April 13th, 2008
02:45 PM ET
15 years ago

Sunday roundup: The next steps in Iraq


WASHINGTON (CNN) - With this week’s headlines focused on the congressional testimony of U.S. Commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, the Sunday morning talk show circuit showcased some of the top political players in the next steps for the United States in Iraq:

On CNN’s Late Edition, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden and Republican Ranking Member Richard Lugar gave their assessments following the week of testimony. Biden told host Wolf Blitzer that it’s not the presidential election that will change the Iraqi government, but rather “reality on the ground will change the politics in Iraq.” Lugar expressed some disappointment in the current Iraq strategy, telling Blitzer “The hearing demonstrated that we don't have still a definition of success or victory.”

Also on Late Edition, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari asserted that the Iraqi government is doing its part to stabilize the country. “We are shouldering the main burden on looking after our people,” Zebari said. “We are not standing by. This is our country.”


CBS’s Face the Nation featured Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Moderator Bob Schieffer asked about the possibility of withdrawing troops, and Gates was optimistic. “When the Iraqi security forces are good enough…[US forces] can then recede into the background, that is the process that is underway.” When pressed for a timetable for when a troop withdrawal might occur, Gates was cautious in setting any firm dates. “Who knows how fast these things can develop?” he said.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who also appeared on the program, dismissed claims by the Bush administration and others that a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq would create chaos, countering that it would instead send a message and prompt the Iraqi government to “take responsibility for its country.”


On Fox News Sunday, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley rejected any notion that President Bush was withdrawing some troops from Iraq in September in an attempt to boost Sen. John John McCain’s White House bid. “His objective is to leave Iraq in a situation at the end of his term where we have a strategy that is succeeding,” Hadley told host Chris Wallace. He continued on, predicting that Bush will hand over a strategy so that the new president will not “have to confront a crisis on Iraq policy in the first months of a new administration.”

–CNN’s Jessica Rummel

Filed under: Iraq • Sunday Roundup
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Joe

    No Bush or Clinton will end the war in Iraq! There is too much Corporate greed involved and money to be made. McCain is probably more honest but apparently clueless to the truth of this war. O8ama is the only politician who is not connected to this war by greed and is the only one who can be trusted to bring our heroic troops home.

    April 13, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Sharon Minnesota

    Let's leave this problem with the next president as it appears the current administration is not capable of doing anything right.

    Hillary will get it all straightened out if we give her a chance.

    CNN please stop your interference with the election process by using your press power to influence and editorialize every word the candidates say.

    April 13, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Kevin

    Bush just admits to authorizing torture, but Hillary is concerned about whether or not Pennsylvanians are described as being bitter about their lack of living-wage jobs??


    April 13, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Vig

    Why talk about the next steps in Iraq when Bush & Co. still pull the strings? When Hillary takes charge, then you will see policy changes.

    April 13, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. sophia nyc

    Selling us an ENDLESS WAR, 6 months at a time.

    April 13, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |