September 9th, 2008
12:41 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama lukewarm on Iraq drawdown announcement

President Bush announced that he plans to withdraw 8,000 U.S. troops from Iraq by February, 2009 .

President Bush announced that he plans to withdraw 8,000 U.S. troops from Iraq by February, 2009 .

RIVERSIDE, Ohio (CNN) – Senator Barack Obama said Tuesday the Bush administration’s announcement it was bringing some U.S. troops home fell short, calling it a “modest” step that indicated no real change in policy.

“At this point what it appears is the next president will inherit a status quo that is still unstable, Obama told reporters at a high school outside Dayton. “And what’s going to be required is a comprehensive strategy, and that’s what I’ve been offering for the last two years.

“We should have a comprehensive strategy for bringing this war to a close and not what we heard from president today, which is essentially some tinkering around the edges and kicking the can down the road to the next president.”

Obama gave lukewarm praise to the president’s announcement that more U.S. troops will be sent to Afghanistan, something the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee routinely calls for in his stump speech.

“I am glad that the President is moving in the direction of the policy that I have advocated for years. But the most substantial increase will come when an additional Army brigade is deployed five months from now – in February, after the President has left office. His plan comes up short – it is not enough troops, and not enough resources, with not enough urgency,” he said.

The Democratic nominee also continued his regular practice of linking John McCain with President Bush on foreign policy.

“Last week, we heard a lot of tough talk in St. Paul, but we didn’t hear much about the Bush-McCain record,” he said. “Because seven years after 9/11, we are still fighting a war without end in Iraq and we still haven’t taken out the terrorists responsible for 9/11. That’s where George Bush and John McCain’s judgment has gotten us."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. B. Obama, Chicago, Illinois

    Hmmm....will the Senate be ok with me voting "lukewarm" instead of "present"?

    Can I veto bills if I were to win on the basis of being "lukewarm" on them?

    Is being "lukewarm" on a regime that threatens American security sufficient basis on which to request a delaration of war from Congress?

    September 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. This Is A Country, Not High School

    If this election has taught me one thing, it taught me that Americans aren't that bright. When I want my kindergarten kids to stop whining, I change their focus. That's exactly what McCain did–and it worked. Whoever thought the country would be taken over by big hair and lipstick. Wow.

    Apparently Elvis has returned to the building.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Just Wondering

    I'd like for Obama and Biden to explain their hypocrisy in attacking Palin over the Bridge To Nowhere when they both voted in favor of it. And I would like them to explain why they voted against an amendment that would have redirected the money from the BTN to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

    September 9, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Charlie

    Wow the smartest thing Bush has done so far, listening to the Obama / Biden party, bring our troops home!

    September 9, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. CNNman

    The real reason we are able to draw-down troops is because of the surge that has worked to make Iraq more secure. Mr. Obama was against the Surge which shows a complete lack of vision. Any way, politics aside, I am glad that it has worked for the better of our country and that region.

    September 9, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. B. Obama, Chicago, Illinois

    Have I fooled the American people ino thinking Hillary's plan was mine all along yet?

    September 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. Moon Maiden from Lake Michigan


    September 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Peter (CA)

    And seriously...enough with the inane conspiracy theories about Muslims, terrorists, and Marxists.

    McCain/Palin are the status quo. The only change they know about is what will be left in your pocket after they bankrupt this country. Look at the facts....the deficit keeps increasing because we are paying billions and billions for Iraq and Bush (and McCain) continues to insist lower taxes will pay for everything.

    September 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Mikey

    Kathryn, Nevada September 9th, 2008 1:53 pm ET
    He only used "comprehensive strategy" after he beat Hillary! Prior to that, he continually said, "Imediate Withdraw".
    Not true. In the first debate over a year ago he said "We must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in." Having a 16 month timetable does not mean you must mindlessly follow it, but if you do not start, you will never get there.

    While the surge has reduced violence in Iraq, it remains to be seen if we achieve our original goals when we started this whole mess of capturing Osama bin Laden, being welcomed as liberators, instituting a friendly, democratic government, and the unstated securring a reliable supply of oil to combat OPECs monopoly power.

    4,200 American lives, 100,000 Iraqi lives, and $500 billion dollars!

    Then again, we may acieve much less and declare victory anyway. I already hear people saying we have "won", which is still very premature, although not nearly as bad as Bush's "Mission Accomplished".

    September 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Amber in AZ

    Make no mistake people... when these other countries have had enough.....they will get together.......ignore the UN just like we did........cross the ocean.......and bomb YOUR HOUSE. Then they will report on their news how THEIR war is going. Because the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Can anyone say Iran?

    September 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. What Happened To America?

    I think America has just answered the question as to how Bush got re-elected. The world thinks Americans are stupid for voting for a woman who can't even be allowed to speak to the press. This is communism.

    I don't have a horse in your race, but you guys are fools.

    September 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. Ron L

    It is hard to get exciting about this. It is sort of like your kid comes in the house and breaks your MOST prized possession and then shows you how good of a job they did in cleaning it up. Like, you are suppose to forget the item was broken. It would not work in this example, and it surely does not work for this mess of a war our President has gotten us into.

    September 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. REPUBLICANS FULL OF SH_T!!! Post This!!!



    September 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. CM

    Some of you guys are really stupid.

    What goal in iraq? WMDs? Are we gonna plan some there now? It was a senseless war that is now a election issue and a distraction from the real goal. Catch Osama Bin Laden and bring him and his followers to justice.

    The GOP inherited a country in budgetary surplus and now we're in our worst deficit and still spending 10B a month to support troops that have no right being there. Flood Afghanistan with those same troops and lets go after the real reason we're at war.

    Some of you republicans have no foresight. No wonder the educated vote is for Obama. It seems education is a hindrance in this election.

    September 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. brenda

    The U.S. is so divided over this election- the republicans and the democrats-they almost seem to hate each other. A country divided as we are-can never be a strong nation!! We have become a bunch of sheep- without a single original thought unless the news media tells us how to think, who to vote for. This election has really opened my eyes. No matter who wins in November, there will be a division that will not be easily healed. We really should be paying attention to the issues, despite the Republicans cry that this election is about personalities. If we don't pay attention to the issues then we deserve everything that will happen to us.
    The US deficit has reached new heights and all anyone can talk about is the personalities running for the most important job in the world. Americans are too easily deceived and distracted by things of no importance. They care about what the news tells us to worry about. I don't care about the bridge to nowhere and who spends more on earmarks. The republicans are throwing that out as distractions so that we won't ask the tough questions. I don't know about you, but I care about health care and I care about the education of our children. Which candidate will most help you and your life struggles? If you think McCain is your guy, let me ask this? What, exactly, do you think he will change that he hasn't tried to change already?

    September 9, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Ian

    "Tell the husbands, wives, sons and daughters who are getting their loved ones back safe and sound it a "modest step"."

    Perhaps you should looking into a course in reading apprehension. The troops are being re-deployed.

    September 9, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Carl Justus

    Bush will keep the troops in Iraq to try to help McCain win the presidency. If he had pulled them out before his term is up then, the democrats would have said he was finally seeing the light and adopting their plan.

    Bush does not care about the damage it will cause to American troops or the national REPUBLICAN DEBT WHICH IS 9.7 BILLION AND RISING AT THE RATE OF 1.93 BILLION DOLLARS EACH DAY SINCE 2007.

    Bush will keep sending the troops into harms way, even though he would not finish is commitment to the air national guard. He is an advocate of all others to serve and even extend their duty, but would not even finish his initial commitment.

    September 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. Republican Voting for Obama

    'Maverick' is the call name McCain gave to himself. It really doesn't refer to anything specific, but it was better than his second choice – 'Sparky'.

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. Helene

    Iraq is a MESS and Bush and his gangs (including McSame) are fully responsible. Shame !

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. B. Obama, Chicago, Illinois


    September 9, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. 4Obama2

    Rob Kole,

    Uhhhh Duhhh, when your loved ones come home they will be shipped over to Afghanistan where it is more dangerous right now than in Iraq because Bush/McBush were such failures in not finishing the job there before they went off half cocked to fight in Iraq!!!!
    Get your facts straight and stop being led by the nose. Thankfully most of the comments here are coming from educated people who can use their own brains to figure out what is best for the US and the rest of the world!!!

    September 9, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. NoDumbA$$ Cheesehead, WI

    Bush lied to us to send troops to Iraq and on top of that it was a botched job.
    Colin Powell told Bush if you break Iraq you own it and he was immediately sidelined. He asked Bush what he’ll do with 27 million Iraqis after Saddam is gone and there was no foresight there.

    “The surge”
    Imagine you’re on a bus that’s low in gas and you deliberately drive it into the ditch. Spin the wheels for a while and dig yourself into a rut. After a few more spins you run out of gas. Manage to get more gas and you spin the wheels some and get out of the 1st rut but you’re still in the ditch and call the out of a rut move a victory.

    September 9, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. Mary

    Face it people, the Republicans will do it again, Obama does not have the experience that John and Sarah do!

    The other night I was watching a show and it was about bin laden, oops I mean Obama, I got my b's mixed up! It was talking of Obama's growing years and had a small segment about his dad! His dad's gravestone read " Barack Hussein Obama" I guess there's another small item we didn't know about! I wonder if the so called cantidate is a junior and related to Sadam! You never know! He wasn't even born here, yet he wants to be president, he will never make it!

    Give it up obama bin laden

    September 9, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. James-Canadian

    I don’t understand why US attacked Iraq to begin with when Bin Laden is in Afghanistan.

    Bin Laden was the main man who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 and yet Bush went to Iraq instead of finished the job goes after Bin Laden and get rid of him once and for all.

    In the end, not only over 3,000 life has been loss on 9/11 Bush added another 4,000 life of young men and women solders to top the list.

    New today, American is over 400 Billion in the whole, economy sliding downward,

    After billion of dollars spent trying to win the war in Iraq, now Bush is going to spend even more in Afghanistan,

    September 9, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. FreeNLovIt

    We need change. We cant go on this way with the Republiconomic. This fighting Machine is battery-operated by the Democrat.

    Without the Democrats, there will be no National Security.

    Remember, the Clintons gave us the Internet. These two parties are fused at the hips. They must learn to let go and the other one LEAD when the time is right. This IS the right time to change guards.

    September 9, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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