April 7, 2009

Obama visits Iraq

POLITICS - United States President Barack Obama flew into Iraq today for a brief look at a war he opposed as a candidate and now vows to end as commander in chief. It was Obama's third trip to Iraq, but his first as president.

Obama flew into the country hours after a car bomb exploded in a Shiite neighbourhood of the capital city, a deadly reminder of the violence that has claimed the lives at least 4,266 members of the United States military and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis since March 2003.

Obama's visit came at the conclusion of a long overseas 8-day trip that included economic and NATO summits in Europe and two days in Turkey. Shortly before leaving Turkey, Obama talked about Iraq as an example of the change he seeks in policies inherited from former president George W. Bush.

"Moving the ship of state takes time," Obama told a group of students in Istanbul. He noted his long-standing opposition to the war, yet said, "now that we're there," the U.S. troop withdrawal has to be done "in a careful enough way that we don't see a collapse into violence."

Violence in Iraq has actually dropped recently, down to approx. half of what it was 4 years ago at the height of Iraqi civil war. U.S. troop casualties are also down sharply from the war's height, despite constant reminders of violence. Yesterday a half-dozen bombs rocked Shiite neighbourhoods, killing 37 people, a reminder that Sunni and Shiite sects are still in a civil war.

In office only 11 weeks, Obama has already announced plans to withdraw most U.S. combat troops on a 19-month timetable (and fulfilling his campaign promise). As many as 50,000 troops are expected to remain in the country at the end of the 19 months to perform counterterrorism duties, and the USA will keeping military bases in Iraq for future decades, just like they maintain troops and training camps in South Korea, Germany and Japan.

Obama is also appealing with limited success for additional assistance in Afghanistan, a war he has vowed to finish properly with the dissolution of Al-qaeda.

The president flew into Baghdad, and was spending his day at Camp Victory, where he arranged to speak to some of the 140,000 U.S. troops stationed in the country. Obama was cheered for by the ecstatic troops and awarded medals to several troops.

In related news, new video of the North Korean missile launch has been released. See North Korea launches Missile over Japan.

Today South Korean news agencies criticized Obama for not taking North Korea's nuclear/missile capabilities more seriously, saying the Obama administration should be more worried about North Korea than Iran. Iran has purchased missile technology from both China and Russia in recent years and has been seeking to expand its nuclear arsenal.

Obama has promised a stern response to both North Korea's recent missile launch and Iran's continued defiance and uranium enrichment program.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments containing links will be marked as spam and not approved. We moderate every comment. If you want to advertise on this blog it is $30 per link.

Affordable Website Design & SEO

Looking for a quality professional website designer? Why not go where the smart money is?! Toronto Website Design and Toronto SEO. Get free SEO advice from people who really know the business.

Featured Posts

The Sarcasm Symbol
Ever had some confusion online or with your cellphone when someone fails to catch the sarcasm? Well now with the SarcMark you can ge...
Behold, the Scorpion Hydrogen Supercar
CARS - To the right is the future of supercars... it is a hydrogen supercar called the Scorpion. The Scorpion from Ronn Motors in Texas is t...
Documents show Stephen Harper misusing public funds
CANADA - According to 950+ pages of documents obtained by the Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act the Privy Coun...
Pink's Rosie the Riveter
ENTERTAINMENT - What I like about this video is how it meshes different social movements like feminism, veganism, anti-capitalism...
California's Dustbowl
ENVIRONMENT - The photo on the right is a farm in California that has been put up for sale. Its just one of thousands of farms that are n...
Is Steampunk the New Goth???
GOTHIC - Watch out what you see on the subway late at night because while in 2001 you might have seen some pretty freakish goths, by 20...
Do you have enough Ice Water in your diet?
HEALTH - A Calorie (large C) is a measurement of the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of a litre of water (1 kg's worth) ...
North Korean timeline towards Inevitable War
POLITICS - The following is timeline of events that have occurred on the Korean Peninsula. 1945 - Japan surrenders to the United States a...
Judgment Day is Tomorrow, so sayeth Cult
RELIGION - According to a cult based in California, Judgement Day is tomorrow (May 21st 2011) and Jesus Christ will return to the Earth a...
Sex in Space Forbidden
SEX/TECHNOLOGY - Sex in outer space is a big no-no according to NASA. Not for professional astronauts at least, but the growing numb...

Popular Posts