June 11th, 2008
03:42 PM ET
11 years ago

Blitzer: Awkward Iraq news for McCain campaign

WASHINGTON (CNN) - One of the most awkward developments for Bush administration and McCain campaign officials to defend is the appearance of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Iran, embracing and kissing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranians are widely accused by U.S. military and civilian officials of helping to kill American troops in Iraq. The Iranian leader is widely accused of supporting a covert nuclear weapons program. He has been quoted calling for Israel to be removed from the map. So why is the top U.S. ally in Iraq kissing him?

The Administration’s defense is that the Iraqis need to work out a good, long-term relationship with their Iranian neighbors. High-level discussions between the Iraqi and Iranian leadership, they say, will help – not hurt – the overall security situation in Iraq.

The Democrats, including Barack Obama, make the point that Iranians have in fact been the big winner in the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Iran is a more influential player in the region now, especially since it no longer has to worry about its former Number One enemy, Saddam Hussein.

All this takes on a greater significance now that the U.S. and Iraqi governments are trying to negotiate what’s called a Status of Forces agreement in Iraq. That would spell out the terms for a prolonged U.S. military stay. The Iranians are telling the Iraqis that the U.S. must pull out. And some Iraqis agree.

“The Americans are making demands that would lead to the colonization of Iraq,” Sami al-Askari, a senior Iraqi politician close to the Prime Minister told The Washington Post. “If we can’t reach a fair agreement, many people think we should say ‘Goodbye, U.S. troops. We don’t need you here anymore.’”


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (258 Responses)
  1. Linda31

    Thank you for making me laugh! McCain, maybe you should grow up! We teach are children to talk out their problems and our government ca't grasp that concept.

    June 11, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. gary

    NO HILLARY AND NO MCCAIN FOREVER. KEEP THE HATING UP. THATS WHY O.B. IS GOING TO LOOSE IN NOV. ITS YOUNG LOW MORTALITY PUNKS LIKE YOU. IF ANYONE IS GOING TO BRING A BIGGER WAR ,YOU BETTER READ, NOSTRADAMUS THE CODE WORLD WAR 111. HE PREDICTS THIS ELECTION AND IT SURE ISN'T BUSH,MCCAIN ETC. ITS YOUR SWEET O.B. IT WILL BE THE WORST DISASTER IF O.B. GETS ELECTED. READ THE BIBLE. IT ALSO SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT A YOUNG MAN IN HIS 40S WITH MUSLIM BRING UP THATS GOING TO UNITE MANY, BE LOOKED AT AS A PROPHET ,AND THAN LEAD THEM INTO DISASTER. THINK ABOUT IT.WHO DOES THAT SOUND LIKE?

    June 11, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Casey in Ca.

    It just goes to show you how "informed" McWar is - even Iraq's leaders are talking with Iran. I seriously believe that McCain is mentally still looking to win in Vietnam...

    June 11, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. Franky

    Nixon's Enemies List!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    "Broadway" Joe was in there!! Even Bill Cosby!

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ohhh man, that's funny! LOL!!!!!!!

    June 11, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    ANY ONE WHO WOULD VOTE FOR MCCAIN DESERVES ANOTHER 4 YEARS OF FAILED FOREIGN POLICY .......... BUT MCCCAIN SUPPORTERS ARE NOT INTERESTED IN FOREIGN POLICY. NOR DO THEY CARE ABOUT OUR OVER $10 TRILLION IN NATIONAL DEBT, THANKS TO 8 YEARS OF REPUBLICAN RULE AND BUSH!

    I don't see "conservative" defending the "SPEND, AND SPEND SOME MORE REPUBLICANS"!

    THE RNC WARNS PEOPLE ABOUT "TAX & SPEND" DEMOCRATS, BUT WHAT'S THEIR EXCUSE FOR OVER $10 TRILLION IN DEBTS?!

    McCain and his cronies will continue the war with Iraq, and add Iran to the mess..........until the USA is brought to its knees by its staggering debt!

    June 11, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Casey in Ca.

