Iraqis appear divided along sectarian lines over Thursday's Senate approval of House-passed legislation calling for U.S. troops to begin leaving Iraq by Oct. 1., and neither body passed the measure with enough votes to override him.
A 42-year-old Sunni teacher in Baghdad said Friday that the idea had his full support, but he doubted it would happen.
"I think that yesterday's vote and the threats by Bush to use the veto are nothing but political games played in Washington, and we have been paying the price for these games since 2003. In fact, I see no U.S. withdrawal on the horizon," Assad Yassin said.
Majority Shiites and their Kurdish allies, meanwhile, echoed the opinion of the Shiite-led government, which warned the Oct. 1 start date was too soon.
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh also warned that the congressional decision "sends wrong signals" to militants.
Kamil Nassir, a 40-year-old Shiite who owns a grocery store in Baghdad, agreed and said he was hopeful it would be stopped.
"I do not think that the United States that has sacrificed thousands of soldiers and hundreds of billions of dollars is ready to leave Iraq," he said. "Whether Democrats or Republicans, the U.S. politicians are not ready to leave Iraq in the hands of al Qaeda. U.S. withdrawal will mean victory to al Qaeda and more problems for the Americans."
Many minority Sunnis have long opposed the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, which ended Saddam Hussein's mostly Sunni government and cleared the way for majority Shiites and minority Kurds to dominate government.
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