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. jane in CA

    Now we all know that the intelligents about Iraq et al are faulty ones. Why are we still there for? to do Iran a favor? repubs need to regconize these faults from their representatives/leaders and will not blindly vote for them.

    June 11, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. kathe oakland, california

    I agree 100%. It is time for USA to bring our troops home, let Iraq and Iran do whatever I do not care. I want to know who gives Bush authority to even contemplate a "status of Forces Agreement"???? Why would he want to do that now, since he is leaving office. WHY? Because that is the type of divisive mind Bush and his adminstration have period and have had for past 8 years. He and his administration want to leave either Obama or McCain with their BIG FAT MESS and the main sufferers – THE AMERICAN PEOPLE once again. We need to STOP NOW THIS WAR, bring our troops home, begin to heal AMERICA and help AMERICANS who are struggling now because of this BUSH WAR, which has our citizens, including me, with homes on verge of being taken, can't afford gas or food, difficult to even get to work or to go out looking for work. So BUSH what is more important Iraq's future or your own country?????

    I want someone to explain to me a citizen of USA how does Bush get authority to even propose this Agreement? Does the Congress have no responsibility at all or any voice or is Bush as usual, doing what "BUSH WANTS", negating the Constitution. As the president, BUSH has too too too much power – or does he my fellow Americans. We really need to investigate this issue NOW!

    Hillary, you are an important Senator – where are you, why are you not questioning this Agreement, why are you not speaking up for us Americans????? Thought you cared so much about us!!!!!

    GO OBAMA/WEBB

    June 11, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. al

    At least McCain has military experience.
    Obama might make the wrong judgment again.

    Wright
    Pflaeger
    William Ayers
    Meeting with Hamas
    Rezko
    Johnson

    He has made so many poor judgements in the past. Who could trust this man with so many far left friends

    June 11, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. al

    ******************
    WAS THERE TOUGUE INVOLVED? IF NOT, THEN ITS PROBABLY NOTHING, JUST A GREETING THE WAY THEY DO IN THE MIDEAST FOR EVENTUAL TALKS REGARDING THE TWO NEIGHBORS. BUT IF THERE WAS TONGUE INVOLVE I WOULD BE VERY CONCERN. REMEMBER AHMADINEJAD SAID THERE ARE NO GAYS IN IRAN MIGHT NOT BE TRUE.

    June 11, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Spectacles

    Ahmedinejad is much smarter then Bush or Cheney ever will be and Ahmedinejad will talk to evil. Unlike Cheney who will not.

    June 11, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Becky

    June 11th, 2008 4:20 pm ET

    "Get-A-Grip Becky!"
    _________________________________________
    You speak like a true Republican!! If this doesn't get posted it's OK your comment just makes you look like you have zero empathy and zero accountability.

    Obama '08

    June 11, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Political Reader

    I don't know if "awkward" is the right word to use here Wolf. I think maybe try the phrase "TOP RANKING AMERICAN OFFICIALS FEEL STUPID." This clearly shows that the US presence in Iraq isn't really doing that good of a job considering the leader of Iraq talks to the leader of Iran and we only find out afterward. Let's pull out, cut the losses, and call it a day.

    June 11, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Ula Nejad

    Iran does play an important role but that does not mean Iran makes the call for immediate withdrawl. Sadam Hussein was removed by the invasion of Iraq by US forces and billion dollars spent. Iran has to make the effort to agree to an agreement offered by the US. Otherwise no deal. Iraq held accountable for the fallout between Iran and US. Simple!

    June 11, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. Still for Hill

    I'll vote for McCain.

    I'd rather have the Iraqi President kissing Ahmadinejad than Obama!!!

    Obama=Jimmy Carter II

    Hillary Dems for McCain

    June 11, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. Al Queda is Winning

    When it comes down to it, Iraqis will stick with Iranians. I don't know who we think we are? America always thinks we can divide and conquer others. We will be fooled this time. Us being in Iraq and spending all of this money is a part of Al Queda's plan to bring America down. It is the part of their financial planning on us. Just look how bad our economy is becoming ever since we have been over in Iraq. Al Queda knows the best way to attack America is via our money. Al Queda is winning.

    June 11, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. lols

    To the fool talking about Cindy McCain...

    She was arrested by the DEA for stealing narcotics from that charity and forced to step down from it.

    SO YEAH! SHE IS AWESOME! I NEED MEDICATED LIKE HER!

    June 11, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. OH

    Thanks Bush/Cheney/Wolf/Rover/Haliburtan and company.

    No oil from Iraq you fools, only more than 4000 dead GI's and 100,000 maimed and suffering from all sort of illness.

    Wow! What a price to pay and yet Bush said he is proud to invade Iraq...Yikes!

