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. TJ Johnson

    My question to you Obama is: If it is Iraq's responsibility to care for itself without the US, why is Afghanistan different? Why should Americans defend Afghanistan but not Iraq???

    July 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. @ANGIE (clueless)

    Jindal is one of those once in a life time politician that is so very rare in these days and age. This guy is a genuine genius with a burning desire to be effective. The changes he has managed to make in LA and the accomplishments he has done in 37 years are rare……very very rare. I do believe we are a fortunate country to have someone like Jindal in governement. Jindal is the sort of person who will set a new standard and raise the bar on what effective leadership ought to be, should be and will be!
    Are you clueless? Jindal is a guy who has not held the same office for more than 2 years in a row; he's held a lot of positions, that's for sure, at least 3 times resiging an office to accept a position in another job.

    in the 1 year he has been in the office of governor of LA, at least one recall petition was supported because of Jindal's position to double legislators salaries… he also is known for CUTTING public programs, hospitals and clinics.

    Did you know he was a HINDU until high school. How does that fit into your Republican mold? His REAL name isn't even "Bobby" — it's Piyush Jindal (FACT)…

    It would be a welcome change for people to do some research before exposing their ignorance… but then, it would help if McCain did that, too.



    BY the WAY... JINDAL is 36 years OLD. I don't know what you think he might have accomplished in, say, the first 10-20 of those years, dear.

    July 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. salt of the earth

    It is the surge... and its success, that now permits a withdrawal of troops.


    Obama is trying to take the credit for the success of a plan that he strongly and wrongly opposed.

    HOW arrogant and self-serving and hypocritical is THAT?

    July 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Chad, Wisco

    I do not support this war currently, however I am amazed at how many people now claim that they never supported it. Based on the information at the time (that even had Colin Powell wrong) attacking Iraq was the correct thing to do. I challenge everyone to quit complaining about how we never should have been there and take your cause to how we are going to leave. Complaining will not bring back the men and women who lost their lives.

    July 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |



    July 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. AJ.Hnakel

    PLEASE PLEASE don't take our Govenor!!

    July 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. Demagogue

    The surge- that Obama was against- WORKED.

    Now the troops can withdraw on a careful timetable.

    Malaki can be on board because things are now improved.

    Obama is trying to take credit for a plan that he criticized but that has worked.

    How sleazy and dirty is Obama?

    July 22, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. Sheople yes, people no so much.

    The false prophet pretends to be the Messiah, once again.

    The sheep will follow.

    The people can see through the media hype.

    July 22, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Ms. RDS

    Did the republicans send out a memo that says to all surrogates...."No matter what the topic is just make sure to mention the surge at least 10...make that 11 just to be safe."

    July 22, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. David from Ohio

    There's no one with and R after their name at the VP level that doesn't make me shudder. No, let's not "cut and run" (that's the latest slogan right?), let's stay there forever and ever. The problem with Iraq, as with the economy and ever other issue in America today, is that the conservatives, with their black and white world view, have been given the opportunity to govern. They've failed miserably and their only refuge is to attack anyone that offers a solution that's different from their stilted worldview. Newsflash–the conservative movement, as at the beginning of power in 1980, is intellectually and morally bankrupt. So go ahead and get on with the "The Democrats lost Iraq" myth you'll perpetuate for the next 25 years.

    July 22, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. Barack O'Moron

    The very fact that Obama can be in Iraq mouthing off is because of the surge! What a moron!

    July 22, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. a southern bell for OBAMA




    July 22, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. An American Whiner

    What the GOP is not telling you is that the violence was not quelled by the surge. THE VIOLENCE WAS QUELLED A A COMBINATION OF SEVERAL KEY OCCURENCES:

    A shift in allegiances among the Sunni tribal leaders, as well as the decision of the Sadr militias to stand down, Iraq military forces growing in power and quelling violence, and finally the surge.


