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

Obama: Stability ultimately in hands of Iraqis

CNN

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.

Full story


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

    Hello Mr. President!

    July 22, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    "If Sen. Obama had had his way, the troops would have been out by this past March, and Sen. Obama voted to cut off funding for our troops in Iraq," McCain said to reporters

    Yes, yes, you are so right McWar and if Obama would of had his way 4200 Americans would still be alive. We would have saved 4 trillion dollars and had lower oil prices. Keep talking Mcwar you are helping Obama win this thing.

    I am still waiting for someone to tell me what we have gained by this war in Iraq? What have we gained?

    McWar/Hadji Now thats something to think about!

    July 22, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. ANGIE

    Thats right have we all forgotten thats where bin laden is from thats where the 911 attacks were planned thats where the terriost are gaining strenght!!!

    July 22, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. Greg, NY

    I can't wait to hear what Hagel has to say after this trip. As a very good friend to McCain, it'll be great when Hagel puts him in his place.

    July 22, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  5. G

    It's nice to hear some common sense for a change. Of course, momentarily, the sheep will appear to spout right wing talking points. At least it's entertaining watching them spin. Time to begin a secure withdrawal from Iraq. We can't afford the occupation.

    July 22, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. carolflowery

    quote from Barak today during a press conference there
    "always stay away from the words never and always" lolololololol

    July 22, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. wmelpaul

    Now why would we do that? Halliburton can't make a dime in Afghanistan. What is this guy crazy? Pick another country...one with big oil like Saudi Arabia, but not Saudi Arabia, that's where we take innocent people for torture. Remember, waterboarding people is the only way Dick Cheney can forget the fact that he has a lesbian for a daughter.

    July 22, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Mel

    OBAMA IS CORRECT WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF IRAQS CIVIL WAR. WE CAN'T FIX THE SITUATION ONLY THEY CAN.

    July 22, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. karen-phoenix

    Obama is so so right!!! Circle of life!!! Out with the old and in with the new. I'm 64, a recovering republican and every time I seen McCain I switch channels. I DO NOT want to be reminded of all the failures we have had in Vietnam and Iraq. Not to mention jobs, health care and the economy. Peace is Patriotic and this is what Obama represents.

    July 22, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. jason, tx

    Stick that in your Craw mr. McCain.

    July 22, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. Ian

    A government that works for the people? What an interesting concept.

    July 22, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Seven years later and still no OBL. The McWar camp and the GOP wants to make Iraq the 51st state. Take there oil put the Iraq people on reservations and build casinos. And they wonder why the rest of the world does not like us?

    July 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. South Park Conservative

    Wait? Obama is admitting a "reduction in violence" and "stability" in Iraq? I thought this war was lost? Oh, Senator Reid! I think you need to speak with the junior senator from Illinois and school him on your story line.

    July 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  14. Mike

    Iraq cannot function without our complete takeover. One way to ween ourselves off of foreign oil dependance is to simply take over the Middle East. Then it will be considered an extension of America, and no longer foreign. It's brilliant. Why didn't McCain come up with this?

    July 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Seven years later and still no OBL. The McWar camp and the GOP wants to make Iraq the 51st state. Take there oil put the Iraq people on reservations and build casinos. And they wonder why the rest of the world does not like us?

    July 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    You used 'stability' and Iraq in the same sentence! Good Joke!

    July 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. PUMA - Murphy

    This is one of the smartest things this man has said. While I am not an Obama supporter, he's actually struck a cord with me. I believe this is something that HRC would be in line with.

    The Iraqi people are absolutely responsible for the outcome once we move out. We have given them the fishing pole, the bait, and showed the the best spot to fish at the lake but we cannot stick around and do the fishing for them. We have taught them to fish, it is now time for them to fish without us.

    July 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. US ARMY

    SO PRESIDENTIAL, look at HAGEL- NEBRASKA will go DEMOCRATIC. Can you see what BARACK is cooking?!

    July 22, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Abby

    In about 30 minutes, Senator McCain will respond as his whole strategy has been reduced to waiting for Senator Obama to speak and attacking with something lame that wont even sell newspapers taht they are forced to reject it.

    July 22, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. Biffington, Biff

    Obama said today.....
    "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.

    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.

    _ _ _ _ _ ___ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    so... HE PRAISED AND ACKNOWLEDGED THE HARD WORK AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF OUR FIGHTING MEN AND WOMEN...

    "THEN" took it a step further as to what will facilitate "A FUNCTIONING IRAQ"....

    mark these words..... the idiots will twist, downplay, and 'partial-quote' this all day to attack and minimize what he said.... ITS ALL THEY GOT, FOLKS..... ITS ALL THEY GOT!!!!!

    July 22, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    YEA, THANK YOU. IRAQIS NEED TO TAKE CARE OF IRAQ.

    I WANT MY TAX $S GOING TO AMERICANS FIRST. I AM

    EVEN WILLING TO PAY MORE TAXES TO REBUILD

    MY AMERICA. WE HAD NO BUSINESS GOING INTO

    IRAQ IN THE FIRST PLACE & WE HAVE NO BUSINESS

    STAYING THERE. LETS REBUILD LOUISIANA.

    July 22, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. Jayson

    We also don't know what would have happened if Osama Ben Laden had been hugged more as a child either..... Who cares what might have happened if your plan had been implemented? The fact is that the surge was implemented and all the pieces fell into place to lead to the levels of violence dropping off dramatically. You can't take credit for that just like you can't take credit for anything else thought up by the military and put into action by the President.

    July 22, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. J. Richter

    We put the Sunni militia under our payroll and tehy turned against Al Qaida.

    At the same time we have a asurge that perpetrates the $2 billion a month war in Iraq at the expense of our own country and economics.

    This is not our country. They dont want us there. Our economy is suffering. We've been there for six years and have done what is needed militarily. The rest is up to them.

    If we did what Obama wanted based on his strategic thinking and judement:

    We would have 4000+ American kids still alive.
    We would have 30,000+ American kids healthy and with all their limbs.
    We would have a military that isn't near the breaking point.
    We would have $800+ billion still in our Treasury.
    We would have finished the job in Afghanistan years ago.
    We wouldn't been seen around the world as Imperialist.
    We wouldn't have an empowered and emboldened Iran.

    July 22, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. Xavier, Saint Louis, MO

    Obama is 1000% CORRECT! The low level of violence in Iraq didn’t take place because of the "surge." That's what McCain wants people to believe. The U.S. dollar has helped reduces the amount of violence, because we are paying our enemies to behave and not attack our troops. The almighty dollar wins again!

    July 22, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. Catty

    For all the democrats viewing Obama as their savior, Read between the lines. He is NOT bringing the troops home, he is moving them to Afghanistan. No more lives will be saved, and the war will not end.

    July 22, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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