Cheney Makes Surprise Visit to Baghdad

Promises 'unwavering commitment' of US as war begins 6th year
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2008 6:45 AM CDT
Dick Cheney, center, arrives at Baghdad airport Monday, March 17, 2008. Cheney landed at Baghdad International Airport, then flew by helicopter into the heavily secured Green Zone for talks with Iraqi...   (AP Photo/ Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway, U.S. Air Force, HO)
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(Newser) – Leading Iraq war architect Dick Cheney made an unannounced visit to Baghdad today, beginning a nine-day Middle East tour by promising Iraq the "unwavering commitment of the United States in finishing the difficult work that lies ahead." John McCain, traveling as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, simultaneously met with other Iraqi leaders in the capital, AFP reports.

Cheney's visit, in which he met with Iraq's president and prime minister and held talks with army chief David Petraeus and US ambassador Ryan Crocker, came as two explosions ripped through the capital, one of them targeting the Green Zone. The VP is expected to pressure the Iraqi government to pass laws expanding regional governments' power and distributing revenues from oil. Cheney will travel next to Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the West Bank, and Turkey.