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. Troy, MT

    I want to take the smirk off of McPain's face. He's creepy. The thought of him being in charge with such obvious insecurities, is frightening.

    Obama 08

    July 22, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. a southern bell for OBAMA



    WINNING WHAT??????





    July 22, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. Lisa

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

    July 22, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. Amy

    Isn't this what had to happen after the Civil War in the US? AS long as the union troops were present in the south, the south was unable to deal with what had to become their new way of life "getting along". Don't get me wrong it took a very long time to get where the south is today... but maybe we can learn from our history and try to help the Iraqis not repeat the issues we had post civil war in the south.

    Eventually, the only people who can solve the problems in Iraq will be Iraq. If the troop surge truly worked by itself then we should be able to leave... so what is McCain and Bush afraid of? I think it is the fact that we have been paying these people to not attack us.... no one reports that when they talk about this surge strategy.

    The surge strategy =paying off our enemies nto to fight us... kind of like the mofia days.

    July 22, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Julie, WI

    I don't understand why the so called "nobamas" even listen to what the Senator has to say if they don't like what he stands for. I for one don't get it, if you are that repulsed with Obama then change the darn channel. Why sit and listen? I don't get that analogy!

    July 22, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. Canada

    I love how Barack Obama always considers the BIG PICTURE when analyzing the facts. He gets it. He's Presidential.

    Obama – Pickens on the ticket. Just kidding but Pickens has a brilliant short and longterm plan.

    July 22, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. MMN-Milwaukee WI

    Let the truth be told, if the US stops spending $800,000 a week to bribe the warring factions of Sunis, Shiites, and Sadr militias not to fight each other the Surge will look like a joke. As usual the GOP thinks money or brut force will solve any problem in the world.

    July 22, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  8. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Still waiting for a majority of the bloggers to give facts and not just say things like "All you Obama supporters make me sick." That's just one example. I'm still looking for facts, just the facts folks.

    July 22, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Mike, TX

    What Obama cannot admit is that all this progress in Iraq happened because of the surge. The Iraqi government has completed 16 of 18 political objectives set out.

    By saying that the future of Iraq is "ultimately in the hands of Iraqis" is just a stupid recognition of the obvious.

    Most know that had we followed the Obama plan, R&D (retreat and defeat), Iraq would now be experiencing ethnic violence on a national scale.

    Keep up the stupidity Obama.

    July 22, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Obamacan

    America – We just had an opportunity to listen what a real soon to be president sounds like.

    If we take into consideration that according to many, foreign policy is where Obama is supposedly weak, I don’t know what McSame and the Republican party will do when he gets to speak on an area where he’s strong.

    McSame will forever regrets challenging this guy to take this trip.

    I couldn’t be happier I switched party.

    Republican for Obama 08.

    July 22, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. Foreign observer

    So Irak has enough money to pay the thousands of Sunni fighters in mid of 2010. Until then US has to pay them. Thats where the surge results came from ! The term "surge" was nice propaganda.

    July 22, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. atypical

    I'm in support of helping the Iraqi people help themselves and that can be achieved by starting plans for withdrawal in the not-to-distant future.

    We shouldn't have been there to begin with, at least not for the reasons we were; so it makes it all the more important the manner in which we leave, but leave we must.

    Obama 08

    July 22, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. Mike in Columbus


    Good point... lets just keep them in Iraq forever... its benefitted us so much so far!!!!!!!

    Those kids who want their parents home are just a bunch of cut&run whinners, right?

    July 22, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. Jamal kansas

    this is true because if the people in iraq would not have agreed to stop fighting us and start fightiong extremist for a FEE of course the troop surge would never have worked

    July 22, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. Brian

    Take a look at this press conference. That's Barack Obama on the ground in the middle east, speaking the truth with Chuck Hagel sitting behind him. Hagel is a prominent, respected Nebraska Republican who, on the verge of retirement, has few remaining political aspirations.

    As a result, he has committed himself to standing behind what's RIGHT ... not what's politically convenient for the Republican party. And that is ending the war in Iraq... a costly mistake from the beginning.

    He knows Obama is right, and is the only politician with the courage to see this madness brought to a resolution.

    OBAMA '08!!!

    July 22, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. NY State of mind


    I'm in the military and I don't need any thank you from Obama. Him being my President will be thanks enough!!

    July 22, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. BR

    Earlier in 2007, the war was lost according to BHO, then Bush enacts the surge strategy and we are winning. Now BHO wants to somehow claim a stake to it. The kool-aid drinking minions of the left are really unintelligent.

    July 22, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. Jan, Knoxville, TN

    Isn't Barack just wonderful! I deeply believe he can turn things around for our country and the world.

    July 22, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. AA

    What do you mean sir?

    That you see the situation for what it is?

    That after talking to the highest commanders in the military and hanging-by-a-thread allies that there is absolutely no other realistic way for your country to get out of the biggest, most poorly planned and corrupt mistake made in the history of your country?

    But, but, but, you didn't say that we would win, and, and, you play basketball, and your name is foreign'ish.

    July 22, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Jamal kansas

    It is funny when you know that Republicans pay bloggers to spew there nonsense agendas like we are listening to Republicans try harder Because we won't Obama wait you already know that Obama 08

    July 22, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. Jude

    It befounds me why McCain would get all the credit for the "non-violence" in IRAQ when we know that "the surge" wasn't the main reason why violence has slowed. We all know the US government is paying off the sectarians to stop violence!

    July 22, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Just Curious

    Why does CNN have Obama ads on almost every page of its website? If they are going to so strongly champion one candidate over the other, they should change their name from CNN ( Cable News Network.) to OEN ( Obama Election Network) Cable and mainstream news organizations have completely lost all credibility with their open and unapologetic bias in favor of one candidate. The American people have a RIGHT to unbiased journalism, and we are not getting it. The news is no longer news; it is propaganda for the Obama campaign. This is the USA, not some Communist country with the government in control of the media. It is truly tragic.

    July 22, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Why can't Mr. Judgement admit he blew it? The surge worked. If Obama's plan had been followed Iraq would be part of Iran by now. Does anyone really think Maliki would be saying we can leave if violence was still at pre-surge levels? Obama was there 1 day, and now he thinks he knows it all. What a fool!

    July 22, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. Mb

    How wonderful to have someone represent the US in such an articulare and intelligent way. But also the visuals are great. having the 3 of them on stage looking groomed, relaxed, and competent says more than words could ever say in restoring confidence and respect to our country.

    July 22, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. Susan

    better than being someplace we are not wanted. McLame just does not get it. They have nothing to add to the conversation other than their old tired rhetoric. America is not buying it anmore, Johnny boy. Over 4,100 dead Americans for GBW's and Cheneys illegal war which you want to continue is more than enough! Go home!

    July 22, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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