DemocracyNow.org - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in Iraq for an unannounced visit to mark the withdrawal of U.S. troops by the end of the year. Shi'ites supporting Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr held an anti-U.S. protest in Basra to oppose Biden's visit. Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that numerous investment bankers are arriving in Iraq to secure potentially lucrative reconstruction and oil deals even though security remains a concern. Democracy Now! speaks with Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi-American blogger and political analyst who just returned from Iraq two weeks ago. "Biden's visit is widely seen in Iraq as the last attempt by the U.S. government to keep U.S. troops beyond the deadline and rename them as military trainers," Jarrar says. "Most Iraqis are worried [that] the Pentagon has not let go of its plan to leave behind 3,000-4,000 troops under the title of 'trainers', and that there will be one last showdown in the Iraqi parliament within the next few days."
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