"An American presence is not a condition to solve our problems"

The Shiites have long been cool to U.S. troops in Iraq. But leading politicians from Sunni and Kurdish blocs who once welcomed the American presence now also agree that the U.S. must leave.

The largely Sunni Iraqiya bloc headed by Iyad Allawi has gone on record against extending the stay of U.S. troops beyond the end of the year.

Omar Jubbori, a member of the Iraqiya bloc, said Washington would be better off supporting Iraq through economic and “other channels, rather than a military presence, about which Iraqi public opinion is clear.”…

“I was so happy to hear that the Americans are leaving our country,” said Firs Fertusi, 33, a former fighter in the disbanded Mahdi Army, founded by anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada Sadr. “They destroyed our country. They created so much tension among Iraqis.”