June 11th, 2008
03:42 PM ET
15 years ago

Blitzer: Awkward Iraq news for McCain campaign

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WASHINGTON (CNN) - One of the most awkward developments for Bush administration and McCain campaign officials to defend is the appearance of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Iran, embracing and kissing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranians are widely accused by U.S. military and civilian officials of helping to kill American troops in Iraq. The Iranian leader is widely accused of supporting a covert nuclear weapons program. He has been quoted calling for Israel to be removed from the map. So why is the top U.S. ally in Iraq kissing him?

The Administration’s defense is that the Iraqis need to work out a good, long-term relationship with their Iranian neighbors. High-level discussions between the Iraqi and Iranian leadership, they say, will help – not hurt – the overall security situation in Iraq.

The Democrats, including Barack Obama, make the point that Iranians have in fact been the big winner in the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Iran is a more influential player in the region now, especially since it no longer has to worry about its former Number One enemy, Saddam Hussein.

All this takes on a greater significance now that the U.S. and Iraqi governments are trying to negotiate what’s called a Status of Forces agreement in Iraq. That would spell out the terms for a prolonged U.S. military stay. The Iranians are telling the Iraqis that the U.S. must pull out. And some Iraqis agree.

“The Americans are making demands that would lead to the colonization of Iraq,” Sami al-Askari, a senior Iraqi politician close to the Prime Minister told The Washington Post. “If we can’t reach a fair agreement, many people think we should say ‘Goodbye, U.S. troops. We don’t need you here anymore.’”

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (258 Responses)
  1. Mike

    McBush is sooo clueless. He keeps saying that American troops can stay in Iraq indefinitly like in South Korea and Germany. Well, first of all. America should have left these countries a long time ago, also iraq is not korea. we will be losing young soldiers in iraq for as long as we stay there. Arabs have a long standing fear that westerners want to occupy and colonize their lands. There will always be young Arabs who will travel to Iraq to fight our soldiers. Not because these young Arabs are terrorists but because they fear American/Christian occupation of Arab lands . Mc Bush is ignorant of all of this and will be the architect of a one hundred year war of occupation that will bankrupt America.

    June 11, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. martin

    i have to agree with ahmahdinejad.bush is a "wicked man".he forgot to add ignorant,too.

    June 11, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  3. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    US of A out smartied again. Thanks to Bush, Cheney, McCain, Hillary and the rest that voted for this war.

    Too bad the people didn't have a chance to vote on this.


    They voted for this war.

    June 11, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  4. Barry IL

    Wolf raised a formidable issue. President Bush tours Europe so that the Europeans collaborate with US to put pressure on Iran. On the other hand, Iraqi PM pays high level visit to Iran and receives best friend's welcome. At the same time, Iran is blamed as the number one problem for the instability in Iraq.
    This proves that President Bush's strategy on Iraq-Iran relationship is a total failure. After all help and support he has from US, Iran's hand in Iraqi stability, how come Iraqi PM has this kind of warm relationship with Iran? This also hints the strength of Shiite-Shiite relationship across Iraq and Iran. Iraqi PM is a Shiite and hence, as per the region's friendship of trust, it flows for him to have a good relationship with Shiite Iran, whatever US may think.

    June 11, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  5. Darryl,

    It is simple John McSain – Bush would rather let another 4000 US servicemen die in a needless War on foreign soil.

    Let them Die this would make McSan – Bush more love by the War base compainies.....

    June 11, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. Slash

    *mock gasp* you mean, we have to have high-level discussions with key regional players in order to secure long-term peace in Iraq? But I thought that was naive Nazi-appeasement!

    McCain, you've been proven wrong again. You can't expect to succeed in Iraq OR Iran without talking to everyone involved. And the junior senator from Illinois, who you claim as inexperienced, knew it before you did.

    Go home, McCain. Go back to the Senate where you've been voting against women's rights and intelligent spending and sanity in general for your entire career.

    June 11, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. Tom

    Sampling the confused republican replies here just proves that ditto heads don't have a clue. They don't even realize the situation. One idiot even said this was "propaganda". So the Iraqi leader didn't really go and make nicey nice with the Iranian leader? Propaganda is when you make something up and spread it as truth (Tune in to Rush Limpnoodle for a perfect example of propaganda) No it's not propaganda, the Iraqi leader did go and talk to the Iranian leader after the Bush crew said it was a bad idea for any talks with Iran. That is the situation and yes it is awkward no matter how you look at it and no matter what side of the political fence you are on. Now they claim it can only help the cause in Iraq after telling Obama that it would hurt the situation. Well, which is it hurt or help? See how that is awkward.

    June 11, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. Calimar

    What? Doesn't the world revolve around America any more?!

    June 11, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
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