Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Iraqi Leaders Condemn Trump's Surprise Visit as 'Flagrant and Clear Violation of Diplomatic Norms'

One ordinary Iraqi also weighed in, saying the U.S. hasn't "given anything to the country except destruction and devastation"

Jake Johnson

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet members of the military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Following U.S. President Donald Trump's brief, unannounced, and photo-op-filled visit to American troops still stationed in Iraq more than 15 years after the 2003 invasion—which estimates suggest ultimately killed over a million people—Iraqi political leaders issued statements late Wednesday condemning Trump's surprise arrival as "a flagrant and clear violation of diplomatic norms."

"The American leadership was defeated in Iraq and wants to return again under any pretext, and this is what we will never allow."
—Falih Khazali, Iraqi politician

Bina, one of Iraq's major parliamentary blocs, said Trump's visit "shows his disdain and hostility in his dealings with the Iraqi government."

"The American leadership was defeated in Iraq and wants to return again under any pretext, and this is what we will never allow," declared Falih Khazali, an Iraqi politician aligned with Bina.

Sabah al Saadi, the leader of Islah—Bina's parliamentary rival—agreed, demanding an emergency session "to discuss this blatant violation of Iraq's sovereignty and to stop these aggressive actions by Trump who should know his limits: The U.S. occupation of Iraq is over."

Despite the official pronouncements from American presidents that the Iraq War is over, more than 5,000 U.S. troops remain in the country.

In remarks during his trip on Wednesday, Trump said he has "no plans at all" to withdraw troops from Iraq—a vow that comes just days after reports that the U.S. president is taking steps to pull American forces out of Syria and Afghanistan.

While Trump's visit was met with jingoistic fervor by American troops—who reportedly chanted "USA!" and blasted Lee Greenwood's song "God Bless the USA" as the president arrived at the Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq—ordinary Iraqis hardly shared this enthusiasm.

"We won't get anything from America," Baghdad resident Mohammad Abdullah told Reuters. "They've been in Iraq 16 years, and they haven't given anything to the country except destruction and devastation."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Watch: Bernie Sanders Hosts 'Saving American Democracy' Town Hall

"Republicans in state after state are working to make it harder and harder to vote. We can't let them succeed."

Common Dreams staff ·


As SCOTUS Considers 'Extinguishing' Right to Abortion, Calls Mount for Congress to 'Step Up'

"Despite the protections that the legal framework like Roe provides, it has never been enough," said one doctor. "We continue to work toward reproductive justice."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Time to Get the Job Done': Stacey Abrams Launches New Georgia Gubernatorial Bid

"Now more than ever, it's clear Brian Kemp's days as governor are numbered."

Brett Wilkins ·


US Must Tackle Marine Plastics Pollution 'From Source to Sea': Report

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study found that the U.S. is responsible for about a quarter of the plastics that enter the world's oceans each year.

Brett Wilkins ·


First US Omicron Case Confirmed as WHO Chief Decries Failure to Share Vaccines Globally

Factors including low vaccine coverage have created "a recipe for breeding and amplifying variants," the top health official said.

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo