House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is in Iraq this weekend on a “surprise” visit to pay “respects to our troops and at the same time learn more about what the situation is on the ground.” Time notes that “in many ways she got a nicer arrival treatment than the last senior female American official to appear in Baghdad,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:
Rice slipped into Iraq in January much the same way Pelosi did today — stealthily, with a terse confirmation by the U.S. embassy offering few details of the agenda. But within hours of Rice’s arrival, TV news was crackling with word of it, and soon thereafter a volley of mortars fell on the Green Zone in an obvious message from Rice’s detractors. No rockets or mortars were heard heading into the Green Zone today as word of Pelosi’s presence hit the Iraqi airwaves in what amounted to a daytime news blip.
Some Iraqi officials, however, did not receive Pelosi, in part due to her advocacy of a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. On her “first day on the ground Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki did not make an effort to see her,” Time adds.