July 21, 2008
Barack Obama arrived in Baghdad's green zone for a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Malaki. The two did not discuss a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops, but he 'did' talk about that with Iraq's Vice President.
"Definitely there is a common interest for the time being that we have to schedule for the withdrawal of the American troops," said Iraqi Vice President, Tariq Al-Hashimi.
An Iraqi Government spokesman says, if conditions allow, he hopes to see American combat forces pull out by 2010, a timeline that is similar to the one proposed by Obama.
This is Obama's first visit to Iraq in two years, he hopes it will beef up his foreign policy credentials. Republicans have blasted Obama for only having visited Iraq a couple of times, while their candidate has made numerous trips to the war torn country.
Obama opposed the invasion of Iraq, and the so-called troop surge, while John McCain supported both, and he now argues that Obama will discover in Iraq that McCain was right.
"If we would have done what Obama wanted us to do, we would have lost, and we would have had a wider war," said McCain.
McCain backed the president's surge at that time when the Iraq war was hugely unpopular. Obama is hoping his trips to Iraq and Afghanistan will convince voters he has what it takes to be Commander in Chief.