With a brutal series of bombings threatening to reverse hard-fought gains in Iraq, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a surprise appearance in Iraq today to reassure the troubled nation. Despite the attacks, which have killed at least 140 people since Thursday, Clinton took an optimistic tone: "Are there going to be bad days? Yes, there are," Clinton told The New York Times. But "If you look at the evidence, overwhelmingly the progress that’s been made has been positive." At a townhall meeting in the US Embassy in Baghdad, Clinton reassured her audience that America is "committed to Iraq, we want to see a stable, sovereign, self-reliant Iraq." In an echo of the Bush administration's talk of "dead enders" in Iraq, Clinton blamed violence on "rejectionists" who are afraid that progress will marginalize them. In the townhall she emphasized the value of a united Iraq: "There is nothing more important than to have a united Iraq. The more united Iraq is, the more you will trust your security services."
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