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.

Full story

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

    I look at this and say WOW finally a person after 8 years who has a brain. Who looks at situations for what they are rather then what they could be. The man has spoken to Iraq's Prime Minister and he said..>He wants us gone. So for Bush and McCain to be worrying about the oil and to keep us there is a little out of hand. I see it like this, if you voted for Bush then you have NO RIGHT to complain about Gas Prices, Our Economy, or The War because you supported this idiot. I did not. I think Obama is honestly a YOUNGER better Candidate. Times have changed and its definitely time for a change. I am not a Republican nor Democrat, I'm an Independant who has the right to be my own person rather then be marked by one of these two parties but in all honesty its time we Get a Democrat in Office to take the Torch out of Bush's hand whose other hand is no where but on his money. Its time we WAKE UP AMERICA and See that skin color or religiion does not matter. We are one as a nation and need to see this for what it is. An eye opener for you GOP's who have honestly lost your minds and go on to rants about nothing sort of like McCain right now who looks like an idiot because the Leader of Iraq wants us gone . And the surge didn't work. It was supposed to be over by now and the Iraqi's were supposed to be running their country but is it like that ....NO...so therefore your plan didn't work.. Another Faulty Lie filled plan by the Bush Administration. I hope they arrest his a22 for lying under oath as a president about WMD's which is way more dangerous then a Blow job

    July 22, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. CP

    @ Lisa

    You're obviously all talk and no original thought. How can Obama bring them home if he is not President yet? Just a question.

    July 22, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. M.S. Indiana

    ANGIE, So why are we fighting in Iraq and not in Afghanistan ?? and what about all those countries harboring terrorists ?? oh wait they don't have any oil for us to exploid

    July 22, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. onaje

    Just like "why we went to war" is a thing of the past, so is the idea that Obama didn't support the surge. The issue today is what to do next and I think Obama is dead on by saying that Iraqi stability is in the hands of the Iraqi people.

    The President doesn't take orders from generals, the President sets the agenda while listening to what's going happening on the ground.

    July 22, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. Fed up with the lies

    Thank God Sen. Obama isn't buying in to the surge mentality and is still planning on getting us the heck out of Iraq. Pulling out of Iraq months ago would not have been a defeat for the U.S. As a matter of fact, the established goal was met the day the Iraqui Dictator Hussein was hanged.

    What would have happened was that about a thousand more troops would be alive today.

    Unfortunately, Sen. McCain still doesn't understand that other factors helped lower the attacks. In fact his surge wouldn't be successful until absolutely no attacks occur. And that just isn't going to happen.

    Obama '08

    July 22, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Nom Deplume

    Seriously liberals, when Obama is president, and doesn't pull troops out on his timeline, but discovers some new, important reason not to, are you going to hold his feet to the fire??? America wants to know.

    Because if he doesn't pull out, and you don't call him on it, I predict that the backlash will be awful, and I predict a lot of libs being spit upon or kicked to the curb (figuratively and literally). Think Bill and Hill had it rough when they backpedaled on their centrism after taking office? That will be a tea party compared to what awaits Obama if he doesn't deliver the pullout.

    And I hope his appeasement efforts are successful for your sakes. Lord help you if another 9/11 happens. Best stay indoors. I have long predicted that if such an event occurs, folks won't be lynching just muslims but liberals as well. Not wishing, just saying.

    July 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. Jason

    Isn't this what the dems have been saying for oh 3-4 years. Its up to the Iraqis to decide what to do with their own country. The "great divider" Bush clearly doesn't understand English too well.

    Obama has a plan, rather than McScam who will stay the course for 50-100 years. Win what? What is the United States trying to win now?? There has never been a plan for victory offered by Bush or any Republican't

    In my eyes, the U.S. has given Iraq everything Bush promised. 1: Get Rid of Saddam (check) 2: Thrust our twisted version of democracy down your throat (check) 3: Free (well U.S. tax payer funded elections) ((check)) 4: Bush's version of Iraq's constitution (check) 5: New Schools, New Infrastructure, Billions of dollars that SHOULD have rebuilt America (check)

    I am sick of anyone who continues to support McCain or Bush.. Where are the WMD's Bush promised?? HE LIED and should have already been impeached... That Lie led to 4000+ dead. What did Clinton's lie about oral secks lead to?? Zero deaths and he was impeached for lying about oral secks.. I guess in the Conservative mind oral secks and lying about it is worse than 4000+dead over a lie about WMD's!! If McCain is elected president I firmly believe he will start WW3.. He has a lot of anger left over from his POW days and will unleash it on Iran!!

    If you want more war and more of the same. Elect McCain.

    July 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. W.

    How does one go about "securing" an "earned victory?" Either an earned victory is secure, or it is not secure, earned, or a victory.
    Sound and fury, stuff and nonsense from another Rebublican Tucker..

    July 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Fed up with the lies

    Lisa July 22nd, 2008 12:14 pm ET

    If you're going to bring them home, bring them home. All talk and no substance.

