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. David in Chicago

    So the Bush Administration says "No, we will not speak to our enemies" but it's "okay for Iran/Iraq to talk to eachother BECAUSE IT'S GOOD FOR RELATIONS"???? dude!!! That's a double standard!!

    Republican's, put on your big boy pants and TALK to these idiots. When you have a disagreement with your wife, do you just go get divorced and NEVER talk to her again because you think she's wrong!!! My God of course not!! As disgusting as some of these leaders are... we still have to be the Good America... who will talk to you even if your bad. These leaders aren't going to vanish!! We have to be diplomatic, we have to be adults and we all have to live together. Leave the door open for some talk!!

    June 11, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Karen in Fla

    Why would people think that it is the same thing for us to meet with Iranian leaders as Iraqi leaders to meet with Iranian leaders?

    Iran and Iraq have always had some sort of dialog if only due to their geographic locations. If Canada was taken over by a terrorist government, we'd probably have to meet with them. But that isn't to say we would meet with them without prior conditions. What is so difficult to understand about this? Iran is naturally going to try and get Iraq to ask us to leave. The weaker Iraq is (ie still is a state of upheaval) the more power Iran can exert over them. This isn't a surprise and doesn't indicate close ties between the two any more than your next door neighbor has to be your best friend.

    Hey Pat in Cali – now are you going to try and credit Obama with suggesting renewable energy????? PUH-LEEZE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just like he thought up "YES WE CAN" (NOT). Blind lemmings following him off a cliff.

    June 11, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. ANGIE

    mcain cannot run this country in a positive direction the man is gonna destory us worse than bush

    June 11, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. Peter E

    "Ooo, I am such a genius! I can put 'Mc' in front of insulting words and make it sound like an argument! I am sooooo clever. And my childish name-calling is in no way immature. In fact I'm rising above current political cynicism by personally attacking all of Obama's opponents using pundit talking points, thus perfectly demonstrating his positive message of hop and change..."

    June 11, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Are You For Serious!!!!!!

    I am a very proud american with a very deep rooted sense of patriotism. My family has shed blood for this country in the Civil War, WW I took my great grand father, WW II, my grand-father and two of his brothers served, both brothers died, the korean war, my uncle Collier gave his life, Viet Nam...uncle David did 3 tours, I lost a cousin in desert storm, and I have another 2 in iraq now, there was a third but he is among the fallen 4,000. I myself recieved honorable discharge, (broken back in three places) from the army for my country. So when a fellow vet and pres. candidate tells me its not about a time for withdrawl, or winning is everything, dipomacy is out, and voes against better benifits for vets....my decision is clear. I will side with the young pup of a Senator which gives me hope and inspires the good in all he encounters than the same old lies.

    Most people do not realize how out of touch Mc Cain is with his own inner warrior, for a real warrior realizes the ugly truth about war...."It's a bunch of old men lieing...and young men dieing." I want McCain to come here to Texas and tell me cousins little girl why her daddy isn't comeing back. And I want a substanative answer.

    June 11, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Tex

    McCain Supporters – There is someone at your front door.

    Tossup lands – – and they all get up and go look.

    June 11, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. CWatson

    Senility has set in. Time for John McBush to get cranked up on Aricept, read and learn Windows for Dummies and get in touch with the real world around him. Continuing a war started on the basis of false facts and resulting in more lost American lives for a people who don't want the US on their soil and strengthens Iran only continues the Bush lies.

    June 11, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. DMAC in ID

    Sure Iran wants to try to push Iraq to get us out of Iraq. Then they will walk in and take over that country and the Iraq people will be back where they were with insane Hussain. Then everything that our troops have fought and died for will be in vain and every thing we have spent will be like flushing all that ( lives and money) down the drain.

    June 11, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. The Truth

    To the foolish people:

    You actually think because the Prime Minister of Iraq is embracing a relationship with the President of Iran this move should have any influence on our country's foreign policy, your are an absolute fool.

    June 11, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Peter E

    Apparently Obama invented diplomacy, the economy, healthcare, and the environment. We were all bumbling cavemen before him.

    June 11, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. COL.{retd]A.M.Khajawall

    Dear American Voters,

    Hon. Senator McCain and Obama, besides each having many attributes and characteristics. The critical differences between the two of these presidential presumptive nominees are as under:

    1. Presidential "Temperament and Composer".
    2. Little Washington "insider Versus outsider" experience.
    3. "Vision and mission" for our nation future rather than past.
    4. American policies, " first U.S.A Centric" than any other country [ ies ] centric.

    In my professional opinion Senator Obama leads in all above qualities.

    The need of our next movement and generation is a change. The Change in " past Washington and its Leadership". A change we can believe in and not the seductive, deceptive, and confusing slogan of "leader we can believe in" [? Effexor ?".

    Our Greatgrand Nation has to address many present and future challenges and start with new clean "Slate and Senator".

    God Bless America. its diverse people, and our Greatgrand Nation.

    Our Greatgrand Nation is needs the CHANGE at every level and for long time.

    I am sure Senator Obama with the help of Senator Clinton and her supporters, can deliver that CHANGE.

    Please stay involved, stay engaged, and stay informed. Please do not allow any seduction, deception, and or confusion by some partisan media and leaders effect your vote [ Psychological Terrorism ]..

