Obama, Iraqi prime minister meet amid U.S. troop withdrawal
December 12th, 2011
12:46 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama, Iraqi prime minister meet amid U.S. troop withdrawal

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama met Monday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki amid the ongoing withdrawal of virtually all U.S. troops from Iraq, a process to be completed by the end of this month.

Speaking to reporters after their Oval Office meeting, Obama said Monday that the end of the Iraq war means a new chapter in U.S.-Iraq relations, with a focus now on a "normal relationship between sovereign nations."

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Filed under: Iraq • President Obama
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Woman In California

    I don't know about you – but it sure makes me feel good to know we have a competent president in office who is actually out working against all odds in congress instead of throwing tantrums about something someone accused him of saying in one of his books. Keep up the good work Mr. President.

    December 12, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    It is nice to see that Obama followed through on the agreement George Bush made with Iraq to withdraw the troops. Funny how that never gets mentioned. Obama, as usual, blames others for his disasters, and takes credit for others work.

    Too bad he failed at negotiating an agreement ot keep a presence there though. It's going to cost us dearly should Iran continue its meddling in Iraqi affairs or our embassies be threatened.

    December 12, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    I would pull the Prime Minister aside to measure his mettle regarding his comments about siding with Pakistan in the event that if it came to armed conflict between US and Pakistan that he would side with the Pakistanis. I would ask him if he held such faith with the Pakistanis to invite them to share in his nation's security and building that he has requested for the next decade so that US troops can go home, NOW.

    December 12, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    "This is an equal partnership, a broad relationship that advances the security and aspirations of both our peoples," Obama said. "This is a historic moment. A war is ending. A new day is upon us, and let us never forget those who gave us this chance."
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    I absolutely agree with President Barack Obama here. He is finally coming around to the idea that this war was the right thing for both countries and because of the dedication and professional work of America's military, the aspirations and security of both nations are advanced. This would not have been the case if we bailed out early and did not make a clear decision to win our way out. Now lets talk about Afghanistan...

    December 12, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. Keith in Austin

    Obama has basically just given; Iran, Al Queda and The Taliban a bright green light to re-occupy Iraq. Time will soon tell whether this broadcast to the World is warranted. The Middle-East is rife with uncertainty and Obama's message today made things that much worse!

    December 12, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Gurgi

    I like the idea of removing all troops from the middle east. Put them along the southern and northern borders to keep out illegal alien invaders. If we don't do something like that with them we can watch the unemployment percentage increase.

    December 12, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Keith in Austin wrote:

    Obama has basically just given; Iran, Al Queda and The Taliban a bright green light to re-occupy Iraq.
    -------------–
    Allow me to welcome you to the Rick Perry Study Group. The Taliban is in Afghanistan.

    December 12, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Democrats somebody wrote:
    Too bad he failed at negotiating an agreement ot keep a presence there though. It's going to cost us dearly should Iran continue its meddling in Iraqi affairs or our embassies be threatened.
    -------------–
    Iran is strong today because their natural check and balance in the region was compromised. Saddam Hussein. Saddam made sure that Iraq's military never grew large enough to be a threat to anyone, much less allow them to develop a nuclear weapon.

    December 12, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. once upon a horse

    we have the battle of the right wingers here and it's so funny. We have ONE claiming that George Bush should actually get credit for the withdraw then we have the other claiming that Obama is allowing Iran to retake Iraq (wonder would he still say that had GWB made the withdraw under his watch) You right wingers crack me up..as long as Obama does it even bringing home our troops to be with their families it's WRONG. Give it up because it's gotten way old.

    December 12, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    once upon a horse
    we have the battle of the right wingers here and it's so funny. We have ONE claiming that George Bush should actually get credit for the withdraw...
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    GWB doesn't get credit for withdrawing, just winning to make that possible. If you remember, Obama ( and Hillary if you are keeping track.. ) was trying to convince Americans in 2007 that the Iraq war was, "...unwinnable."

    December 12, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    We have ONE claiming that George Bush should actually get credit for the withdraw
    ==================================================================
    Might want to educate yourself on when this agreement was signed and by whom:

    "the timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops in Iraq was decided during the Bush administration with the signing of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) by U.S. and Iraq officials on Nov. 16, 2008. The Iraqi parliament signed SOFA on Nov. 27, 2008.

    The agreement, which had been in negotiations since 2007, set a timetable calling for most U.S. troops to leave Iraqi towns and cities by June 30, 2009, with about 50,000 troops left in place until the final withdrawal of all U.S. military forces by Dec. 31, 2011."

    And almost everybody agreed it was in this country's best interest to maintain some sort of presence in Iraq. We left behind BILLIONS in bases and unused equipment (cost too much to ship it back). Obama's failure to protect our country's long term interests must of course play second fiddle to his political considerations. Obama is once again, playing politics for his own gain.

    December 12, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. The Greedy Old Pigs are a neocon deathcult

    "Too bad he failed at negotiating an agreement ot keep a presence there though. It's going to cost us dearly should Iran continue its meddling in Iraqi affairs or our embassies be threatened."

    Admit, your just another screechmonkey from the GOBP deathcult who thinks nothing President Obama does is good or correct, am I right? For instance, surely even you know that the ONLY way to keep troops in Iraq was to agree to Iraqi demands that US soldiers answer in Iraqi courts for crimes in Iraq. And surely you also know that along with the US refusing to ever agree to such terms, if for any reason Obama did you and your extreme rightwing radical nujobs would be screaming about how he wasn't "keeping our troops safe".

    December 12, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I can give you 5.5 trillion reasons the little moron form Texas who lied us into Iraq, should not be given credit for anything, but an attempt to destroy our country's economy.

