Pelosi is something of a nonentity to average Iraqis. If they know who she is at all, she is generally seen as an antiwar caricature figure, someone whose views on U.S. troop withdrawals are widely considered unrealistic. Pelosi has said she wants to see most U.S. troops withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the 2008, a time frame virtually no Iraqi political leader sees as feasible. Not even Mahdi Army militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr, the fiercest advocate of a U.S. withdrawal on the scene, has called for such a rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces. Rather, Sadr contends that the Americans should simply announce a reasonable timetable for the departure of U.S. forces.
The lack of popularity of Pelosi's views was evident in the fact that her first day on the ground Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki did not make an effort to see her. Maliki is currently in the northern city of Mosul overseeing a crackdown on insurgent networks there. But the city has been largely quiet in recent days, and there was no obvious pressing reason for the prime minister to skip Pelosi's arrival.
Pelosi may not get much more warmth from the American military leaders she plans to meet either. Pelosi argued against sending additional surge forces to Iraq, a plan overseen by Gen. David Petraeus that is now widely credited with reducing the levels of violence in Iraq. Moreover, Pelosi made waves on Capitol Hill in November by saying U.S. troops were torturing detainees - an accusation generally not taken well by men and women in uniform of any rank.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Nancy "Abandon, don't Finish the Iraq Project" Pelosi is Poorly received in Iraq...
Madame Speaker was largely ignored by the major elected leaders of Iraq this weekend. This report from Time magazine provides the story. An excerpt: