July 21st, 2008
04:50 PM ET

Iraqi leader backs Obama’s schedule for withdrawing troops

Senator Barack Obama meeting with Nouri al-Malaki in Iraq. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While John McCain goes on and on about the surge and winning in Iraq – whatever that means – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki says Barack Obama has the right idea: get U.S. troops out of his country within 16 months.

Talk about a blow to President Bush and John McCain. President Bush wants everything to be up to him, and John McCain says we could be in Iraq for 100 years. Nuri al-Maliki told the German magazine "Der Spiegel" that he'd like U.S. troops to withdraw "as soon as possible", adding that Barack Obama's talk of 16 months "would be the right time frame for a withdrawal."

The Bush administration immediately said that can't be right: the statement was out of context, it was mistranslated, that isn't what he meant blah blah blah. But the translator for the interview with the German magazine was Nuri al-Maliki's translator. And al-Maliki brought the subject of Barack Obama's timetable up on his own, voluntarily. The New York Times obtained a copy of the audio recording in which al-Maliki stated clear support for Obama's ideas for ending the war. The German magazine says it stands by its interview.

This follows a capitulation by President Bush last week in agreeing to talk to Iran about its nuclear program, something the president said he would never do unless they stopped enriching uranium. McCain, of course, goes along with President Bush, but Obama said all along we should talk to them. What could it hurt?

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when the Iraqi prime minister endorses Barack Obama’s schedule for getting U.S. troops out of Iraq?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Allie writes:
Could it be any louder and clearer? Put on your "hearing and thinking cap" Mr. Bush! Your plan has been a disaster for our country and the world. And the Iraqi people are talking, loud and clear! We are talking loud and clear, too. You just don't care enough to listen.

Steven writes:
What does it mean? It means the Republicans are crashing and burning, that's what it means. A healthy 8-year switch is what our country needs.

Dan from Lafayette, Indiana writes:
It means al-Maliki is a puppet of the Iranian regime!

Ron writes:
It is simple, Jack. The Iraqi Prime Minister is doing like McCain says - he is listening to the people on the ground. The only difference is: it is the Iraqi people the Prime Minister is listening to, not the American military machine that McCain listens to.

Dan from Lansing, Mich. writes:
We must win the war in Iraq. As John McCain wrote in his dead-on Op-Ed that the New York Times didn't want us to read, Barack Obama talks only of ending the war, never of winning it. The situation on the ground must dictate when we the troops home, and a timetable for withdrawal would be disastrous. Barack Obama has no military experience whatsoever and we cannot let him make such reckless decisions for political reasons.

Kevin from Wilmington, Vermont writes:
While John McCain is to be lauded for his service in Vietnam and his years in Congress, his military mindset has tainted his world view. It seems that, in his mind, hawkishness is the only way. The Iraqis are rightfully tired of the perpetual war that is consuming their country and their every day lives.

Mark from Washington writes:
Isn't this what we wanted in the beginning, Jack? A democracy that can take the training wheels off and move on. Where does it end? We should honor their wishes. If we do: mission accomplished.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Nouri al-Maliki • War in Iraq
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. Cynthia

    It means that Senator Obama was correct in his analysis of the situation over there. Also, the one thing that I remember that he said back in the primaries – that we will be careful getting out as they were careless getting in to Iraq. So, it seems to as if Senator Obama was on point.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  2. Bob in Boise

    It means George Bush and John McCain will soon be spewing up more creative terms like "time events" in effort to take claim for Obama's efforts.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  3. H., Kennesaw, GA

    It means that Barack Obama doesn't stand just for change,
    but for change in the right direction.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  4. Allen T from Ohio

    Jack it simply means that this farce of an administration refuses to recognize what the rest of the world and Americans realize. We are tired of the bullish policies heaped on the people by the Grand Oil Party GOP it's time for change. Let's pack up and move forward to a new future where true diplomacy is used.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  5. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    It means Obama is the one with a greater understanding of what needs to happen next in Iraq. McCain is too focused on all that action on the "Iraq/Pakistan" border.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  6. Voter in LA

    It means precisely nothing to me. It cannot come as a big surprise to anyone that Iraq would like to see our forces leave soon. Why would any country want that permanently? Whether or not that 16 month timeframe is realistic or not remains to be seen. It's just Obama continuing his campaign overseas the same way he campaigns here: tell the people what they want to hear and worry about how to do it all after he gets to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    Denham Springs, LA

    July 21, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  7. Miko Kansas City

    It means that Bush has his own agenda for being in iraq!! he has chosen to be a dictator not only to us in the U.S. but in a country that he has chosen to bogard into and now does'nt know how to exit. He wants us to know only what he thinks we should know, he is pushing for us to back him in staying in Iraq while Iraq wants us to plan our exit. McSame is just wants us to stay in Iraq so he can justify evading Iran. He needs to tell the american people the truth for once in his presidency!!

    July 21, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  8. Jed from Redding, CA

    What's that, Jack? I'm afraid you mistranslated the question.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  9. Jerry, Monroe Co. WV

    The occupation of Iraq may end sooner than Bush and McCain would like. When a souvergn nation tells you it's time to go, you need to pack your bags or apply for a tourist visa.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  10. Michael Smith, New Orleans

    It means that the Iraqi people, and the American people, want the same things. It's a shame the Halliburton people want U.S. troops protecting them forever.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  11. Rosalynd Florida

    It means Obama is right again and Bush-McCain is well wrong as 2-left shoes. Obama has been so right on that it is undeniable he is our guy!

    Obama 08!

    July 21, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  12. Raj, Toronto

    The whole world does and so do Americans. The only people that want to stay are those who choose not to be illuminated or those that profit from the sacrifice of our service men and women.

    Yes, the military industrial complex, the oil industry, the communications industry and the reconstruction industry

    July 21, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  13. Brian from NY

    The one thing he had to attack Obama on with any credibility is how he would handle the Iraq war, but now he can no longer call him naive without at the same time telling the Iraq Prime Minister that he doesn't know what is best for his people, which undercuts their sovreignty. The McCain campaign just lost the only playing card he had left to work with. Stick a fork in him, hes done.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  14. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Jack, it means that Sen. Obama has been RIGHT all along. That he, with all his so-called-inexperience has something that's been lacking ...... common sense!

    We invaded Iraq, to take their oil. Now they want us, out! We are leaving behind an enormous mess, which IS Bush/Cheney's legacy.

    All those still believing the fallacy that we can win, are sadly mistaken. How do you 'win' against an enemy we created?

    July 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  15. Allen L Wenger

    It is just one more example of how out of step the Bush Administration is with other countries, as well as the american people.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  16. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    This will allow them to start selling their oil for more money and work closer with Iran to take over the entire mid east so the sooner the better from their perspective. Take this statement to the bank and if we are still watching the Cafferty File in 2 plus years then just watch what will happen.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  17. Mwita (Los Angeles, CA)

    It usurps every McCain argument for staying indefinitely in Iraq, and undercuts the core of his positions. It will be interesting to see how the McCain campain will try and spin this, on its face it seems unspinable. His political legs just went from redwood, to bamboo.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  18. Larry in Florida

    Means he's not a Bush fan either. They want their country back. Time to make that happen and bring our brave young men and women home. Obama has a fair timeline. Wonder who gave him that idea?

    July 21, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  19. paxton291

    A potential US President wants to end the years – long occupation of the Iraqi nation. I have a better question – why wouldn't Iraq's leaders support Barack Obama?

    July 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  20. David, Orlando, FL

    It means that no one outside of this failed administration or the 100 million morons that still support it wants anything to do with us – not even the people we are supposedly “helping.” Take a hint, why don’t you, this one’s as subtle as a freight train.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  21. Paxton from Virginia Beach, VA

    A potential US President wants to end the years – long occupation of the Iraqi nation. I have a better question – why wouldn’t Iraq’s leaders support Barack Obama?

    July 21, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  22. sarah, indiana

    it means he is stupid enough to talk to someone who never wanted him to be the leader of a free and democratic country. obama did not care if the iraqi people were free. he believed that saddam hussein and his wacko sons should have been allowed to terrorize that country and the whole region for as long as they wanted, because we should never have gone there in the first place.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  23. DMAC in ID

    This reminds me of turning on a Baseball game bottom of the 9th and your team is winning 10 – 5 and you say see I told you we can do it. Then pat your self on the back and brag.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  24. Mike

    It means he sees the writing on the wall. If he wants to continue to get millions from the American taxpayers he now has to talk out of "both sides of his mouth". Did you notice how fast Bush made him change his tune after the story broke? I just hope that all the money that we continue to spend in Iraq comes back with the troops to help re-build THIS country....

    July 21, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  25. don in Naples, Florida

    I don't understand the question. The Bush policy has always been we will leave when they ask us to. I guess that has been revised to when they ask us to and if we feel like leaving. Who cares what it means. If iraq wants us out. We should leave. Period. No discussion.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  26. J.D.

    This is only one of several policies Obama has been ahead of the curve on. That Maliki agrees with him means the Bush administration needs to catch up to Obama, as does John McCain. Bush's "horizon for withdrawal" is a pathetic attempt to convince the "low information voters" (translation: stupid people) Obama is somehow wrong and Bush/McCain is somehow right. What the heck is a "horizon for withdrawal" anyway?

    July 21, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  27. Mandy, Birmingham, AL

    Didn't Bush say when the Iraqis ask our troops to leave, we'd leave?

    Bush wouldn't lie to us, now would he?

    July 21, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  28. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Well if people are honest how many Iraqis do you think wanted America in their country to begin with let alone out now?

    How many people in America do you think would want another foreign nation occupying their country and forcing their culture upon them?

    What is really scary is John McCain's statement that his goal is to spread freedom of religion in every country in the world! In short Jack it isn't just the Iraqi Prime Minister who wants you out of his country the whole world would like to see you out of Iraq and quit trying to indoctrinate every other nation with your beliefs and culture.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  29. Mark, Oklahoma City

    It means he is just as stupid as Obama and the rest of the idiots who think that we are building a multi-million dollar embassy and multi-million dollar military bases in Iraq.......just so we can....... leave??

    July 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  30. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    Jack it means lets get our hind pots out of Iraq. They want us out, we want us out. I don't see what the problem is. Lets vote for Obama and get out of Iraq already.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  31. Willow, Sheldon Iowa

    Oh no, Jack, it was a mistranslation by the Germans, didn't you hear? Iraq said it, the Germans translated it, and by the time it got to the US, it was mistranslated by the Germans. Its all their fault.

    If Iraq says its time to go. Well, head em up and move em out. I just wish we could give them a bill, but I suppose that would be too much to ask since we invaded their country looking for WMD.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  32. David Richards

    It means the Bush Administration has lost control of the Baghdad government. The surge has been too successful!

    July 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  33. Peter TX

    it means it is about time the iraqis spend their own money on security and rebuilding their country and economy and truly be independent and we keep our tax payers money for us, which means Bush owes me more stimulus checks, heck i need them.


    Presently in Ohio

    July 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  34. Janice Pound

    It means that a relationship in diplomacy , instead of killing , will be started and the Iraqis can possibly get their country back and proceed as a sovereign nation. When leaders start to agree , and verbal discussions take place we will be on the first rung of the ladder climbing out of the pit Bush put us in!

    July 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  35. Ed from Twin Bridges Montana

    It means that the Iraqi PM sees that Obama intends to actually liberate the Iraqi people rather than Bush's plan to liberate the Iraqi oil. Who knows, without the Bush boys trying to control the Iraqi congress, maybe the Iraqi congress can come to agreement on some of the tough issues like oil revenue sharing and ethnic voilence.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  36. David, RTP NC


    Because a small village in Texas is missing it's idiot.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  37. Stacy from Beautiful Loudoun County Virginia

    Jack, it does not mean much to me. I don’t care about what the Iraqi Prime Minister thinks since he is the one that will be responsible for keeping the security of his country. This is a chore he should have had three years ago anyway. Good luck and good bye as far as I am concerned.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  38. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It means it is not only the American people who want us out of Iraq.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  39. Dick B

    It means your viewers will have to put up with more Iraqi stuff while our government lets the economy go into the sewer system.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm |

    tampa, fl. most likely due to the fact obama forgot to leave a bill for our services on the nightstand. we all know who is going to have to pay for this mess.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  41. Pam M - London, Ontario Canada

    It's about time the Iraqi government took responsibility for their own country. It's also time for the U.S gov't to focus more on the problems in their own country than spending billions on a war that shouldn't have happened in the first place. When the overall deficit in the U.S is in the trillians, the gov't owes millions to other countries, the housing industry is in chaos, homes destroyed by Katrina have not been rebuilt, and the infrastructure of the country is falling apart, I say get the troops out , let the Iraqis take care of their own problems and clean up your own backyard. Of course, Bush has left all of this mess for the next president and others to come to clean it all up while he comes up with his trumped up version of a legacy. It's a complete disgrace what he has done and the cleanup is going to be horrendous.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  42. Gord from Boston