    We can never "win" in the middle east. They rightfully reject our premise that we get to control their politics. If they came here and invaded us, and then kept troops here, wouldn't we be pissed? Sure we would.

    We all know that the past 5-6 years have been one big lie after another and that the only way out of this mess is to start using brains, honesty and diplomacy to improve our standing in the world and to have both sides of the story.

    One other note... I am sick of hearing McSame's stale old argument that we are all "tax and spend" liberal democrats. From the state of our country and from what I see - they are all "tax and kill" republicans. This war has bankrupted our country and ruined our standing in the world.

    Women unite for Obama! We know who is best for us!

    June 11, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Theresa in Minneapolis

    THIS is what we spent and are spending trillions of borrowed dollars on? The Republicans sure know what they're doing. Swell...

    June 11, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. David Goldman for OBAMA

    I WOULD JUST LIKE TO REMIND YOU LOVELY LADIES,

    THAT MCWORTHLESS & THIS SCUM BAG HAVE SOME

    OF THE SAME BELIEFS ABOUT THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN.

    June 11, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. kim portland, oregon

    ...and their houses of cards justa keep tumblin' down...

    the administrations LIES and half truths are getting exposed on a regular basis and IT IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!! now EVERYONE can know what some of us have known from the start--along with the rest of the free world!

    we are soooo over looking like the world's IDIOTS for two terms of these losers-and john mccain is just another clueless repug (with serious anger and health issues & a filthy mouth!!!!

    WE ALL-HAPPILY AND RIGHTFULLY--PAID FOR JOHN MCCAIN'S ENTIRE COLLEGE EDUCATION THROUGH THE GI BILL: HE IS A TRAITOR AND A HYPOCRITE BECAUSE OUR TROOPS HE EXPECTS TO FIGHT ALL HIS WARS HE'S PROMISED US AREN'T GOOD ENOUGH TO RECEIVE EXACTLY WHAT HE GOT!!! THAT IS DISGUSTING, HYPOCRITICAL, AND UNNACCEPTABLE--A VOTE FOR MCCAIN IS A VOTE AGAINST AMERICA AND OUR TROOPS!

    June 11, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. JESSIE

    i don't understand why we have been their anyway, policing the iraqi and it was clear then that they didn't want the American troops their. The American tax payers are paying the Sunnit Iraqi troops to defend their own country and Mccain has yet supported a plan to help home owners losing their homes. Mccain is out of touch with the needs of the American people. Mccain doesn't understand that the average working family wants to end the war in Iraq and start focusing on the future of our economy, healthcare plans, and the creation of more jobs. on either subject Mccain has nothing to say. Mccain will lose this presidency because he is doesn't understand the demand that American families have towards the increasing gas prices and college tuition and Obama does. We need a president thats not interested in supporting the well connected and wealthiest of Americans but the average joe too. That president is Barack Obama. Obama 09

    June 11, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    LISTEN WELL PEOPLE, WE AMERICANS DON'T UNDERSTAND THEIR CULTURE OR RELIGION IN THIS WHOLE REGION. THEY HAVE USED US LONG ENOUGH FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL CORRUPTION. IT'S TIME TO GO AND I MEAN GO NOW. THE HELL WITH IRAQ.

    June 11, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. Jim

    Hi Wolf. Love your show. Please tell me how getting shot down in a jet makes McCain a HERO????? I think he was a lousy pilot and I am a Viet Nam Vet. He is a war monger and if elected bomb bomb bomb IRAN

    June 11, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  13. Venus

    This is finally out in the open!

    Well McSame... come on where are you now????

    Obama doesn't even need to say any thing more about Iraq or Iran!

    This is too funny! We can't talk with Iran but yet... the PM of Iraq that was selected by the USA can????????????????

    Bring our troops home now! We should not be in Iraq!

    June 11, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. MD

    Bush should have read the NIE that might have warned about the Iranians benefiting from the removal of Sadam. If there was no such NIE, then the intelligence community is seriously flawed.

    As long as both Iran and Iraq Governments are from the same sect, there will be an unwritten bond between them, stronger than any "pact" with Iraqis the US can dream of.

