The outcome of the US election is almost certain to have an impact on Iraq, with both candidates having differing views on the withdrawal of US troops. The war is not as intense as in previous years but violence continues to claim lives on a daily basis – most of them Iraqis.
The country remains bitterly divided along sectarian lines but most want to see an American exit as soon as possible. “We hope Obama will win and work for a US withdrawal,” said one man in Baghdad.
The campaign is being followed closely in the media here, but some say it makes no difference to everyday life. “We pay no heed to the American elections. It concerns the American people, though it will have an influence on the whole world. Whether Obama or McCain wins, it’s concerning the American people,” said another man in the capital.
Baghdad and Washington are currently working on a deal to allow US troops to remain after the current UN mandate expires at the end of the year.