    June 11, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Carol, San Luis Obispo, CA

    Why don't we focus on the middle east that is more important to Americans:

    Illinois
    Ohio
    Michigan
    Kentucky
    Pennsylvania

    These middle eastern states are especially hard hit by this administration's failed policies.

    Obama 08

    June 11, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Obama Yes We Can

    One good way to end the war would be to send the ones that started the War to the front lines and let them fight their war then send all the people that fallow this someone that believes in War that can last 100 years that MAY wake them up but then again it probley will take more than that if believe in war or seeing people injured,or flags drapped .

    June 11, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Peter E

    They should call CNN "Obama Mania Network" because that's all they do. They attack anyone who doesn't consider Obama the next savior.

    June 11, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. J.C.

    I hope Senators McCain and Obama can have a dialogue, instead of attacks, over the Iraqi war and policies for Iran. But I am still very glad they fought over issues, not trivial personal attacks.

    I miss the time when our country was placed before the party.
    Obama and McCain may be our best bet for returning to that era, about 20 years ago. That era largely contributed to the end of the cold war.
    Thanks to President Reagan!

    June 11, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. Max

    Wolf, now u urself are scared that the Bush policy could be bad for Israel. Thats why u brought this up although it helps Obama's campaign which u never did want before.

    June 11, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. TJ in Texas (Dallas)

    Clinton supporters wake up and quit complaining. Democrats unite to beat McSame.

    Are you kidding me with this new Iraq development? And still people (including Hillary supporters) want to vote for McSame? It's as if five year olds were voting on someone else because they were picked on. Give me a break America!

    June 11, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. Peter E

    To those naive fools who think Obama is getting us out of Iraq: it's all rhetoric. Sure, he will get more troops out of Iraq than McCain will, but he himself doesn't mean to withdraw all troops either. There would still be tens of thousands of US soldiers in Iraq even after the "complete" withdrawal of troops by a president Obama.

    June 11, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. McCain08

    Bad boy bad boy what cha gonna do, what ya gonna do when they come for you.
    McCain by a landslide. The light has come on for most Hillary supporters and they have no fear in voting the one who is right and that is John McCain. 1 Man 1Woman 4ever.
    We are winning the war in Iraq and will do the same in Iran. Iran must go down and we will show the rest of the world that America is not to be messed with.
    With a chance to replace 2 or more Supreme Court Justices we will have our best chance to overturn Roe V Wade.
    Vote life vote McCain08

    June 11, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  21. Doc Sinn

    Al wrote: "He has made so many poor judgements in the past. Who could trust this man with so many far left friends"

    Please stop. This is the worst argument to date against Obama.

    So you trust John McCain who voted FOR this unjust war?? You trust GOP politics that has given us $4 and $5 gasoline and record home foreclosure??

    Dont use trust as justification for not voting for Obama. Anyone who "trusts" the GOP after all we've been through is just foolish.

    Everytime someone says "lack of trust" concerning Obama I get an image in my head of Colin Powell showing bogus WMD mobile lab pictures to the UN.

    Trust indeed......

    June 11, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. Mike in Calgary

    McCain is distinguishing himself from the Bush presidents who initiated wars in Iraq. McCain is itching to initiate war in Iran. That McCain's Change you can believe in. He says he HATES war, but castigates Obama for conflict resolution or talks that might PREEMPT or avoid War. The more McCain talks, the more stupid or devious he reveals himself to be!

    Mike

    June 11, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. Paris

    Do you not understand what precondition means?
    If US talks to Iran with no precondition, it will legitimize Iranian government and their radical positions.
    Iran will use this as a propaganda.
    This is a simple fact. Why some of you don’t get it is mindboggling to me.
    Please educate yourself on the culture.

    June 11, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. David Goldman for OBAMA

    THE IRAQIS ARE KILLING OUR CHILDREN WHILE

    WE ARE SPENDING MORE THAN A BILLION

    OF OUR HARD EARNED DOLLARS ON THEM EVERY DAY.

    HOW DOES THAT MAKE SENSE TO ANY ONE?

    WE NEED TO START DOING OUR OWN THINKING.

    MCMOULD ACTS LIKE HE IS SPENDING HIS MONEY.

    IT'S OUR MONEY & OUR BLOOD GOING DOWN THE DRAIN.

    MCSHAME WANTS TO SCARE A VOTE OUT OF US.

    WHILE THEIR MAN IN IRAQ IS KISSING THE IRANIAN

    PRESIDENT.

    June 11, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Peter E

    Where was this kind of scrutiny of the Iraq war and the policies back in 2003?
    The biggest hypocrites are not among the politicians but in the media. CNN was second only to Foxnews in drumming up support for the war, telling us to be scared out of our witts, resulting in 80% support for the war by the public at its start because we 'had to' invade.

    June 11, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11