facebook
twitter
search
search

Obama criticized for not visiting Iraq

June 14, 2008 at 2:30 PM

WASHINGTON, June 14 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is being faulted by critics for not having visited Iraq since January 2006, observers say.

The Illinois senator has not been to the war-torn country since before President George Bush increased U.S. troop levels to quell sectarian violence, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Saturday.

Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan said Obama's lack of first-hand knowledge means he "has no credibility discussing the future of Iraq."

On the political organization's Web site, a live streamer lists the days, hours, minutes and seconds since Obama's only trip to Iraq.

Sen John McCain, R-Ariz., the Republican presidential candidate, also has pointed out Obama has not been to Iraq in almost 2 1/2 years.

Susan Rice, senior foreign policy adviser to the Obama campaign and a former assistant U.S. secretary of state, said GOP claims that Obama lacks credibility on the war are "complete garbage."

Obama is considering going to Iraq soon, a campaign spokesman said.

Brookings Institution military expert Michael O'Hanlon, who advised 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, says politicians need to see the post-surge changes in Iraq firsthand.

"I think it's a no-brainer," O'Hanlon said, adding Obama would be "remiss" as a candidate if he didn't visit Iraq soon.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Einstein vindicated: Scientists find gravitational waves
Vatican: Bishops not required to report abuse to police
Nicola Griffin to appear in Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue at 56
Dementia rates decline in U.S., researchers unsure why
'El Chapo' drug empire's alleged financial operator arrested in Mexico