July 22nd, 2008
11:30 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama: Stability ultimately in hands of Iraqis


Watch Obama's press conference Tuesday.

(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday he was pleased with the reduction of violence in Iraq since the deployment of more U.S. troops, but said it was a result of several factors, not just the surge.

Related: McCain camp hits Obama over surge

"We don't know what would have happened if the plan that I preferred in January 2007 - to put more pressure on the Iraqis to arrive at a political reconciliation, to begin a phased withdrawal - what would have happened had we pursued that strategy," Obama said after landing in Amman, Jordan.

"I am pleased that as a consequence of great effort by our troops - but also as a consequence of a shift in allegiances among the Sunni tribal leaders, as well as the decision of the Sadr militias to stand down - that we've seen a quelling of violence," he said.

Listen: CNN's Sasha Johnson reports on Obama's Jordan visit

But, Obama said, a functioning Iraq will ultimately depend on the capacity of the Iraqi people to unify themselves, get beyond sectarian divisions and set up a government that works for the people.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (297 Responses)
  1. gotcha

    The obama idiots are scared silly.. They are scared that my darling Senator McCain will win, which he will, of course. I never heard such horrible blogs as they are writing. If they werent scared the blogs would be like they were written by a normal person, instead of a kool aid drinker. We will win, Senator McCain.

    July 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. NewYorker Magazine Rocks

    Hey news media...

    I'm still waiting for that picture of Obama somewhere in the Middle East, riding on a donkey with shooting stars in the sky beyond and flying angels all around him...

    We must not delay the 2nd coming of the Messiah.

    July 22, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |


    YES, , , CHANGING HIS MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ON ALL THE ISSUSES///////////////////////

    July 22, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |



    July 22, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. NotFallingInLine.org

    Thank you, Senator, for pointing out the obvious.

    We're supposed to trust YOUR judgment? You're nothing but a rhetorician-without-a-record wearing a nice suit.

    The Democratic Party leadership has betrayed our core principles of democracy and has failed us all.

    Midgea NFIL

    July 22, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. Kristara Barrington

    Bush said, in April 2007, "when the Iraqi's ask us to leave, we'll go. They are a soveriegn nation with a democratically elected government".

    Well George & John ... based on what their Prime Minsters said to a German magazine (don't want to hear claims of liberal American press) ... It is time to GO.

    Stop trying to spin this another way.

    July 22, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Rave

    Why are we only talking about violence in Iraq. Violence has reduced after the surge... and also left several people in America – Jobless, Homeless, Gasless ??
    Who cares if there is violence in Iraq when our own home is on fire? There are more countries with much worse violence..Somalia, Sudan, other African, Mid-East countries?? Are we going to start invading them.
    McPain is dumb shi...... We are desperately in need of a leader like Barack Obama. Some people call him a muslim, but I see him as as decent, family loving, church going human being. He will be a perfect role model for our youth in the country
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    July 22, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Marc PDX

    Cut and run? But for those of you who think McCain is a warmonger.... we're getting out of Iraq and ramping up the war in Afghanistan and maybe Pakistan (if Obama doesn't "refine" that position). Dems are warmongers!

    July 22, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. therealist

    Funny how Obama believes that self responsibility and stability is something that the Iraqis should achieve on their own. Because when it comes to Americans and their self responsibility.., well, they have to have the governments help. Evidently, Obama thinks Americans are too stupid to be responsible for themselves..

    July 22, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. New Orleans 4 Obama

    Okay, ya'll are killin' me here! First of all, to comment on Jindal being slated for VP. You're kidding, right? Ya'll need to look at what has just happened recently here in Louisiana. Jindal came thisclose to being recalled because he got "punked" by the LA Legislature. They voted themselves a 300% raise and it took people petitioning for his and their recall for him to reverse himself and veto it! Come on now! He has potential but he has no "cohonanas" yet.
    As far as McCain goes......never mind, he's too easy a target.
    I appreciate the way Obama looks at the country, what it should and can be. I appreciate the fact that unlike a lot of others, not only does he have an opinion, he is acting on it. He was correct when he said that WE are the ones We have been waiting for. Obama 08/12

    July 22, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. MMN-Milwaukee WI

    Mike of TX:

    Once US stops paying the sunnis, Shiites, and Sadr Malitias not to fight each other the full blow civil war that Bush et al denied will be back forget the surge.

    July 22, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. therealist

    "Obama said after landing in Amman, Jordan.."

    So why did Obama wait until he got to Jordon to wonder? He could have just ask the Iraqis if he really wanted to know the truth.

    July 22, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Mike from Westchester

    Oh, and Mike, Syracuse: Please get over yourself, ALL Americans have a right to an opinion, not just the ones who served in the military. What Constitution are you looking at? Obama is a U.S. Senator and has certainly EARNED the right, beyond being wildly intellegent, poised, and diplomatic, with obvious leadership qualities and excellent insight and judgment. The best candidate for President I have seen in my entire adult life – and I'm no spring chicken – Eisenhower was President when I was born.

