Obama says he’ll visit Iraq, Afghanistan

The presumptive Democratic nominee, who's been criticized by Republicans for not visiting Iraq recently, said Monday that he wants to go to both before Election Day.

Topics: Afghanistan, 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, War Room, Iraq, Middle East,

It’s been a while since Barack Obama has been to Iraq — as of this post, in fact, it’s been roughly 890 days and 15 hours. The Republican National Committee is counting, and is using its clock against the presumptive Democratic nominee. On Monday, though, Obama said he wants to visit both Iraq and Afghanistan before Election Day rolls around in November.

Obama made the statement when talking to reporters in Michigan on Monday, as he was discussing a telephone conversation he had Monday morning with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. “I told him that I look forward to seeing him in Baghdad,” Obama said.

Obama also said that he gave Zebari “an assurance that should we be elected, an Obama administration will make sure that we continue with the progress that’s been made in Iraq — that we won’t act precipitously, but that we will move to end U.S. combat forces in Iraq… My concern is that the Bush administration, in a weakened state politically, ends up trying to rush an agreement that in some ways might be binding to the next administration, whether it’s my administration or Senator McCain’s administration. The foreign minister agreed that the next administration should not be bound by an agreement that’s currently made.”

There’s been no specific timetable announced for the visits.



Earlier this year, presumptive Republican nominee John McCain had asked Obama to go to Iraq with him. Obama rejected the idea, which seems unfeasible because of security concerns anyway. There’s also the question of just how valuable these visits are in judging the situation on the ground, as Republicans say they are, since any visit would have to be tightly controlled. CNN’s Michael Ware, a veteran Iraq reporter respected for his objectivity on the war, has quipped, “I mean Senator McCain has been here, what, more than half a dozen times. And we’ve seen him get assessments of Iraq terribly wrong.”

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>