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. K of TX

    I wonder what excuse Bush and McCain will come up with when Iraq tells us we should leave? Will they still be itching to go to war with Iran?

    Obama 08'

    June 11, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. RyanD.

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

    Does someone with actual INTELLIGENCE and JUDGEMENT running this country scare you, Peter? Having anything better than Curious George at the controls is a bad thing?

    The President of the USA is NOT the owner of the local swap meet. He needs to be ELITE.


    Obama/Clark 08'

    June 11, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. Agnostic Democrat

    'Splain this McSame and Co.!

    June 11, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  4. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "Peter E June 11th, 2008 4:53 pm ET

    Apparently Obama invented diplomacy, the economy, healthcare, and the environment. We were all bumbling cavemen before him."
    Well, at least he didn't invent the internet. Al Gore invented that! 🙂

    June 11, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  5. Al, California

    Many many thanks to Kusinich for introducing impeachment for Bush. Jail term or higher would be more appropriate, but that is traditionally for criminals guilty in 1 or 2 deaths. If count goes into tens and hundreds of thousands, then criminals usually live their lives...

    Obama 2008

    June 11, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  6. Female Republican in CA

    Am I the only one that actually reads ALL of the articles on CNN/News?

    Didn't I just read an article the other day that said that the Government and the war had no influence on the gas prices?
    If one of the "reasons" why the democrats think we went to war in Iraq was to get cheaper oil, wouldn't the gas prices go down???

    Also, isn't this a cheap way for the liberal media to cut down President Bush and McCain? How is it that they have anything to do with this? Personally, I think that it is great that Iraq is now starting to think that they can handle their country on their own. This means that the plans that President Bush put into place are working right? How is this a bad thing?

    Also, I would like to mention that on all of these comment boards 99.9% of the Obama/Hillary supporters trash talk ANY republican and say that anyone that is going to vote for McCain is stupid. They also write the SAME THING OVER AND OVER... McSame, McBush, that he is old, he doesn't know what he is talking about.... WHY?
    It is because you know that Obama has no grounds, he is inexperienced and the democrats are scared that McCain will become President.
    But if you notice... the Republicans actually put FACTS on the boards, they don't resort to PETTY name calling. Well what can I say… the uninformed democrats really do follow their uninformed “leader”!
    (Not name calling, just stating the facts)

    It is because you know that Obama has no grounds, he is inexperienced and the democrats are scared that McCain will become President.
    But if you notice... the Republicans actually put FACTS on the boards. They don't resort to PETTY name calling. Well what can I say... Like Uninformed Democratic Nominee, Like Uninformed Sheep Following a the Heard to Slaughtor.

    McCain 08

    June 11, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. Ralph

    Easy Peter, you'll pop a blood vessel.

    June 11, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "McCain08 June 11th, 2008 4:41 pm ET

    Bad boy bad boy what cha gonna do, what ya gonna do when they come for you.
    McCain by a landslide. The light has come on for most Hillary supporters and they have no fear in voting the one who is right and that is John McCain. 1 Man 1Woman 4ever.
    We are winning the war in Iraq and will do the same in Iran. Iran must go down and we will show the rest of the world that America is not to be messed with.
    With a chance to replace 2 or more Supreme Court Justices we will have our best chance to overturn Roe V Wade.
    Vote life vote McCain08"
    There's just one problem. We're running out of soldiers!

    June 11, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. Chris

    Who cares? That's just a formal greeting. If our president, George W. or whoever else becomes president, met with him, would they not shake his hand? Keeping positive relations with neighbors is just as important as keepings positive relations at home. That's just diplomacy at work people. Why do we have to work so hard to spin every piece of news we see?

    June 11, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. Jack from California

    One has to wonder what all those secret meetings at the White House between the Republican leadership and the Oil Executives were all about?

    Start a war to drive up profits? Did short term profits displace middle income American security?

    What a mess we have ourselves in and John McCain wants to continue down this path! I say NO to this policy – VOTE DEMOCRAT

    June 11, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  11. People make no sense

    Nick – why should Mrs. Obama be proud of this racist country. While she was growing up I'm sure she saw her friends and family sprayed with hoses, dogs attacked, heard about the CIA bringing drugs to the inner city communities, giving black men syphillis, this all while getting a higher education. I'm sure she's been called the n word more times then you can write words. I'm sure she endured much hatred in her lifetime. I'm sure she had to read about what our government deemed as great hero's of American, while these same people had a hand in the lynching, raping, murder and genocide of her people. Then on top of that she is a woman and had to endure all the sexism from the men plus she had to work four times as hard as a man but received less pay. I know the perception is if you make money then you should be happy.

    I know its hard to tell that people have a heart since George Bush and his gang are raping American citizens while going golfing and enjoying life, but some people have a heart and care about others. I for one am still not proud of America. We cosigned for the genocide of the Iraq people and barely blinked. Look at the Jena six travesty, and katrina. We as citizens allow our government to mistreat other citizens while clinging to guns and religion. Look how people hate immigrants but America was founded on immigrantion, remember the melting pot? Meanwhile businesses are profitting off of immigration and they are the reason why immigrants are coming to America but no hate is spewed towards them. Businesses send jobs overseas but Americans will spew racist comments about the foreigners receiving the jobs. How stupid!

    June 11, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. Jeremy

    For the record. . . Before the war liberals like myself said (1) there will be no WMD stockpiles found, (2) the aftermath will be a mess, (3) Iran will gain power and influence. Maybe instead of "liberal" being a dirty word folks should pay attention to what we have to say.

    June 11, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. Scott

    I think it was a bit condecending for Mr. Blitzer to say "or whatever university she attended" when referring to Mrs. Obama. I would think he would have his information on were Mrs. Obama received her education.

    June 11, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. skunkrat The Marine

    Bush & McSame are really out of touch, so much so that they are scary. Wake up War dogs and smell the coffee.

    June 11, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  15. marie

    "If Wolf knew anything about Middle East culture, he'd know that kissing is a natural greeting, much as it is in Europe. To play it off as some lovey-dovey warming up to Iran is foolish. In addition, the meeting was tense and cold, with Malaki warning the Iranians to stay out of Iraqi affairs."

    What is your point? Malaki met with the Iranians – this is not the first time. Your comments is just foolish trash.

    President Obama

    June 11, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. James

    yeah this just goes to show how stupid republicans are when it comes to the issue of war and security, talk about out of touch, get your diaper out McCain, your done baby.

    June 11, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. Dr. Ted Baehr

    Iraq's PM kissing Iran's President?

    Isn't it illegal to be gay over there??

    June 11, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. Ilona from Alberta

    Maybe Iraq should build a wall around the entire country at the expense of American Tax payers eh Lou Dobbs?
    That should end the good relations between neighbor countries.

    Oh yeah, and don't forget to contract out enough enforcement to make sure they don't sneak over- at the USA tax payer expense as well.

    As long as there is no casualties USA is no rush to get out -correct McCain?

    June 11, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Fight the liberal media!


    June 11, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    NO MORE GOP!....................please.

    June 11, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. indy dem

    This administration is so far over its head! History will not look kindly upon bush/cheney/rumsfeld

    June 11, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. TXBad1

    TJ in Dallas, Obama Lost in Texas as he will in November, Except now by a major % of the Vote!

    June 11, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |


    June 11, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. indy dem

    Don: you're more concerned with Jim Johnson than with the subject of this piece? This (foreign policy) cuts right to the heart of what's been going wrong for the US in the world.

    June 11, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |

    I John Mccain Love War And I Refuse To Bring Our Troops Home And Give Them The Care And Benefits They Deserve! I Approve This Message!

    June 11, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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