    July 22, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Erika, KS

    It isn't hate, it isn't fear, it isn't even innuendo if it's true. Obama isn't experienced enough to handle the crap that Bush is leaving. He's part of the problem by his wishy-washy votes. He'll do and say anything that looks good in the press. Empty suit. Give me substance. But it's not him!

    July 22, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. patricia Mo

    If it wasn't for our more troops in Iraq Mr. Obama wouldn't have been there. Thank God for people like McCain that has the sense to Know what is needed in Iraq and has a clear vision and plan. It is very important we win this war in Iraq and send a clear message to Terrorist abroad as well we will prevail and keep our country safe, even if it means to continue to stablize Iraq. It would be a grave mistake to not put our country's security first. Mr. Obama lacks the experience and his vision show it. He is a very scarey man.

    July 22, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    "put more pressure on the Iraqis to arrive at a political reconciliation, to begin a phased withdrawal"

    duuuuhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! only the insane see any other options besides obama's!

    let's start listening to the SMART people of america, and not the morons and evil-doers we're stuck with for 181 more days!!!!!!!

    bush's invasion has gone on for 7 YEARS and things have only continued to get WORSE and we are in more danger than we have ever been b/c of him! how does CONTINUING the failed invasion of iraq, and starting mccain's "more wars" help america???!? it doesnt!!! surely you mccain people know the definition of insane, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result-mcCON will do the insane!!!

    July 22, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. Progressive Indie

    Ok, yes the surge may have helped to bring down the violence in Iraq. But why did we have to resort to a "surge" in the first place?
    It's because our fearless and mindless president did not want to send the proper amount of men and equipment in the first place.

    Every general that said the war could not be won with the limited amount of resources Bush and Dumsfeld would allow was asked to resign or decommissioned (fired). Then several years into the war and billions of dollars spent they decide to increase boots on the ground?

    This war was a lie and Bush and his entire admin should be put in prison for it along with the other 30 felonies this president has committed. But we have ot wait until his term is out to prosecute him for his crimes since we can'not arrest a president while he is serving his term.

    I can only hope that Obama will not pardon Bush for his crimes against the United States and the World.


    Obama 08!!

    July 22, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. Marc PDX

    Obama said: "I am pleased that as a consequence of great effort by our troops — but also as a consequence of a shift in allegiances among the Sunni tribal leaders, as well as the decision of the Sadr militias to stand down — that we've seen a quelling of violence."

    Marc said: This was all due to the surge. Sunni's changed allegiance because the grew sick of Al Queda killing Iraqis (specifically Sunnis). Al Queda killed Iraqi's as a desperation attempt to stir up civil war since they were getting their butts kicked by way of the surge (remember?). The Sadr militia also stood down because they were getting their rear ends handed to them on a platter and Muqtada Al Sadr himself fled to Iran, where he remains... all because of (you guessed it) the surge!

    So, you can try to simply increase the pressure on Iraqis (or Al Queda or the Sadrists or Iran) to change, but I doubt you find the same results that the surge brought. But you can try... (after all this is how you gain experience)...

    July 22, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Dan in Phoenix

    Obama continues to show me that he has a better grasp of the situation in Iraq today and was right about opposing the war from the beginning. McCain on the other hand wants to give all of the credit to the surge which is actually only a component of the lessening of violence. No one who knows what has really happened in Iraq would give all of the credit to the surge. Obama sees that the ultimate soloution rests with the Iraqis and not with the US military. Our military has done everything we asked and more with great courage and honor but this war has still done great damage to our image, our military and our economy. Of the two candidates only Obama seems to grasp the overall effect of this war and only Obama was right from the beginning. McCain is a throwback to the good old Cold War days and wants to be sure that our involvement is perceived as a victory and not just a success. He has never to my knowledge defined what would be a victory. Obama has shown better judgment than McCain when it comes to Iraq.

    July 22, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. Marc PDX

    PS. the EU3 and the UN have been trying to pressure Iran to change since 2003. But, then, Iran hasn't had to deal with Obama yet – so I'm sure his mix of pressure and judgement will resolve the problems that the rest of the world couldn't in no time.

    (Pssst! The king has no clothes!)

    July 22, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. john williams san diego, ca.

    The more obama talks without a teleprompter, the better McCain looks.

    July 22, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. S. Shay

    Obama acknowledged the obvious, there has been a reduction of violence in Iraq, he has said nothing about the so-called success of the surge because it’s not only been military effort that has reduced the violence. John McCain is making himself look more and more irrelevant every day. While Obama talks about things the American people care about, Afghanistan and OBL, bringing troops home, McCain is still talking about something that doesn’t agree with his own philosophy nor is it something the AP care about. If the surge is working and we are succeeding in Iraq then McCain should be in the forefront talking about leaving Iraq since things are better. Yet, he talks about staying there. Are the AP supposed to be dumb enough to side with McCain on his contradictory stance? I don’t think so.

    July 22, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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