Iraqis want Obama for change; some fear pullout plan

Iraqis, blaming President George Bush for the chaos in their country since the fall of Saddam Hussein, would welcome Democrat Barack Obama's election on Tuesday for the change it would bring, although doubts remain about his plans for pulling out US troops, dpa reported.

A dozen Iraqis interviewed by the Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa on the streets of Baghdad said they hoped for a departure from Bush's policies and hoped Obama could improve their lives even if they aren't familiar with the details of his policies toward the country, where more than 140,000 US troops are stationed.

Even in Baghdad, Iraq's capital, electricity is only on 10 hours per day, a daily reminder of the failure of the US presence in Iraq to improve the daily life of its citizens.

"We hope that Obama will be more committed to solving Iraq's problems and arranging the situation in Iraq in a new way," said Samia Mohammed Ali al-Nouami, 52, a retired government employee.

Amged Said, a Baghdad taxi driver, blamed Bush for the sectarian tension in Iraq, which he said didn't exist before the invasion. The Bush administration made Iraq "vulnerable to foreign occupation," he said.

But many Iraqis said they feared a withdrawal of US troops. Republican John McCain has said he opposes any deadline for withdrawing US troops from Iraq. Obama has said he would like to see US combat troops leave Iraq by mid-2010, although his stance has softened as the election campaign wore on.

But at the same time, lessening violence could make Obama's vision of a gradual withdrawal more acceptable.

"We are still in a great need for the American troops in Iraq and any sudden pull of troops will lead the country to a civil war," said Wessam Rashid, 28, a teacher.

"Different political groups are willing to fight vicious battles to get to power," he said, referring to killings and death threats against Christians in Mosul, which drove thousands of Christians to flee in October.

Some Iraqis see the US as a mediator between its factions, protecting minorities from aggression by the majority groups, and see Bush's policy towards the country improving.

"Any change in the direction of American policy towards Iraq will create chaos, especially because Bush's policies had become more objective over the past year which was positively reflected on the security situation in Iraq," said Hamid Fadel, assistant chairman of the political science department in Baghdad University.

Security in Iraq has improved toward the end of Bush's term after the US began to cooperate with Sunni sheikhs against al-Qaeda.

But even with recent improvements, Iraqis dislike Bush so much that they would welcome any change.

"Although Bush did Iraqis a favor of toppling Saddam Hussein, he also brought the country backwards after the invasion," he said. "Occupation is a thing that most Iraqis can't stand or tolerate."

As violence drops, the goals for Iraq's cabinet are becoming more in agreement with Obama's vision for Iraq, said Tariq Harb, president of Iraq's Organization for Legal Knowledge.

"I think the government of Iraq, in its current dealings with the long-term security pact, is more in line now with Obama's program," he said.

Iraq may even be waiting to sign the status of forces agreement, which governs the presence of US troops in the country, until after the presidential election, he said.

Obama's popularity is also boosted in Iraq by a historical preference for Democrats, Iraqis said.

Samia al-Nouami, the retired government employee, said she thought Democrats had dealt wisely with foreign policy, especially toward Iraq, and that Republicans had a "violent and aggressive foreign policy."

Fadel echoed her thoughts, saying: "Republicans put a heavy weight on the country's foreign policy as opposed to the Democrats who focus on the US internal affairs."

Iraqis remember Democratic presidents such as Jimmy Carter, who during his term oversaw the signing of a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, and Bill Clinton, who oversaw an oil-for-food programme under which Iraq enjoyed an improvement in its economic situation.

After years of war, a lawyer in power rather than a former military man would give more hope to Iraqis, Harb said.

"I would chant 'Obama, Obama' because he is a lawyer concerned with the Iraqi case, unlike McCain (who is) a military man who supports the politics of occupation," he said.

