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. Airforce1

    Let's get the facts out. While Ms. Pander tries to Turn up her nose at Obama for being a community organizer when the Fact is the United States obtain its' independent from the British because of Community Organizing. Let's show them what community organizing can really do. On To the White House.

    September 9, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  2. faye, NV

    In my opinion Bush does not deserve and praise for nothing. After watching Larry King last night Bush is no commander in charge.
    Bush=Palin+McCain this is a chain reaction to fail policies.


    September 9, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Obama's judgement call has been right all alone and understands what the outcome of what this unnecessary war has done. McCain isn't talking victory anymore because it meant killing all Iraqis, fact. McCain isn't talking about the surge anymore because the generals on the ground were responsible for the surge, not McCain, fact. McCain has been using false propaganda and lies that have finally caught up with him. John McCain himself needs further investigation along with Palin. America has to get it right this time and Obama/Biden are the right choices. John McCain may be a war hero and can't raise his arms but what about the many young American men and women who don't have any arms or legs caused by combat in Iraq. Think about it.

    September 9, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. gerri

    Wait till the money in payoffs to the insurgents runs out at the end of his term.Hes hoping to save some legacy,but even his library is in trouble,the schools students dont really want it here in Texas.Hes a loser and they know it.

    September 9, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Jay

    Is anyone one else sick to death of hearing Obama talk. I sure the heck am. Blah blah, blah...
    I , I, I, Me, Me, Me, yada yadda...

    September 9, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. Jeff, AL

    That Palin sure did take the thunder away from Obama. He must not have had a lot of substance or else it would not have happened so quickly.

    September 9, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. Tony

    Bush, as usual, will say and do anything to attract a vote.

    September 9, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Vogue


    do you really believe that we believe your lying aaaaaa can't turn on and off this war .......




    September 9, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Proud Vet

    Who wouldn't be lukewarm when the most incompetent administration ever makes an announcement.

    September 9, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. FreeNLovIt

    Anyone who believes the Republicans can fix the mess they created; also believes the iceberg could've saved the Titanic." — Hillary Clinton

    September 9, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |

    1. Obama has been stating that we should talk to all of our enemies, while Republicans called it "appeasement".

    Now, Republicans have a U.S. representative at the Iranian talks.

    2. Obama has called for withdrawal timelines in Iraq, while Republicans called it "cut and run".

    Now, Iraq will not sigh the NATO extension until the draft contains a specific timeline. Also, Republicans now have agreed to a "time horizon".

    3. Obama has stated the real war against terror is and has been in Afghanistan.

    Now Republicans agree and state more troops should go to Afghanistan.

    4. Obama has been calling for change for 19 months.

    Now the Republicans, are now the “agent of change” after a week, although they are not telling us how the next 4 will be different from the last 8.

    Seems to me Obama has all the leadership skills that Republicans now wish they had. Obama certainly seems to be leading them around by the ring in their nose!

    September 9, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Republican Voting for Obama

    Iraq's government wants us out. Americans want our troops out. Obama has never wanted to be in. George Bush is even seeing the light that we need to pull out.....

    But McCain wants to continue THIS war indefinitely. And somehow I think that one war just won't be enough for him.


    September 9, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. Obama- Next Stop.. White House

    We ALL know this is just ANOTHER GIMMICK in a election year.

    " They Must Think Your Stupid"

    "No How, No Way No McClown or No McPalin!"

    "Eight Is Enough!!!"

    Barack The Vote!!

    September 9, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. Chris

    Doesn't it seem that every major Foreign policy decision made by Bush lately mirrors what Obama has been calling for all along? Sounds like Obama has the judgment to lead. We can go on and on about how the surge has us "winning" the war, but of course putting a ton of the greatest military force in the world will help police a region. The question is how much longer can we afford to have our military stretched thin. With conflicts bubbling in Russia, Iran, and opportunities coming with leadership change in North Korea, we need diplomacy and to inspire, not a "maverick" with a hot temper. That "maverick" will inflame tensions and do we really need to be at war with Russia right now? Iran and Syria will follow Russia's lead, Iraq will be failed and then we have WW3.

    September 9, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Steve

    It's very clear that the Whitehouse is setting the stage for a hugely challenging term for the next president. Watch this situation carefully. If McCain wins, there will be little or no draw down. If Obama wins, there will be a significant draw down.

    For those of you who think Obama's campaign is over, merely because inherently faulty polls suggest McCain is slightly ahead, please remember that the popular vote does not elect the president. The Electoral College does. Currently, based on projections of which state will go to which candidate, Obama is over 50 points ahead of McCain. McCain has his work cut out for him to catch up.

    September 9, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. RealityKing

    And when Iraq is fully able to stand on it's own newly found democratic feet and all the American troops come home..., Obama will still be glad that America was moving in the direction of the policy that he advocated for years. Once again showing how out of touch with reality he really is..

    September 9, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. Dave in Leesburg

    Of course he's lukewarm because the whole thing is above his paygrade.

    September 9, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. Matt, MN

    Wait, I thought Obama was telling us War = Bad.

    Yet a man who goes on and on about Iraq, is more than willing to send more troops to Afghanastan, in addition he continues to bring up a desire to use military force to deal with Iran.

    I don't really disagree with the logic of increasing the troops in Afghanastan and the possiblity of needing to use military force in Iran if it comes to that - but I've never went out of my way several times to talk about how War is Bad, and I'm going to bring our troops home. I didn't know Iranian and Afgahn soil were "home".

    September 9, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. Steve, New York, New York

    Forget Obama and Bush.

    I want to hear what the GREAT GOVERNOR PALIN says about all of this.

    Why are you hiding her, GOP??? Let's shine the spotlight on her on the Sunday talk circuits. Does she even know how to spell Baghdad, let alone, find it on a map?

    September 9, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. We're NOT "your friends"!!!

    Dont hate McBush……Listen your campaign is over, sorry you lost. Everyone knows you are unqualified to be POTUS when your only accomplishment is bing a POW.

    It was a nice try the whole "Maverick" thing. However why dont you try retiring, and leaving the country in the hands of someone who actually understands where were at as a nation and not someone who's mindset was left back in the 70's.


    Obama/Biden '08

    September 9, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. Obama is right on again!!

    Obama is right on again!! And all you people commenting against him trying commenting to the topic and stop trying to devert the attention away from the fact that the republican have no platform to stand on which is why they are trying to steal it from the Obama camp. Again comment on the article, you don't have a comment to that because you and I both know Obama was right!!!

    September 9, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. Lane

    I'm in favor of the war in Iraq. In fact, I hope it continues for another 100 years. If we lose more and more of our youth to casualties, maybe the public will wise up...until then, who cares, my children aren't over there. VOTE McCain!!!!!

    September 9, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. Spencer from VA

    It sounds like Sen. Obama knows what he is talking about. And warmonger McCain wants to keep troops there indefinitely. Even this unpopular president is trying to wise up and follow Sen. Obama's gameplan.

    September 9, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. Rick

    The more Obama opens his mouth the more foolish he looks. He has no clue.

    September 9, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. FreeNLovIt

    I do not support Bush, but I do appreciate what he has done for America. He did a great job, SCARING the HELL out of the terrorist movements.

    I am proud of these Republickan atttack dogs, but it's time for this Fighting Machine to let the Democrats win.

    The Republican Fighting Maching is battery-operated by the Democrats. It's time for change. IT's to re-charge to create the next generation of jobs. It's time to re-boot.

    Our economy is our National Security. We must take care of it, so in the future, we can let our beloved Republican ATTACK DOGS out again.

    September 9, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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