Sunday, January 08, 2006

AP reports: U.S. Sen. Barack Obama on Saturday said the United States will not be successful in Iraq unless the political landscape better represents the country's minorities. Obama, the nation's only black senator, met with U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Saturday. He said before his two-day trip to Iraq that he wanted to ask U.S. commanders for a realistic time frame on bringing troops home. "What I'm fully convinced of is if we don't see signs of political progress ... over a relatively short time frame - let's say six months or so - we can pour money and troops in here till the cows come home, but we won't be successful," said Obama, D-Ill., who said he opposed the war before it began. Talabani predicted Saturday that a new government could be formed within weeks and said the country's main political groups had agreed in principle on a national unity coalition that would include the country's majority Shiites and minority Kurds and Sunni Arabs. Obama said he was confident a new government could be formed but was skeptical of Talabani's time frame. [...]