigades to Afganastan. They should just let OBAMA tell them what to do.After all he has been right from the beginning.

Posted by: tygirl | July 21, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm lovin' it. This political news cycle week will feature pictures of Obama eating and speaking with troops, commanders, and political leaders while McCain's picture of him eating hotdogs at the NY Yankees game alongside Giuliani as Giuliani "slams" Obama will provide Americans a dramatic contrast about who is serious about being president.

Obama in 08!

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 21, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

The Press, the McCain camp, the White House, everyone EXCEPT for the "inexperienced" Obama camp is playing catch up. Watch and learn.

Posted by: Cornfields | July 21, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Future Iraqi Gov't official are being trained to be U.S lackies. They dont understand that there will be a NEW U.S President in the White House. U.S politics abroad and policies will be different. When we fight to protect the U.S, it will be for that reason NOT underlying reasons such as OIL, OIL, OIL, and more OIL. Barack Obama will lead the U.S back to it true status as a world leader. He will be aggressive in protecting our interests and way of life, but not at any expense as George Bush did (and failed).

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

This article neglected the fact that Obama has already healed thousands in just his first couple of hour in Iraq.

Posted by: Zowie | July 21, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I love how Maliki didn't back away from his comments until our embassy gave him a phone call and asked him to "explain" his answers.

Posted by: Dan in Denver | July 21, 2008 3:49 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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