    Yours truly,

    COL. [retd] A.M.Khajawall
    Disabled American Veteran
    Forensic psychiatrist, Las Vegas

    June 11, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. static

    Pledges to wipe Israel from the face of the Earth? Where haven't I heard that one from? When will some of these so called journalists actually report that Ahmadinejad has NO say in his country's military actions and his influence amongst the people and politically are waning? He has no say in what Iran's military will do when it comes to Ayatollah Khemeni who is the Supreme Leader and COMMANDER IN CHIEF of Iran who has the final say.

    June 11, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    So much for your "victory in Iraq", McSame! Iranians are Shia, just like in Iraq. The Sunnis from Saudi Arabia are the folks who attacked us during 9/11...Ask your shill, Joe Lieberman...

    June 11, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. lols

    WAKE UP AMERICA! The GOP wants you to think there is a divide between Democrats. That the word LIBERAL is a bad word. How many of you actual know what it means?

    They claim that Barack has no experience, that his views change constantly yet look back 20 years his ideals are the same.

    They claim he will destroy our economy or our military yet THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION HAS DONE WHAT EXACTLY?

    They claim Barack can't be trusted to make good decisions.
    They try and try and try to rule you by FEAR.
    When you get out of line what do you hear?


    We can make this world better through action in a positive manner, or be ruled by fear and ignorance. EDUCATE YOURSELVES and then make a decision based on the knowledge that you have gained. SEEK TRUTH. DON'T BELIEVE THE LIES.

    June 11, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. Viceroy Regal

    To all you republicans out there!! Believe it or not the troops are coming home from the occupation in Iraq (not war), to their families who needs them, especially during our darkest times. So get used to it !!! I am an evangelical DEMOCRAT and this is what confuses me. How can conservative evangelicals be pro-life and be for War and the death penalty all at the same time?
    I know....by being a HYPOCRITE!! I know your hypocrisy is due to weak-mindedness and so does the GOP, thats why they use these tactics. Dont become a follower of false revelations, "O ye of little faith". Stand up against the obvious!! Help yourselves.

    (FINAL NOTE) All I can say is "THERE'S A TRAIN COMING", so get onboard. If not, then don't get caught on the tracks!!

    Obama-Clinton-Edwards-DNC-Surplus economy again-pro choice-end the occupation-Healthcare for all-USA 2008

    June 11, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  16. donna

    Jim Johnson is a non-issue in the grand scheme of things..he has vetted for past Presidential nominations and I don't care that he worked in the mortgage industry..

    The topic of this was the apparent friendship between the Iraq and Iranian leaders...wonder how Bush and McBush will spin this one...I guess all of our "allies" are tired of us..didn't Pakistan tell the U.S. to mind their business not to long ago? Way to go GEORGE!!


    June 11, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. lil

    Iraq,s government got to keep all their billions, while the American
    people got the bill for the war along the death of over 4000 troops now.....................................

    Iraq and iran are now best friends America is broke. Our dollar is
    worth less than half adollar.

    and mitt romney is on cnn criticizing Obama for not wanting to drill oil
    here in american where he can invest and get even richer.

    June 11, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. Bud Curtis

    Well, if the Iraqi's want us to leave, that is fair enough and should make it easy for us to accommodate. After all, they do represent a democracy and should have the right to send us packing.
    Our noble position was that we would stay as long as they need, and want, us to stay.
    It will help us declare victory, then pull out our troops. Let Iran eat cake.
    Bud Curtis
    Miami, OK

    June 11, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. Ralph

    Awkward? How about just plain out of touch. McSame doesn't know who's on what side, or why the world is the way it is. Talk about a scary thought for president. Thank g-d he is unelectable.

    June 11, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. Mike

    To Welcome Hillary Supporters:
    Please read a book, travel to another country, turn off Fox News, anything to get your head out of the sand. People with closed minds like you are ruining the world. Your opinions are yours to have and I respect that you are against abortion, gay marriage, support the Iraq War, and I'm not going to touch the last comment. You however are talking about forcing your values on others who do not share them, this country was founded on the basis of escaping such oppression. Honestly you disgust me so much I'm speechless. For the sake of our country keep your racist, ignorant, warmongering, spoon fed, oppressive opinion to yourself and your Fox news forums.

    June 11, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Franky

    Hey Wolf! Quick comment on Jim stepping down the campaign. All I'm gonn say is poor guy! All he ever did was trying to help with the VP pick! I would have a problem if he was involve in some cabinet position or has a role in future campaigns. So, does this mean that I can't ask for advice from "Rush Limbaugh?" Or ask advice from "President Bush?" Ohhh yeah, let me guess, they're not the people's choice....

    This is "Axiology" on crack!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!

    June 11, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. RyanD.

    Obama was right all along.

    Obama is a knowledgable, worldly individual...the only time McCain has been outside of our country was to witness and partake in destruction.

    Doesn't lend itself to understanding people, does it?

    Obama/Clark 08'

    June 11, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Does anybody out there know if there was any tongue involved?
    If so, is it on You Tube? 🙂

    June 11, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. richard

    i wish for obama to meet with him and see if he can convunce him to marry ann coulter... so that they can be kissing. make love not war please.

    June 11, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. Ohio

    Understand the culture before you try to twist it for political gain

    June 11, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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