So said “a financial market worker from Baghdad’s southern suburbs,” in an intriguing indication of how Obama is perceived in the Islamic world.
“Barack Obama says: time for Iraqis to take back Iraq,” by Martin Chulov in the Guardian, April 7 (thanks to James):
Barack Obama wrapped up a landmark eight-day swing through Europe with a surprise visit to Iraq yesterday – his first as president -and told US troops that Iraqis now needed “to take responsibility for their own country”.
Continuing the outreach to the Arab and Islamic worlds that dominated his last stop in Turkey, Obama said he was committed to his timetable for a troop withdrawal, but determined not to let Iraq slide back to war.
“You have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country,” he said. “It is time for us to transition to the Iraqis. They need to take responsibility for their country.” […]
Obama remained at Camp Victory because of an approaching sandstorm and asked president Jalal Talabani and prime minister Nour al-Maliki to drive out to meet him.
White House and US military officials decided not to risk a helicopter ride into central Baghdad, where Talabani had prepared a full state reception at his palace. Talabani and Maliki were unwilling to travel to the US base on the outskirts of the capital.
In Baghdad’s cafes and eateries, many diners were keen to draw comparisons between Obama and his predecessor, George Bush, whose frequent trips met with increasing indifference and occasional hostility.
Tareq al-Koreshi, 71, a financial market worker from Baghdad’s southern suburbs said: “I think everyone who is honest and loyal to Islam and Arab people, will like Obama’s statement and believe what he says. They should also welcome American society being willing to embrace Islam.”…