Updated info from CNN:

President Obama stopped in Iraq on Tuesday, after visiting Turkey where he addressed parliament Monday.

The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno, met Obama shortly after Air Force One landed in Baghdad about 4:42 p.m. local time (9:42 a.m. ET).

Obama chose to visit Iraq rather than Afghanistan because of its proximity to Turkey, which Obama just visited, said Robert Gibbs, the president’s spokesman.

In addition, Obama wanted to discuss Iraq’s political situation with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Iraqi President Jalal Talibani, Gibbs said.

Mostly, however, the stop is about Obama visiting troops, he said.

Obama will meet with Odierno and with members of the U.S. military in Iraq. He will participate in the awarding of 10 medals of valor, Gibbs said.

“Our men and women who are in harm’s way, either in Iraq or Afghanistan, deserve our utmost respect and appreciation,” Gibbs reportedly told reporters traveling on Air Force One.

Chip Reid on MSNBC just gave a phone report that due to a sandstorm, the President was not travelling by helicopter- but by motorcade.

Per Jim Miklawzewski, President Obama first arrived at Baghdad International Airport outside the city. Earlier there was some incident with a unrelated car bombing elsewhere in the capital.

The President, who landed a few minutes ago, will be speaking with Iraqi leaders by telephone and is meeting with troops at Camp Victory.


This from Freep.com:

BAGHDAD – On a trip shrouded in secrecy, President Barack Obama flew into Iraq on today for a brief look at a war he opposed as a candidate and now vows to end as commander in chief.

Obama flew into the country hours after a car bomb exploded in a Shiite neighborhood of the capital city, a deadly reminder of the violence that has claimed the lives at least 4,266 members of the U.S. military since March 2003.

(kudos to my husband, who predicted this stop 2 days ago… not gonna live this one down for awhile!)




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