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. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    THE IRAQIS HAVE NOT WANTED US THERE DAY ONE.

    THEY HAVE A BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH IRAN THAN

    WIT US. DON'T FORGET WE ARE SPENDING MORE THAN A

    BILLION DOLLARS PER DAY IN IRAQ. THIS IS THE LOOTING

    OF AMERICA BY IT'S OWN. MCSHAME SHOULD NOT HAVE

    GOTTEN MORE THAN 3 VOTES IN THE PRIMARY.

    June 11, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Brian from California

    Dear voice of Iran. I have a lot more faith in my country than I will ever have for the radicals of Iran. My concern during this Presidential election year is HOW RADICAL is BARACK H. OBAMA. He may be the best thing that ever happened to those that hate us. All our gains will be lost to Barack's cowardly weakness.

    June 11, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. NH, Texas

    Aha! We had no business messing with tha region to begin with. I understand going to Afganistan where Osama still roams. Republicans: Bullying the whole world does not get things done!

    June 11, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Rob R

    All I can say is LOL.

    June 11, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. KP

    Iraq is a sovereign state and should be able to conduct its affairs without US interference. Let us not forget that the Bush Administration created this mess and its time for us to get out of it.

    June 11, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. Greg, Pennsylvania

    If we elect Obama as president he will probably be kissing the Iranian guy too!

    June 11, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. NO WAY McOld

    Hillary supporters jumping to McOld, are you serious. I am a HIllary supporter but still a DEM. Everything you just outlined is against everything we believe in. Do you people really think we are going to back up McCain in droves. You REPs really believe that we are going to vote for McCain just because we didnt get Hillary..........u all do live in lah lah land..........does elvis still talk to you?

    June 11, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. jr

    Cudos to poster Chris. That observation was right on the money. Come on CNN how does this create an awakward position for McCain? Stop the silliness.

    June 11, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. Nia

    " I will veto Beer..."
    – Word of wisdom from John McCain

    June 11, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. HP Boston

    My vote is for McCain the quicker picker upper!

    June 11, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. NH, Texas

    FactCheck June 11th, 2008 3:58 pm ET
    (I'd like to add one note if you dont mind...)

    Cost of Iraq war for one day = $720,000,000
    Cost of a gallon of gas = $4.69
    Cost of a Republican in office in 2009 = Four more years of the same.

    GETTING OUT OF THIS MESS... PRICELESS

    June 11, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. Becky

    The Iraqis do...not...want...us...there. So many Republicans are in D-E-N-I-A-L.

    June 11, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. Soldier's Mom

    This is to WELCOME HILLIARY SUPPORTERS .. I have one question for you - since you seem to LOVE war and want war with Iran .. how is it that you aren't defending our country like my son is??? Seems like you are all talk and no show ... You have a serious problem!!!

    June 11, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. ProundToBeADemocrat

    Bush and Mccain live in closed world they do not have any idea how the rest of the world think and interact , trying to create democracy with the cow boy style War, the world is smarter than USA . This admistration needs to take care of his own people first then worry about the rest of the world.

    June 11, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Brian Knoxville, TN

    Why does McCain have to defend anything.

    If Barack Obama becomes the president of the United States (a huge IF), it will be him in Tehran hugging and kissing the Iranian president on Iranian television.

    Obama is an inexperienced lightweight who couldn't tie his own shoes without his handlers... just like George W. Bush...

    June 11, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. ben

    Chris
    How do you know the meeting was cold and the Iranians were told to keep out of Irak? Were you there participating in the meeting?

    June 11, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Kiah

    Tisk tisk tisk! Explain this one...how can they? I don't even want them to explain it...this saying says it all:

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

    June 11, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. Sharon Kitchen

    oh boy.....can't wait for the McBush response to this...........

    June 11, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. Joey

    We should start building nuclear power plants and good quality powerful electric cars as soon as we can. Then we could say good by to the oil Iraq and Iran wants to sell. Imagine their level of power when their oil is not needed. Of course, we would have to find jobs for those in the oil industry, but we can do that. Let those folks live however they want as long as they don't attempt to harm U. S. citizens or property. If they do, take them out George S. Patton style.

    June 11, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    If we haven't learned anything else, in the last eight years, know this:

    Bush is an idiot, and anyone who follows him is an idiot.

    In other words, McCain is also an idiot! 🙂

    On the other hand, I can't say that about Dick Cheney. It might be true, but I can't say it. I'm afraid he might shoot me in the face! 🙂

    June 11, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. Michael

    It amazes me how people can still be willing to go to war with Iran, it is very clear they do not see what this war with Iraq has cost us in blood and money. Everyone seems to forget that Russia has stated they would not tolerate any military action against Iran. If Bush and McCain have their way we will attack Iran and quite possibly end up in the big middle of World War III.

    June 11, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. Suzette

    Don, really?

    "I am more concerned about Jim Johnson affiliation with Obama and the constant double speak. Lobbyists would not be part of this campaign yet u pick a friend to lobbyist to vet potential veeps. Followers take the cloth off your eyes."

    I guess you're probably more concerned about what Rev. Wright is doing, instead of rising gas and healthcare costs too, huh?

    Or, you're just an idiot. You have to be is this is your primary concern, instead of the fact that the country we wen't into to "make America safer" is now covorting with the very enemy we'e supposed to protect them from.

    June 11, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. nitro

    Well i'll just be john brown. Looks like their hand picked plowboy is sleeping with the enemy, or have we figured out who the enemy is.

    June 11, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Shocked

    Americans are stupid. Watch how stupid when McCain is the new President. I feel dirty living here and will be looking for another country to live in very soon. For all of you who voted for Bush twice and will vote for McCain, you are either:
    1. Religious nutjobs... that are okay murdering others because their faith is different
    2. Wealthy... and ignore murder because the nice loopholes and tax advantages under a Republican party offer you a plush lifestyle
    3. Homophobic... See Religious nutjobs above.
    4. Racist. Read a few history books and you will find out this country was built on slavery and continues to live by it.

    SHAME.

    June 11, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. Retired Navy Man from TX

    This again shows us why Senator Obama judgement is more insightful than that of President Bush or Senator McCain.

    The sad part of all this is that over 4000 of our troops die as a result of stupid leadership. No one step up to tell the President that he was wrong....

    Where was Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton... Agreeing with Bush....That where.....

    June 11, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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