Nancy Pelosi surprised a lot of people by showing up in Baghdad today. And in my case it was a pleasant surprise, because she said some things that I agree with.
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi arrived in Baghdad today and met with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Because of her opposition to the American presence in Iraq, I am pleasantly surprised at her unscheduled appearance there, as well as the things she said. Some think the visit by her and Rep. Jack Murtha couldn't have come at a worse time, but I am happy to see encouragement for the Iraqi government from both sides of the American political aisle.
According to a Yahoo news article:
in meetings with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and US officials she advocated the Iraqis reaching political solutions rather than relying on a surge in US troops to end sectarian violence.
I agree (and have done for some time) that it is time that Iraq stop relying on the United States to provide its security and to obtain its well-deserved peace. Following her meeting with Iraqi officials, she and other members of the US House of Representatives issued a statement that read in part:
The sooner Iraqi leaders make necessary political accommodations, including amending their constitution to resolve outstanding differences among all Iraqi communities, the better the chances for ending the sectarian violence.
Perhaps giving the lie to the right-wing pundits who claim that all the Democrats want to do is "cut and run", Pelosi gave me a different impression. She said:
The delegation's view is that American forces should quickly begin to transition from a combat role to one focused on training, counter-terrorism, force protection, and controlling Iraq's borders.
It doesn't sound like the Democrats want the American military to simply roll up the carpet and leave, but rather step back into the training and consulting shadows and let Iraqis interact with Iraqis in a delicate security situation. I support this strategy, although I admit I don't know how to define "quickly" in this instance. At any rate, such a strategy will show the Iraqis that we still care about their future, while at the same time allowing them to invest more fully in it themselves.