Mixed Response to Rice and Rumsfeld's Iraq Visit
But others thought the visit could backfire. Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish legislator, said the visits were "useless, unimportant."The only support for their visit came from the administration's new best friends in Iraq, the Sunnis.
"I guess they are worried about the circumstances in Baghdad and what will follow," he said. "It would be more appropriate if they would leave us alone ... let us solve our problems by ourselves."
"Enough is enough," said Sheik Mahmoud Sudani, a politician affiliated with radical Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr. "Rice's trip to Iraq at this critical time is just another desperate move by the Americans to try to impose themselves on our new government. But they have lost their influence."
In a sign of how the country has changed in the last three years, the most positive reaction to the visits came from Sunni leaders — the most recent political bedfellows of the U.S. administration.
Americans can help coordinate and speed up the process, "which will benefit everyone," said Azhar Samaraii, a Sunni legislator with the Iraqi Islamic Party.