Obama stops in Iraq on way home

Rick Moran
Barack Obama made an unannounced stop after Air Force One took off from Turkey. He is visiting Iraq before coming home following his first foreign trip as president:

Obama chose to visit Iraq rather than Afghanistan because of its proximity to Turkey, which Obama just visited, said Robert Gibbs, the president's spokesman.

In addition, Obama wanted to discuss Iraq's political situation with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Iraqi President Jalal Talibani, Gibbs said.

Mostly, however, the stop is about Obama visiting troops, he said.

Obama will meet with Odierno and with members of the U.S. military in Iraq. He will participate in the awarding of 10 medals of valor, Gibbs said.

"Our men and women who are in harm's way, either in Iraq or Afghanistan, deserve our utmost respect and appreciation," Gibbs reportedly told reporters traveling on Air Force One.

No doubt Obama wishes to be seen as caring about American troops. And he will be warmly received in Baghdad where Maliki is anxious to get American troops home for domestic reasons. But both men will also reflect on the realities of withdrawal. Obama's desire for us to leave is running smack against the situation on the ground which, in some areas, is still perilous not to mention some anxiety being shown by Sunnis who cast their lot with us and fear Shia power once we leave.

And what of the troops? The Obama PR people will make sure only troops guaranteed to cheer the president will show up for his public events. But I hope that General Ordinero gives him an earful in private anyway.
No doubt Obama wishes to be seen as caring about American troops. And he will be warmly received in Baghdad where Maliki is anxious to get American troops home for domestic reasons. But both men will also reflect on the realities of withdrawal. Obama's desire for us to leave is running smack against the situation on the ground which, in some areas, is still perilous not to mention some anxiety being shown by Sunnis who cast their lot with us and fear Shia power once we leave.

And what of the troops? The Obama PR people will make sure only troops guaranteed to cheer the president will show up for his public events. But I hope that General Ordinero gives him an earful in private anyway.



Barack Obama made an unannounced stop after Air Force One took off from Turkey. He is visiting Iraq before coming home following his first foreign trip as president:

Obama chose to visit Iraq rather than Afghanistan because of its proximity to Turkey, which Obama just visited, said Robert Gibbs, the president's spokesman.

In addition, Obama wanted to discuss Iraq's political situation with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Iraqi President Jalal Talibani, Gibbs said.

Mostly, however, the stop is about Obama visiting troops, he said.

Obama will meet with Odierno and with members of the U.S. military in Iraq. He will participate in the awarding of 10 medals of valor, Gibbs said.

"Our men and women who are in harm's way, either in Iraq or Afghanistan, deserve our utmost respect and appreciation," Gibbs reportedly told reporters traveling on Air Force One.

No doubt Obama wishes to be seen as caring about American troops. And he will be warmly received in Baghdad where Maliki is anxious to get American troops home for domestic reasons. But both men will also reflect on the realities of withdrawal. Obama's desire for us to leave is running smack against the situation on the ground which, in some areas, is still perilous not to mention some anxiety being shown by Sunnis who cast their lot with us and fear Shia power once we leave.

And what of the troops? The Obama PR people will make sure only troops guaranteed to cheer the president will show up for his public events. But I hope that General Ordinero gives him an earful in private anyway.
No doubt Obama wishes to be seen as caring about American troops. And he will be warmly received in Baghdad where Maliki is anxious to get American troops home for domestic reasons. But both men will also reflect on the realities of withdrawal. Obama's desire for us to leave is running smack against the situation on the ground which, in some areas, is still perilous not to mention some anxiety being shown by Sunnis who cast their lot with us and fear Shia power once we leave.

And what of the troops? The Obama PR people will make sure only troops guaranteed to cheer the president will show up for his public events. But I hope that General Ordinero gives him an earful in private anyway.