    December 12, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. patNY

    To those opposed to this move, you need to know, we have no choice but to leave Iraq thanks to the agreement GWB entered with that country and Iraq was not interested in renegotiating. If we stayed beyond the agreed exit date, we then become illegal occupiers.

    December 12, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    For instance, surely even you know that the ONLY way to keep troops in Iraq was to agree to Iraqi demands that US soldiers answer in Iraqi courts for crimes in Iraq. And surely you also know that along with the US refusing to ever agree to such terms, if for any reason Obama did you and your extreme rightwing radical nujobs would be screaming about how he wasn't "keeping our troops safe".
    =================================================================================================
    It's called an opening negotiation position. Obama needed to negotiate (.ie give them something for this to be dropped) this item. I guess he was too busy vacationing, golfing, fund raising or campaigning to do his job in this matter.

    December 12, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Republicans answer to everything, give tax breaks to the wealthiest and make the middle class pay for it

    One of Bush's greatest failures, besides 9-11, was that he destabilized the middle east. While his war only cost of $2 trillion, which is small in comparison to his other right wing brilliance, like tax breaks to the wealthy, we as a country will pay for his incompetence for several generations.

    December 12, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote:
    GWB doesn't get credit for withdrawing, just winning to make that possible. If you remember, Obama ( and Hillary if you are keeping track.. ) was trying to convince Americans in 2007 that the Iraq war was, "...unwinnable."
    ---------------------
    Obama and Clinton were correct. Care to explain what Bush "won" or what objectives did Bush "win" in Iraq? Because I have been keeping track and Bush declared "mission accomplished" during his first term. And began an immediate withdrawal of US forces before the regions of the country could be stabilized.

    –> He had begun exiting the country when there was no functioning government nor military. <–

    Democrats howled for him to say. Bush noted that he promised The People. Civil War quickly engulfed the country, Americans were being killed in increasing numbers for two years. Democrats then howled for him to get out while Republicans howled for a surge. That brings us to the end of 2006, and Bush began his "surge" in 2007. They also sent in a few billion dollars to bribe tribesman and village leaders to lay down their arms. The money worked. It worked so well that they even lost several pallets of cash worth around five billion dollars. Oops, I'm out of time. to be continued

    December 12, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "And almost everybody agreed it was in this country's best interest to maintain some sort of presence in Iraq. We left behind BILLIONS in bases and unused equipment (cost too much to ship it back). Obama's failure to protect our country's long term interests must of course play second fiddle to his political considerations. "

    And those billions would have stayed there no matter what. If you think spending billions upon billions of dollars over the long haul to keep a large ground force on Iraqi soil is a good idea for our country's long term economic health and security, just say so outright....but make sure you include and admit that it would cost us billions upon billions of dollars. Fact is, the billions left in Iraq and the buillions spent on it in the first place, never should have been spent, and were billions of dollars spent providing al Qaeda and other organizations with photo and video to place in their recruitment brochures. NOTHING threatens our national security and place in the international community more than massive plutocratic tax cuts and spending cuts, deregulation and irresponsible military industrial comlpex spending. NOTHING. And we have the GOP to thank for it all.

    December 12, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Democrats somebody wrote:
    It's called an opening negotiation position. Obama needed to negotiate (.ie give them something for this to be dropped) this item. I guess he was too busy vacationing, golfing, fund raising or campaigning to do his job in this matter.
    -------------
    Besides being the opposite of what Pres. Obama is wishing to do, what reason do we have for staying in Iraq with a presence that costs $2 billion per week?

    December 12, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Democrats somebody wrote:
    The agreement, which had been in negotiations since 2007, set a timetable calling for most U.S. troops to leave Iraqi towns and cities by June 30, 2009, with about 50,000 troops left in place until the final withdrawal of all U.S. military forces by Dec. 31, 2011."
    --------------
    The original timetable called or an exit by mid-2010. The Iraqi government requested that the US stay another year until the end of 2011. George W. Bush had also publicly stated that if they Iraqis asked us to leave, then we would leave. War mongerers are calling for the US to break its' promises given to a foreign government and its' peoples.

    Me, I would prefer to leave now while the going is fairly good. If they need us back, then they can *hire* us to come back instead of staying their doing it for free whie we bankrupt ourselves like fools.

    December 12, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    Psst. GOPers, listen up. Ari Fleischer thinks it's a good ideal not to criticize President Obama unduly. I tend to agree with Ari. Especially on war with Iraq policies.

    December 12, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  22. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Besides being the opposite of what Pres. Obama is wishing to do, what reason do we have for staying in Iraq with a presence that costs $2 billion per week?
    ==========================================================================================
    It is called visible support for the government of Iraq. We could be providing training and support for Iraq's military, should they need or request it. We also still have several thousands independent contractors (American citizens) as well as embassy personnel there. Might also come in handy should the shiite hit the fan in Iran.

    But all water under the dam because Obama couldn't be bothered....

    December 12, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. bullock w

    I thinks presdient obama will be careful what happened about baghanad or accdient 20012

    December 12, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    That $2 billion a week to keep our presence in Iraq is fine with right wingnuts, because they know that the middle class and poorer people will have to pay for it, not the billionaires and wealthy Americans.

    December 12, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Democrats somebody wrote:
    It is called visible support for the government of Iraq. We could be providing training and support for Iraq's military, should they need or request it. We also still have several thousands independent contractors (American citizens) as well as embassy personnel there. Might also come in handy should the shiite hit the fan in Iran.
    ----------
    You missed the point. I would rather have them pay us to return and do those things, make them pay for it themselves. You would rather do all of that stuff for free while it costs us $2 billion per week. The American people wish to do it "my waaaay".

    December 12, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |