BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- For a few hours on Monday, the halls of Saddam Hussein'sPlease. Not THAT many people support complete withdrawal ASAP.[/sarcasm]
Republican Palace -- the seat of his rule -- looked like a scene from the U.S.
Trademark cup of coffee in hand, Sen. John McCain of Arizona strode
down the hall, then turned in to a meeting room to be joined by two legislative
and political allies, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Joseph
Lieberman of Connecticut.
A few yards away, a security detail ushered Vice
President Dick Cheney, who serves as president of the Senate in his
constitutional role, into another meeting.
Both the vice president and the
Senate delegation were here for a firsthand look at the security and political
situation in Iraq, and their agendas both included time with the U.S. commanding
general as well as senior Iraqi officials.
Their stop at the palace
overlapped for about an hour, but the vice president did not interact with
McCain and the other senators; Cheney arrived while McCain was sitting down for
an interview with CNN and he was in a meeting with Gen. David Petreaus and U.S.
Ambassador Ryan Crocker as the senators moved on to their next meeting after the
For McCain, the stakes are enormous.