Read full AP story here.
BAGHDAD (AP) -- The last time an American president showed up in Iraq he was greeted with boos and shoes.
That, as they say, was then.
On Tuesday, Iraqis expressed warmth for a visiting Barack Obama. And in another sign the country is eager to cast aside the legacy of the former administration, a court reduced the jail term for the journalist who hurled his shoes at George W. Bush. . . .
Obama isn't Bush, and for many Iraqis that's good enough for now.
"The Iraqi people welcome the new American president in good faith, not like the former President Bush, who is rejected by all Iraqi people from the north to the south," Baghdad resident Rasheed al-Jumaili said. . . .
[M]any Iraqis find Obama's style, including his openness to the Muslim world, a refreshing change from the previous administration, even though the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue. . . .
"The visit of President Obama makes me feel optimistic," Muhsin said. "I do believe that he is much better than his predecessor Bush. We feel happiness that President Obama is preparing for the withdrawal of occupation forces from Iraq." . . .
"If Obama seeks good things for Iraq, we will embrace him," said Baghdad resident Aqeel Mohammed. "But if he treats us like President Bush did, then we will not." . . .
Yes, Bush was "arrogant." His whole administration was arrogant. Remember Donald Rumsfeld disparaging certain European countries as "old Europe" just because they wouldn't jump on Bush's bandwagon for invading Iraq? Obama at least shows basic, human respect for people and doesn't engage in name-calling. It's called being diplomatic. Diplomacy went by the wayside in the Bush Administration. (Please see here.)
With the Bushies, it was always "our way or the highway," even to the point of implying (to put it mildly) that American citizens who disagreed with them were traitors. The Bushies were a disaster for our country, both abroad and here at home. (The American people see that now--as hoodwinked as they might have been for a time. Too bad they had to learn it the hard way.)