As the Iraq war’s fifth anniversary approaches, Vice President Dick Cheney arrived in Baghdad today on an unannounced trip to meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Gen. David Petraeus, and Amb. Ryan Crocker. Cheney said he seeks to reaffirm “the unwavering commitment” of the U.S. in Iraq.
“He’s got enormous credibility there, and is able to say to them in words of one syllable that they need to get their act together,” John Bolton, the former UN ambassador, said.
Of course Bolton offered no evidence of any such “credibility.” In fact, some Iraqis have expressed displeasure at the possibility of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) winning the White House because of his oft-stated position that he’ll carry on the Bush/Cheney war in Iraq. The New York Times reports:
“If the Republicans win the election, then nothing will really change in Iraq, and we need a big change to kick the occupiers out of the country,” said Abu Mohammed, a 30-year-old barbershop owner in Samarra, north of Baghdad. “I would like to show him the schools and hospitals and how the children and women suffer.”
Another Samarra shop owner, 52-year-old Hamid Saleh, said he wanted the Republicans to lose the election. “All I want is someone who works to fix my country, and not destroy it,” he said.
Indeed, that sentiment mirrors the results of an ABC/BBC/ARD/NHK poll released today. While the poll results suggest a “flicker of optimism” in the war-torn country, it also found that Iraqis oppose the U.S. presence in Iraq while a majority said Bush’s “surge” has “made overall security worse“:
— 72 percent strongly or somewhat oppose the presence of Coalition forces in Iraq.
— 61 percent believe the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq is making the security situation worse.
The reality is that Cheney, Bolton, Bush, McCain and the rest of those who support a continued and indefinite U.S. war in Iraq have zero credibility.