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.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (297 Responses)
  1. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Spoken like a "true" President. There are no winners in a war; it all boils down to who is left........and I agree......the Iraqis need to take control of their country and their lives.

    July 22, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. tony

    Can anyone define what success in Iraq is? According to McCain , we have already succeeded in Iraq. Succeeded in what? If we have already succeeded, can we pull our troops from Iraq and concentrate on the real war of terror against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan?

    July 22, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. Scott Brown Palm Bay Florida

    McHussian strikes again! Why not offer the terrorists a happy meal and some of your freshly made kool aid that all of your followers drink-it works on them. The CHOSEN ONE delivers such good speeches and when you take the teleprompter away there is nothing left.

    July 22, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. FactCheck

    > HA! Very well, Obama, now, you need to change your debate and
    > give the credit to the tireless efforts of our military and diplomats who >have crafted a situation on the ground that you and the media have
    > tried so hard to hide.
    > The man is clueless.

    Talk about clueless... try looking up "Al-Sadr" and "cease fire" and tell me again about how it's all because of the surge. Next time, try doing a little homework before you spout off.

    July 22, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    The surge would have been irrelevant if we had listened to Obama in the first place. This was a war .... INVASION... that should have never occured. We invaded a sovereign nation unprovoked. Sounds to me like the surge was a way of cleaning up an unnecessary mess.

    OBAMA was correct all along.

    July 22, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. Wesley

    The surge would have been irrelevant if we had listened to Obama in the first place. This was a war .... INVASION... that should have never occured. We invaded a sovereign nation unprovoked. Sounds to me like the surge was a way of cleaning up an unnecessary mess.

    OBAMA was correct all along.

    July 22, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. bill for barack

    There must be only a handful of deluded stooges around the world who do NOT realize the truth of this. Unfortunately one is in the White House and the other aspires to be.

    July 22, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. tony

    I meant the war on terror in my post.

    July 22, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  9. Change We Can't Possibly Believe In

    Apparently Sen. Obama now supports the surge and would have us believe that he always has. He also now would have us believe that he always felt the war in Iraq was winnable.

    What does he take us for?

    July 22, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. JD

    well thank you Captain Obvious.

    July 22, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. Janice

    I just have to say that to all the idiots who think Obama voted against going to war with Iraq – Hello he wasn't even a senator when this whole thing started so he did not have a vote. He might of had an opinion but not a vote.

    July 22, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. JD

    O'bummer was against the surge before he was for the surge before he was against the surge!

    July 22, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    What a pleasure it is to listen to Obama discuss world affairs in a thoughtful and intelligent way. What a contrast to the chest thumping cowboy mentality we have seen from the Bush administration and now the McCain campaign.

    July 22, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. enlightened voter

    I know what would have happened with that plan, NOTHING! It just shows he was wrong along with other Dems and it would absolutely make them burn to have admit something GWB did right. This guy's arrogance is more than Bill Clinton ever dreamed. He is totally a hack and empty suit. He was supposed to be better than Hillary????

    July 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. Michelle

    Response to comment about Obama "looking presidential":

    Hello! An ACTOR can LOOK presidential. Maybe that's all Obama is.

    And do you know that Obama is staging fake interviews? Journalist
    Andrea Mitchell complained about it on Chris Matthews's show.

    July 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. Willow, from Iowa

    Obama is right. The only way we could guarantee that their country would be Democratic is to stay another 100 years. Its ultimately up to the people in Iraq to make their own destiny. Its a Civil War and we need to get out of it and let them figure it out amongst themselves. We've given them the tools, now they need to do it.

    McCain keeps saying that without the surge, Obama couldn't even safely go there. If we had done what Obama wanted all along, we wouldn't even have needed the surge. Which is just another way of saying escalation.

    July 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. What!!!

    I thought the surge didn't work?!?! So how did the decrease in violence happen?

    "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."

    Just follow our example of treating diversity in the US. That will work.

    July 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. Christopher

    From the understanding I've acquired I think the money we're paying Sunni & Shia militia to stand down is working more than the surge, of course having a few thousand troops standing behind those dollars helped a little bit too!

    July 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. Gregg

    I agree with senator Obama on this one. The Iraqi people have to control their own fate. the longer we do everything for them the longer it will take. A time line is the one thing that we have failed at. We needed a timeline 2yrs ago and should have stood by it. the end result will be the same if we leave today or 10yrs form now. Why am I the only one that can see that? we walk away and if it all falls appart then we strike from a distance. Boots on ground has been proven NOT to be the answer. Did we learn nothing from the Russian's in Afganistan? From the Iraq/Iran conflict? We trained these insurgents to defeat there enimies, which ironically is now us. Obama has my vote as long as Glenn Beck is his running mate!!

    July 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. Janice

    and to add at the time we went to war 90% of the population approved of this. Granted it hasn't turned out how anyone wanted it to and its time to leave but you people need to get off your soapbox and stop acting like you were against it all along. Neither Obama or McCain is what this country needs.

    Vote Scooby Doo -

    July 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  21. Mark

    There is no better time then now to pull out from the middle east. These people have been fighting for more years then we could even imagine and as we can all see there is nothing we can do to change the issue over there. If we stay were hated if we leave were hated. So lets do the best thing possible leave but leave with an understanding dont come knocking on our door with your issues and try to drag us in to a fight, because next time we wont be so nice.

    July 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. 17 year old future politician

    Its funny how so many republicans were against the war when Bush was president, and as soon as Obama runs against McCain they all-of-a-sudden support the war. Listen voters, after over 4 years of U.S. Influence the Iraqi government should be able to handle themselves, they are not a bunch of 5 year olds, how can we legitamitly claim to be helping the Iraqi government by ignoring al-maliki's support for withdrawal...this will make us look like dictators and continue to kill our relationship with the countries around us. Republicans, stop bashing Obama on inexperience and the stupid notion that he is all talk, because I have yet to hear any plans McCain has on any of the big issues in America and abroad. We are not idiots, we know it is YOUR canidate that is infact ALL TALK.

    Obama/Sebelius 08'

    July 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. Marj,Paso Robles, Cal

    The Messiah has spoken.

    July 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. Corey Gabriel

    Not only has McCain never defined his versions of "victory" or "success" in Iraq for us, but he has failed to give us a geography lesson as to where he thinks the "Iraqi/Pakistani" border is. Old John is getting confused more and more.

    July 22, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. Francisco in NY

    Why doesn't WhamBama preach this in his church ? Practice this at home buddy and maybe people will take you seriously !!

    July 22, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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