Friday, Mar. 19, 2010

March 2008
Visiting Hours

"It's good to be back in Iraq."

Vice President Dick Cheney on a visit to Baghdad to mark the fifth anniversary of the invasion of the country

On March 2nd, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad becomes the first Middle East leader to visit Iraq since the U.S. invasion. The Shi'ite-led government literally rolls out the red carpet for his stay, while hundreds of Sunnis gather in the streets to protest his visit. Two weeks later, both Republican presidential nominee John McCain and Vice President Cheney make "surprise" visits to Iraq to mark the five-year anniversary and tout the progress in security made since the surge was launched over the last year — though recent mass bombings and the killing of kidnapped Iraqi archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho darken the headlines. The week before Cheney's tour, the administration endures another abrupt departure when William Fallon, the U.S. Commander of the CENTCOM, resigns following media reports that he and Bush have disagreed over policies toward Iran and the pace of withdrawing troops from Iraq.