    Uh, Lisa...there has to be an election before President Obama can bring the troops home. You McCain types keep forgetting that no Senator can start the withdrawal. As soon as President Obama takes office, the talk will turn to action and you will feel like a fool.

    July 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. Michael

    Obama would show what kind of man he is if he simply said "John McCain was right–the surge was right–and I (the great redeemer of mankind if you listen to MSNBC) was wrong." That kind of modesty and truth is simply not in him or his supporters.

    July 22, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. Gimme A Break

    McCain and the conservatives always say we are winning like it is a game. Games have definite beginnings and endings. What are the goals, and definitions that amount to a win? These conservatives are just giving the Iraqis a blank check and all the time they want. Aren't the conservatives the ones that oppose welfare, big government, and entitlements? I guess Iraq doesnt count.

    Mr. Obama, shift the focus to where it should have ONLY been Afghanistan. That is a legit war.

    Obama '08. Finally bring some respect back to our nation.

    July 22, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    He's right.

    He was right about getting in (shoudn't have) and right about getting out (should, with great deliberation and care.)

    He's just right.

    July 22, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. Sandy

    We cannot have our soldiers living there forever just to make sure things go smoothly at some point they need to stand on the own.

    July 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. George

    As a father od a Marine that was part of the surge, I take issue with Obama not relaizing or admitting that the surge worked. He insults everyone in uniform suggesting that his plan may have worked. If I had only picked the right numers on Sat, I would have won 6 million dollars. Please Obama, grow up and admit that the surge worked. It is ok we all know it did. Be a man turn loose of the left for one minute and say "The Surge Worked" if you can. How sad that you can't realize the sacrifice these people made to make sure you can travel there without fear.

    NOBAMA is a NOVELTY being used by the left. How sad......

    July 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. Shannon

    I think it is time we start bringing our troops home, and shifting the billions of dollars we are using to help Iraq, back to our country so we can help ourselves.

    July 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. Jill American

    So Hillary was right ... hmmmmm.

    Obama/Hagel .. no way ... Hagel is anti-choice and if Obama picks him it will alienate even more women! Women do make up 51% of the US population.

    July 22, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. Sammy

    Did I hear somebody say that the Dems allowed our enemies in Vietnam to win and now they want the same enemies in Iraq to win? How did Vietnam become our enemy? People should be schooled in our history. This sense that we have to fight to make our point is archaic and dangerous! So for all of you unschooled war mongers who believe that being involved in a war for war's sake is a noble thing, make a push to get Bush to serve a third term and let him name McCain as his Secretary of War. Then you'll be very happy: we'll have the very thing you crave.

    July 22, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. Sammy

    First they said we cant leave Iraq because there is too much violence. Now that its better they say we cant leave because it would get bad again. Based on those two arguments there will never be a time to leave.

    When all is said and done everyone was told over and over again that we would only be there so long as Iraq wants us there. And now that they dont Bush and McCain are scrambling about what to do.

    July 22, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |




    July 22, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. Kay

    Is it not really sad, that to this date one cannot establish what we really have gained with this war. With over 4000 American lives lost, and an untold number of innocent Iraqi's, not to mention all the woundered Soldiers on both side, we still have some leader's talking about how successful this war is. Can any of these heartless men explain to the widow's and widower's how to put their lives back.

    July 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Ellie in Aurora, CO

    He has such a great grasp of the world situation. Thank goodness!! We sooooo need a smart president and someone who can say more than surge, surge, surge!

    July 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. SS

    McCain's remark about the surge and what Obama suggested prior to the war's "success" is a woulda coulda shoulda statement.
    The reality is that Obama can suggest ideas, but can only make progress with the present. So until he becomes president, everything else is heresay.
    Typical GOP to focus on everything but the present.

    July 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. susie

    When is Obama going to keep his promise and debate McCain?

    July 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    Well said, Sen. Obama! Ultimately, the Iraqi people have to come together to forge a strong, safe country. Sadly, the Bush/Cheney/McCain plan to bring democracy to a nation of tribes has failed and we will witness this when the Troops leave and they are in charge. Bush/Cheney/McCain wanted their oil, now that Big Oil is in there, they can consider it a success!

    The war with Iraq has nearly BANKRUPTED our nation! But people like the "Puma-Hillary-or-else" still will vote for another failed GOP president!

    The REAL war on terror is in Afghanistan. And we face enormous problems as a nation, which we need to solve.

    One BIG question that no one from the McCain-side has dared to answer is: HOW WILL MCCAIN PAY OFF OUR NATIONAL DEBT OF $10 TRILLION AND GIVE US TAX BREAKS????????????????????

    How can we afford more war? Remember McCain's little foreign policy statement/song????????????????????????????????????

    BOMB...........BOMB.........................BOMB IRAN. HOW WILL WE PAY FOR ANOTHER WAR?

    July 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. doofus Cape Coral Fl

    the purpose of the surge was NOT less violence, athough that is certainly desirable. The purpose was to enable the Iraqis to strengthen their own government by means of conciliation and compromise. That has not been done yet.
    We really would be in trouble if the large number of troops we sent did not reduce violence but did the Iraqis use that "peace interlude"well?

    July 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
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