Obama Victory Triggers Positive Shift in Iraq Politics

New optimism signals future cooperation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2008 2:51 AM CST
A US soldier watches TV news coverage of President-elect Barack Obama in Baghdad.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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(Newser) – A wave of optimism in the wake of Barack Obama's victory is causing a shift in Iraqi politics, the New York Times reports. Shiite politicians are signaling that they're more prepared now to sign a new security agreement with the US. They believe Obama will speed the pace of withdrawal, and trust him to respect the timetable. An agreement could be signed before the end of the month.

Iraqi politicians appear to now be under less pressure from Iran to reisist the agreement, possibly because Iraq's neighbor is now less wary of the US attempting to force regime change on it. Sunnis are largely optimistic about Iraq's future, but many still fret that an American withdrawal will make them vulnerable to sectarian attacks. They may be reassured by Obama's indications that a small number of troops may stay on.