President Obama took the long way home from Turkey, landing in Iraq for a brief visit with the command and some of the troops.
Air Force One landed at Baghdad International Airport under heavy security at 4:42 p.m. in the afternoon; military officials shut down the airport and roads into the capital were deserted.
Aboard the plane, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters that Mr. Obama decided to make the trip to Iraq because he was nearby, making a state visit to Turkey, and because he wanted to show his appreciation of the troops.
“Our men and women who are in harm’s way, either in Iraq or Afghanistan, deserve our utmost respect and appreciation,” Mr. Gibbs said.
As Steve Benen noted, no one tossed a shoe at him, so the little side trip was a success compared to the last presidential visit.