    Tradition is one of the aspects of the Middle East that NO American administration has ever understood.

    Hopefully if Obama is elected, then he will appoint middle eastern experts (not Americans who claim to be experts on middle east) and give them a voice at the policy making sessions.

    June 11, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. acosta

    And your beloved McCain wants to help the Iraqis. He wants to keep our troops in Iraq indefinetly. The president of the country that we are trying to help is kissing and hugging our enemy.

    GET US OUT OF IRAQ NOW.

    NO REPUBLICAN FOR PRESIDENT

    June 11, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  16. kim portland, oregon

    "liberal media"?!?!? wow, you guys will buy ANYTHING!!!!

    saying that we have a LIBERAL MEDIA is proof-positive that you will believe whatever your rightie heros tell you, with NO thought on your part whatsoever.

    if you actually RESEARCH FOR YOURSELF you would see that "liberal media" fits the true definition of OXYMORON!!

    literally 99% of talk radio is CONSERVATIVE; GE, time-warner and rupert murdoch OWN the majority of television stations so you can be indoctrinated with LIES; most newspapers are owned by corporations who set the editorial tone. it is just flat-out WRONG that we have a liberal media. god, you guys are ANNOYING, read a flippin book or magazine, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 11, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. After further review,Texas

    TXBAD1 You must be a moron from houston.

    June 11, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  18. Bob D

    So, let me get this straight: John McCain doesn't think that a US President should meet with a leader like Ahmadinejad, but it is okay for a close ally to do so??? Would McCain countenance the British PM meeting with Ahmadinejad, while excoriating Obama for having expressed a view that he would meet with someone like Ahmadinejad without preconditions?? Seems a bit contradictory and hypocritical to me.

    Perhaps someone in the media will see that McCain needs to be asked about that clearly contradictory stance.

    June 11, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  19. Justin from West Haven, CT

    Wow, way to go McCain, spend trillions to babysit a friend of Iran and it's all thanks to you and Bush. Heckuva job, @$$h0le!

    June 11, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. Pat M

    I do not buy the Admimistration's Defence (Excuse). I think they have been bafooned by both Iraq and Iran Leaders. In fact both were likely meeting to celebrate their victory (pulling the wool over America's eyes and emptying the Feds' bank accounts)

    If I am right, the Bush Government will be eating Crow until they begin ice skating in Hades! If it was ever proven that Trillions of US Dollars went into the Coffers of Iraq and Iran's State bank accounts compliments of Bush and Cheney's desire to make their mark on the world, I hope I'm not around to see the outcome errrr (demise).

    June 11, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  21. shannon

    as a person that supports the surge...

    if they don't want us there...we should leave.

    it is their country, their rules, their people.

    June 11, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  22. Justice League

    Just to put things in perspective, how would you feel if there were 200, 000 Iranaian soldiers in Canada fighting Canadian Al Queda? You'd be pretty upset wouldn't you? So maybe you can understand why Iran doesn't want us in Iraq, 60 miles away from their border. We never had a right to be there, and we never will. So stop backing McCain, the Greatest American Zero.

    June 11, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  23. H Arnold

    It's quite simple......Iraq and Iran are neighbors and sooner or later and now are possibly friends.....As long as we are there, we are spending money and providing security that costs more money.....We are building the infrastructure also. Iraq is saving their money and charging extraordinary pricing for oil. And we have an administration and Senator McCain who wants to continue this same position. Spend, lose our service men's lives, build their infrastructure, let them charge any price for oil on any given day, and allow for more years of the same policy......

    June 11, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  24. M.S. Indiana

    oh dear, we have to take down Iraq again then....

    No more McCain and Bush !!!!!

    Vote Ron Paul or Obama !!!

    June 11, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. mama coo

    So now the media and Obama fans are going to do to McCain the same thing they did to Senator Clinton. Mince every word he says, magnify his mistakes, ridicule him, all the while building Obama up. I don't even know why we are bothering with an election in Nov. Just anoint Obama and be done with it.

    June 11, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
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