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. MattH

    "Obama is 1000% CORRECT!"
    1000 percent? *sigh* .These Obama supporters are really starting scare me.

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. aware

    Give it up Obama. :(

    You were wrong about the surge, and you are wrong about Education and Drilling...!

    Your charisma won't get you to the White house. You have no credibility or gravitas not to mention no experience or no judgment.

    You can't even make a coherent, consistent statement with a team of 300 plus foreign affairs advisors! :)

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. what?????

    Mr. OBAMA violence is down in IRAQ plain and simple. D-O-W-N SURGE OR NO SURGE, but it worked so quit whining and admit MCCAIN was right NOW that is judgement in world affairs. Whiner.

    July 22, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Smart Republican

    Say no to Jimmy Carter's second term.

    July 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Obama/Hillary 08

    Iraqis have to provide security to their country while we back them up. We cannot be in the forefront forever.

    July 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. Vigla

    Lisa, you keep saying the same thing every day. "Obama looks scared out there" "He looks out of place" "He's elitist next to the troops", etc.

    Not only are you blind, but you have no idea what you're talking about. He looks great and presidential. Imagine McCain making the rounds...he'd have to turn up his hearing aid to hear people talking to him and then make stupid comments like Iraq being next to Pakistan or not knowing the difference between Sunni and Shia.

    You are ridiculous and everyone knows it. I'm calling you out.

    July 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. HRC supporter

    I always find it hilarious that Republicans say that Americans need to be responsible for themselves, a theory I actually agree with, but the Iraqi people, THEY need our help, lol...such hypocrites.

    July 22, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. kayla

    even the iraqis want the u.S. out of there. why does the bush administration still want to stay. hum! i smell a big rat.

    July 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain's arguments against Obama and Iraq are going to create his own demise. A fool should see it is not wise to continue this argument when Iraq has proven to say and do the exact opposite of what McCain is saying. Iraq did it to GWB and he has reversed, so what idiot would continue to bash Obama. McCain is going to fall like a deck of cards.

    July 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Joe Citizen

    This is a leader I can get behind .... I can't follow John McCain

    July 22, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. HanoiFilms

    It is not the surge that succeeded, that is McCain's spin. The success stems from the Iraqis, primarily the Sunnis not cooperating with Al Qaeda. Let give the due to those who deserve it. That is why the generals still see the situation has reversible.

    July 22, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. twofacedtony

    Is Obama going to withdrawal from Europe too? Or do we treat them differently??

    July 22, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. bernadette

    it is the Republicans who are frightening – they are once again resorting to Rove/Bush/Cheney fear tactics since McCain would have to change his views towards Obama's if he bothered to listen to what the Iraquis want. Since they don't have reason to fall on, they fall on 'fear-mongering' once again. McCain is starting to sound more and more like Guiliani- a noun, a verb, and 911

    July 22, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. The Right Vote

    Good point, Sandy! At some point we cannot occupy Iraq any longer. Iraq is telling us in a big way that the time has come for our troops to start exiting. Obama is recognizing the boundries of a sovereign nation with its own government. If we don't leave – then we are not practicing the idea of democracy.

    Obama is right.

    July 22, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  15. Peter (CA)

    The surge has worked? Well, thank God that the bravery of the American troops has helped. But is seems naive to say the surge "worked"-sort of like "Mission Accomplished".

    Whatever advantage we have is fragile and so much of it is based on factors such as paying the different factions. How long can we keep that up? Sadr may have been dealt a few setbacks but this is a dangerous man who will ultimately strike back with all of the force he can find.

    But even if the surge is the reason for the changes, logic says we cannot pull back until the job is done. How long is that going to be? 5 years? 10 years? more? How many more American lives are we willing to lose? 1000? 5000? 10,000? How many more billions do we flush down the drain since the Iraqi government seems very comfortable letting us finance this mess?

    July 22, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. Christopher in TN

    Does McSame do nothing but react to what Obama says? What exactly is his plan for ending the war? We've heard nothing but what's wrong with what Obama is saying. Maybe he should have a press conference on the Iraqi-Pakistani border and tell us EXACTLY what his plan is! "Experience" my hindquarters!

    July 22, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    The Cut and Run tactics of Obama and his lefty friends will not give the Iraqis the oppurtunity to stabalize and build thier country up to stand up for its self. Look at the Balkans, they are not as far along as Iraq is.

    July 22, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. Tony

    Couldn't agree more!

    This comment by Heather Wilson, R-New Mexico was hysterical, especially after the last 8 years. Another republican completely out of touch with reality!

    Her comment/statement was:

    "He's not listening to the whole of what the Iraqi government was saying — he's hearing what he wanted to hear and what he thought would help him politically, which get backs to Senator Obama as a candidate for the presidency," Wilson said. "He has his finger in the wind, trying to figure out which way the wind is blowing, and he is not leading.

    "He is no way sophisticated enough, I don't think — I mean he is frighteningly inexperienced when it comes to international affairs and national security policy," she added. "And he heard what he wanted to hear from the Iraqi government, without any context around it, and took that simple message and decided it helped him politically. That's the antitheses of what we should expect from a president of the United States."

    July 22, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. Bayousara for Hillary in November

    Oh....

    I thought the elections were over.

    Still goin' at it, Obamaians and McCainians?

    July 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. sarah

    and still oblahblah cannot admit that he was wrong and mccain was right the surge worked. what an arrogant self righteous creep. he sound more like bush than anyone else in the government. ( i was not wrong, i just was not as right as i thought i was)

    July 22, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. Elly

    MCSame and others like the above blogs try to paint Obama as experienced
    please tell me where experience has got American
    down a path of constant war
    I think most americans are willing to try *good judgement* and so do other countries apparently
    Poll From Canada
    Which U.S. presidential candidate would have a more positive influence on the Middle East?
    John McCain 31%
    Barack Obama 69%
    This is not a scientific poll
    point made!!

    July 22, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. Elly

    MCSame and others like the above blogs try to paint Obama as inexperienced
    please tell me where experience has got American
    down a path of constant war
    I think most americans are willing to try *good judgement* and so do other countries apparently
    Poll From Canada
    Which U.S. presidential candidate would have a more positive influence on the Middle East?
    John McCain 31%
    Barack Obama 69%
    This is not a scientific poll
    point made!!

    July 22, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. RealityKing

    i.e... If I'm elected, America troops are pulling out and we're not coming back to help no matter what happens.

    July 22, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. no no no!

    LOVIN OBAMA

    July 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. JD

    Mr. Obama has 143 days of actual on-the-floor working experience at the Federal level. Why, that's almost 4/10th of an entire year.

    Wow, just wow. And SOME people have the nerve to say that he is inexperienced.......

    July 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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