    July 22, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. Tejano

    Let us not forget that we are electing a President not American Idol. The President is the leader of our Nation not a puppet of the International community. Don't put your country at risk. Vote for the one True American in this Race. John S. McCain, Death before dishonor. Semper Fi.

    July 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. perfect

    Obama, now trying to take credit for the success of the surge.

    He opposed it, it worked, and now he wants to claim credit for it.

    Of course the Iraquis will ultimately have to step up to the plate... we need Obama to tell us the obvious.

    July 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. REG in AZ

    Current results seem to support what Obama says with there being little doubt that Iraq's security and progress is in the hands of the Iraqis, since the over throw of Saddam it has really always been that way. More than the surge, what the Iraqis have done to stop the fighting between Iraqis and in settling some of the differences between factions within the government is what is really responsible for the current progress. It is time to take American politics and American troops out of the picture.

    July 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. Last Honest Man

    This is an incredibly dangerous person.

    July 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. Uncle Sam

    Barack Obama has made a foreign policy blunder on his trip to the Middle East, proclaiming that he wanted to "make it absolutely clear that Israel is a friend of Israel's."

    This type of mental lapse could indicate a more serious underlying problem for the freshman senator.
    That he doesn't know what the heck he is talking about.

    July 22, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. Messiah complex

    Obama... the man of the future... playing the what if game.

    Obama is always going back instead of forward.

    What if 9/11 never happened? Where would WE be now. We don't know THAT either.

    July 22, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. Obama 08: white, 60 year old woman

    I am looking forward to hearing from Senators Reed and Hagel when they get home. They certainly seemed totally in agreement with Obama at his press conference in Jordan.

    McCain has two ads on the internet on how the media is in love with Obama. Perhaps they should be explaining WHY THAT IS OBAMA'S fault. To use this as a reason for not supporting Obama is pathetic.

    Since his whining McCain is getting equal coverage. From what I have seen this will only help Obama.

    July 22, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. Bill from ALabama

    Obama simply can't amit he was wrong about the surge! He can't admit that America's involvement in Iraq brought about a new Democracy in the Middle-East. He can't admit his judgement may not be all that great after all !!!!

    July 22, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. The Surge

    The Surge is a "TACTIC", Obama is talking about a comprehensive Iraq "STRAGEDY". As an ex military man McCain should understand the difference. Touting that "the surge worked!" is like saying " We threw a great punch " when someone else is saying we shouldn't be fighting, lets stop. McCain should say "the surge worked..so we can come home " THAT would be a stagedy or conversely he could say "the surge worked, so we should stay longer" Just saying 'the surged worked'...whether you agree the reduction in violence is due entirely to the surge or not.. is not a saying anything about what we are doing invading another country.

    What is winning in Iraq anyway? Is it a reduction in violence, an independent, self governed Iraq, an Iraq not able to threaten its neighbors? Or is it an Iraq with oil controlled by US companies, an Iraq with 50 US bases, an Iraq with a US puppet government?

    If it is the former, we've won. Lets leave. We had such an Iraq when Saddam was in power and the thousands of US and hundreds of thousands of Iraqic dead does not justify the invasion. If it the latter...then you make your own call....but I don't think the cost is justified even then.

    July 22, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. ron

    what does McCain mean by winning the war in Iraq. We have the rights to the oil wells .Daddy Bush can sleep at night W hanged he arch rival.

    July 22, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Uchenna in MD

    To all warmongers in support of McCain: Trace your family tree back to Adam (for the Christians) or to evolution and count the number of people in it. I bet they are less than 1000. 4200 people have died unnecessarily in Iraq for crying out loud! Vote for Peace!!!

    Republican for Barack Hussein Obama.

    July 22, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. William, from Cali

    The only thing that we, can be sure of in this World; is that situations will change. And with that change, our "policies" have to adjust to that change. The 'future predictors" are in limited supply; and the "critics from hindsight", are at the highest premium.

    July 22, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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