Iraqis On Hopes, Concerns For Trump Presidency
Iraqis expressed a mixed reaction on Saturday (January 21) to Donald Trump's inauguration as U.S. president.
"Trump's speech yesterday was marvelous, he is determined to fight terrorism. In his address, it seems that he is serious in fighting terrorists. His remarks were very clear when he said we came to fight terrorism and eliminate Daesh [ISIS]," economist Saad Abdul-Hussein said.
"There were mistakes committed by [the] Obama administration; I think he aims to correct the course and to work for rapprochement among peoples," he added.
The Trump administration will make defeating "radical Islamic terror groups" its top foreign policy goal, according to a statement posted on the White House website moments after Trump's inauguration.
“The American policy cannot be changed with the change of presidents,” Abu Saad, a resident of Baghdad said. “Trump's policy has not been clear yet, even to the American people themselves. We saw that some of the American people took to the streets opposing to Trump's policy. So we hope that Trump will adopt policy that benefits Iraqi and Arab people."
Roughly 5,200 U.S. troops are presently stationed in Iraq and are part of an international coalition helping local forces retake the third of their country seized by ISIS more than 2-1/2 years ago.
Supported by the U.S., Iraqi forces are now waging pitched battles to dislodge ISIS militants from Mosul, their last bastion in Iraq.
The incoming Trump administration has yet to spell out its policy in detail for Iraq.
New Defense Secretary James Mattis, who had battlefield experience in the country, listed Islamic extremists as among the top threats to U.S. security.
"The American policy cannot be changed with the change of presidents. The American people and us, we hope that Trump would do something good to us. Each new American president will come with policy different from his predecessor. Trump's policy has not been clear yet, even to the American people themselves. We saw that some of the American people took to the streets opposing to Trump's policy. So we hope that Trump will adopt policy that benefits Iraqi and Arab people," Baghdad resident Abu Saad said.
Criticizing previous U.S. foreign policy in an interview published four days before his inauguration, Trump described the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 as possibly the gravest error in the history of the United States and akin to "throwing rocks into a beehive."