Uzbekistan boosts jewelry import from Turkey
Uzbekistan boosts jewelry import from Turkey
Russian businessmen intend to expand their activities in Azerbaijan
Russian businessmen intend to expand their activities in Azerbaijan
Turkish export of jewelry to Kyrgyzstan decreases
Turkish export of jewelry to Kyrgyzstan decreases
Loading Bars
Latest
Volume of investments to be made to Iran's Khuzestan Province growing
Auto sales drop on Georgian market
Gasoline demand to decline from 2030
Volume of cargo freight via Azerbaijani ports continues to grow
Turkmenistan forecasts total revenues, expenditures of country's financial plan for 2021
EBRD supports refurbishment of wastewater facilities in Kazakhstan's Shymkent
COVID-19 may accelerate downward trends in oil consumption of developed economies
Uzbekistan boosts jewelry import from Turkey
Azerbaijani Central Bank unveils amount of foreign currency sold to local banks
Oil demand has yet to peak for two key reasons
Karabakh conflict should be settled on issues of boundary lines, sovereignty issues - US Ambassador to NATO
Armenians fire at Azerbaijan’s Gabala and Kurdamir cities by using Elbrus ballistic missiles (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan-Russia strategic partnership to reach high level
'NATO not part of Karabakh conflict', Stoltenberg tells Armenia
Azerbaijan shows video footage of captured military equipment of Armenian Armed Forces (VIDEO)
Gold, silver prices in Azerbaijan down
Armenian servicemen refusing to fight, says Azerbaijani MoD
National Bank of Georgia talks about 3 key challenges in financial sector
Armenia must leave occupied Azerbaijani lands, says Turkish president's aide
Uzbekistan to increase electricity supply to Afghanistan
Civilian wounded from Armenian Armed Forces' missile attack on Azerbaijan's Gabala
Turkmenistan to take measures to increase volume of domestic production
Russian businessmen intend to expand their activities in Azerbaijan
Georgia's gov't places funds on term deposits at commercial banks
Turkish export of jewelry to Kyrgyzstan decreases
Gold producing plant to introduce environment preserving technology in Kazakhstan's Zhambyl
Pashinyan's Facebook post on "shortcut to victory" ridiculed by Arab readers (PHOTOS)
Mineral reserves of deoccupied Azerbaijani territories will be recalculated - MENR
Deeper recession averted in Azerbaijan, says CBA chairman
Uzbekistan, India in talks over bilateral co-op in healthcare sphere
Pashinyan's statement on absence of diplomatic settlement for Karabakh conflict reveals Armenia's intentions
Azerbaijan's exports to Russia climbs
Turkmenistan plans to attract investment for lending to industries
Kazakhstan’s oil producing company opens tender to buy spares
Kazakhstan's coal extracting venture to buy pumps via tender
Uzbekistan's foreign trade turnover decrease for 9M2020
COVID-19 cases exceed 22,500 in Georgia
Azerbaijani Access Bank's total assets up
SOCAR starts gas supplies to Turkey’s major tourist destination
Azerbaijani MFA comments on Armenian prime minister saying there is no diplomatic solution to Krabakh conflict
Former Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina appears in popular TV programs to discuss situation in Nagorno-Karabakh
Value of jewelry exports from Turkey to Kazakhstan rise
LUKOIL actively working on production of hard-to-recover reserves
Iran Khodro Automaker Company increases its manufacturing
Citrus harvest begins in Georgian Adjara
Italy hikes import of jewelry from Turkey in September 2020
Missiles fired at Gabala launched from Gafan and Jermuk regions of Armenia, says assistant to Azerbaijani president (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan starts repairing sub-artesian wells in liberated lands
Ministry of Defense Industry continues production of combat UAVs for Azerbaijani army (PHOTO)
LUKOIL to apply integrated management technology in over 80 fields
Volume of exported isogam construction product from Turkmenistan revealed
IMF talks about Georgia's economic growth prospects
Azerbaijani oil prices decline
Update on implementation of gas processing project in Uzbekistan’s Gazli
Amazon announces $100 million logistics investment in Mexico
Azerbaijan's relations with Russia in agro-industrial complex entering new dev't stage
British Airways-owner IAG reports 1.3 billion euro loss in third quarter
Low-cost air company Ryanair not to commence flights in Georgia
Armenian ban on import of Turkish goods not to impact Turkey's economy, says Turkish government
President Ilham Aliyev receives Turkish Chief Ombudsman (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan's state budget expenditures for 9M2020 published
Gold production surges in Kazakhstan year-on-year
Georgia removed from list of safe countries
Armenia continues its War Crimes against civilians - Azerbaijani top official
Turkmenistan's Turkmenbashi Oil Refineries working to increase volume, types of products
The Islamic Development Bank and The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation hold a webinar on AgriTech & Digital Supply Chain
Iran’s CBI reveals amount of currency sold to exchange offices
Israel's nine-month import of jewelry from Turkey down
Third session of the Joint Committee on Cooperation between Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates was held
Moody’s Affirms ICIEC Aa3 Insurance Financial Strength Rating (IFSR) with Stable Outlook for the 13th Consecutive Year
Trade services take largest share of market services provided in Uzbekistan
Cars with slogans 'Karabakh is Azerbaijan' on London streets (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iranian currency rates for October 22
Armenian Armed Forces firing at Azerbaijani positions in Fuzuli district
Sporting events dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan and the 75th anniversary of the United Nations
Turkmenistan, UAE consider possibility of using sea transport to promote trade, economic ties
Iran Dairy Industries Company boosts its exports
Azerbaijani currency rates for Oct. 22
Volunteers in Armenian army fled leaving fire positions - MoD
Trying to integrate into Europe, Pashinyan turns its back on Moscow, says Azerbaijani MP
Armenian Armed Forces fired ballistic missiles at Azerbaijan's Siyazan, Gabala and Kurdamir - MoD
Uzbekistan reveals 119 more COVID-19 cases
Iran offers new incentives to exporters
Iran to offer privately generated electricity via stock exchange
Iran welcomes Pakistani investment in Chabahar
Iran to decide on bartering the goods and foreign exchange supply
Iran announces readiness to commit its JCPOA commitments
Defense Ministry talks heavy losses of Armenian Armed Forces in Azerbaijan's Agdere
Armenian armed forces exposed to heavy casualties - Azerbaijani MoD
Kazakhstan plans to develop basic elements of ICT architecture of subsurface use
Azerbaijani, Turkish FMs hold phone talk
"Letter to soldier" project held for personnel of Azerbaijani Armed Forces participating in battles
Azerbaijan liberates its territories from occupation by successful operation, says ambassador of Pakistan
Realizing army's incompetence, Pashinyan calls on civilian population to take up arms
Iran, Kazakhstan hold joint consular meeting
Kazakhstan adds 141 new daily COVID-19 cases
France's COVID-19 cases top 1 million
15 illegal immigrants die off Libyan coast
Facebook launches dating service in Europe
Brazil's COVID-19 death toll tops 155,000
All news