June 11th, 2008
03:42 PM ET
13 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. Vote McCain '08

    hOBO is not capable of leading this country to anything positive.

    June 11, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Xavier, St. Louis, MO

    All this money we are spending in Iraq and the Iraqis turn around and do the same thing Obama said we should do with Iran, "TALK TO THEM."

    Hillary supporters, how can you possibly VOTE for McCain when he wants to stay in Iraq for another 100 years and the Iraqis want us out of their country? Sounds like a pointless useless endless war to me.

    June 11, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. jackson from Iowa

    Lets get out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 11, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Billiam the Kid

    HaHa!!!! I love it. Did you see that?? They're bout to tell us they don't need us anymore. Question. Why do repubs like to spend more on Iraqi's that don't want us there, but won't spend any money on minorities in their own Country?? Thats easy!! because they think they're getting something from Iraq.

    June 11, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Max

    Wolf, why is ur post always has to do with Israel's interest and not America's???

    June 11, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Obama For President

    Should We Expect Anything Less Than A War With Iran? Mccain Loves War!

    June 11, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. rladdi

    Let's pull out now. All we are doing is banking the Iraqs. Putting our country in great debt to bank a civil war. And we really don't know where at the billions are going, no one is tracking the money. Bush just keeps giving them more funds without any regard for fraud on there government. The sooner we leave the better, that country certainly will NOT be a democary any time soon.

    June 11, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Anita from Arizona

    This is the last straw, people. We have to get out of this war.

    June 11, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Pat in Cali

    The winner in the Iraqi debate is OIL. America, please, wake up.

    Now McCain is talking about renewable energy. He heard that from Obama.

    Clinton supporters that are real democrats are not stupid. Stop thinking just because they are mostly women that they will believe anything. The truth will set them free. Everyday Obama's words get validation.

    June 11, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Enlightened Voter

    Hey Susan, if we had that cup of coffee we wouldn't be in a senseless war where over 4.000 soldiers died and we wouldn't be 9 trillion dollars in debt and our gas wouldn't be at $4 and rising daily and people would be able to afford food. Your logic and the repub logic is obviously flawed, and the above article is proof.

    June 11, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. Glenn

    Bush and McBush, don't you guys get it, yet? It was an illegal war that Bush led us into and McBush voted for. IT IS NOT WORKING! Over 4100 American soldiers have died and tens of thousands of American soldiers have been wounded becaus eof your stupidity!

    June 11, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Doc Sinn

    Susan wrote:
    "Let's all sit down and have a good chat over a cup of coffee. That should fix it, eh, Obama?"

    Apparently the Iraqi PM thinks so.

    The same Iraqi PM that the Bush Administration put in power. The GOP have absolutely no credibility anymore.

    They have become greedy, ignorant shadows of their former selves.

    June 11, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. J.C.

    This meeting goes to show that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki isn't such a US puppet after all.

    June 11, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Ben from Maryland

    #1 Thank goodness Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is talking with Iran. He is not a US puppet, he is the leading official of Iraq, and as such should be working toward a working relationship with Iran. It is not hypocrisy for Iraq to talk with Iran, it is the realm of global diplomacy.
    #2 Iran is better off without Saddam Hussein, so is Iraq, so is the Middle East, so is Earth...that's why going into Iraq wasn't a mistake.

    June 11, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Debby

    Maybe al- Maliki should be vetted as Obama would say.

    June 11, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Val


    Get a life. "Embracing and kissing" – that's how they greet each other in that region, just like we greet each other with a handshake in America. After all they are neighboring leaders trying to work out some peace.

    Your argument is very thin.

    June 11, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. WIlly

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fully supports Obama 08.

    June 11, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. Crush Rush

    Didnt McSame say not to talk to your enemies?Well I guess Iraq doesnt seem to think so.McSame has NO CLUE.

    June 11, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. Obama 08/12

    The money is in the Bush/Cheney pockets they are the idiots that started the war by lies to American people .
    They are the 2 Oil Kings

    June 11, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. John in Missouri

    Hmmm....Iraqi diplomats and government can talk to the Iranian government, but it would be irresponsible for our diplomats to try to work out a solution the the region. This begs a big question mark to our Republican friends who espouse Iraq talking to Iran but not the US because it is unthinkable. Just thinkig out loud here...I wonder why no one in the media has thought to ask that question of Mr McCain or Pres. Bush or any of those trying to say one thing and railing against it from the other side of thier mouths?

    June 11, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. New Day

    Why is anyone surprised? Iran is mainly Shiia. Iraq is now ruled by a Shiia majority. They share similar ideology and theology. What did you expect would happen?

    We are being played as chumps. al-Maliki kisses-up to us to stay while he does nothing to become militarilly self-sufficient. In the meantime, his buddy Ahmadinejad sends weapons and fighters to kill our soldiers.

    June 11, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Paris

    To Obama for president:

    Are you really that stupid ? To say that Jon McCain a prisoner of war that was tortured for 6 years LOVES WAR?
    If anyone knows what war can do to you, is John McCain and he has two sons fighting in the war right now as you write your stupid, ignorant comments.

    June 11, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Obama For President

    Bush And Mccain Are Tied Together Forever After This Headline! Thank You CNN!

    June 11, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. Vik

    Why should we keep sending our young to die for old men who mislead us into war. Are their lives worth nothing to those of you who are talking about backing McCain? Will his so called "experience" mean that he's going to bring these kids home? What kind of so called "war hero" is he that he think education packages for people who served in the war is too generous? You think he cares about you and your kids, give me a break. Mr. Bomb bomb bomb Iraq wouldn't care how many of your kids die. Iraqis don't want us there, so why are we risking our people's lives to stay there?

    June 11, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. KM

    Talking about a case of "biting the hand that feed you," even Iraqi officials don't want us there.

    June 11, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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