    It means that if it was not for John McCain and others having the guts to support the surge when it was politically unpopular neither the Iraqi Prime Minister or Barack Obama would be in any position to even suggest the removal of US troops from Iraq. McCain was right, Obama was wrong, funny that doesn't seem to get reported much.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  43. Ken -- in Madison, NJ

    It means that Obama is once again 2 steps ahead of the McBush foreign policy of invading and staying in a sovereign country for years. It takes common sense to see that the Iraqis will want the brave US soldiers out of their country, and it is common sense that the Iraqi PM will reflect that view. But I guess common sense is not common when it comes to McBush.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  44. Katiec Pekin, IL

    It means that foreign countries are ecstatic to know that our
    next president is willing to listen, talk and negotiate.
    It means that they want our troops out of there as much
    as we want our troops safely home.
    It means it is time to end this unjustified war, end our
    honorable men and women dying and let Iraq have their
    country back.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  45. Ray, Florida

    It mean's that John McCain need's to make another trip to Iraq Jack!
    How can he make his policy if he doesn't know what's happening on the ground, and hasn't talked to the Iraqi prime minister for some time?

    July 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  46. A Kraft Naples, FL

    it means that the Iraqis do not want us there and want us out...it means they do not need America butting in and running their country because of oil (let's be truthful) and it means that America should not spend any more money there and start spending more of that money here

    July 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  47. mike, ohio

    Jack, Barack is in step with the American people, Iraqi government and the Iraqi people they want us out as soon as it becomes possible. It appears that the Bush administration and the McCain campaign are trying to tamper down all the buzz for political reasons. It’s an election year...you’ll see a lot of the Bush Administration and the McCain campaign working together to calculate political moves that make McCain look electable...Good Luck!

    July 21, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  48. Judy, Exeter, Ca

    It means they want us out of their country! I wonder how McCain is going to flip-flop on this one! Should be interesting.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  49. Darlene - PA

    Once again Obama's judgement is brilliant! It takes sound judgement over experience to run this country. GWB has 'experience'. Enough said.

    July 21, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  50. Patricia

    It means that at least some Iraqi leaders know that it's time to wean itself from the Mother's Milk that is the United States....
    Palmdale, Ca.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  51. Greg in Cabot AR

    GOOD GRIEF Jack!!!

    Has it been a hundred years already?

    Just call me Rip Van Winkle and bring the troops home.

    By the way, what happened while I was asleep?

    July 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  52. Jenny Rome Ga

    My first guess is that it means Iraq does NOT want us in their country for another 1oo years.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  53. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain says the U.S. will not leave until victory and honor has been achieved is a direct threat to the prime minister and Iraq. The Iraqi people couldn't get Sadaan to leave and they aren't willing to replace him with U.S. troops based on McCain's statement.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  54. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Jack, it means that the surge, which Obama said wouldn't work, did. now it may actually be posible to withdraw troops in the next 2 years. If you had asked the Iraqi prime minister that question pre-surge his answer would have been 'hell no'.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  55. Sue

    Clearly Nothing,

    You are getting an endorsement from a leader who himself does not know how to structure his country politically and bring both Islamic sects together for the common good. Al Malaki talks tough when things are going well, but when rebellion breaks out and the chaos gets out of hand, he hides behind the Green Zone and cries for U.S. help. So why wouldn't he endorse this. Whimpy leaders like to hang around Whimpy leaders, so he and Obama make a perfect pair.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  56. Annie, Atlanta

    That Obama's common sense in foreign policy matters trumps what the republicans have been trying to sell us (see discussions with Iran as a further example).

    July 21, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  57. JS

    Has anyone mentioned the fact that the British Prime Minister also backs the timetable – sorry – horizon!

    July 21, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  58. Terry from North Carolina

    It means that the corporate world will be very upset when we pack up and leave this war has been a cash cow for them and they will have nothing to replace it. I am sure Obama has seen this. The grand old party which has been subsidized by corporate America as long as I can remember and I am 65, will have a tough time getting their canidate elected if we start pulling out before the election.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  59. Jay-Mississippi

    It means leave Jack. You dont have to go home but you have to leave here. I hope that clears it up for you.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  60. Paul, VA

    NO JACK, we can't leave from there so fast !
    We have to finish building that gargantuan embassy and there was one more thing – – oh ya, and we to need to squeeze the last drop of oil out of that place before we leave !

    July 21, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  61. Ramone, Delaware

    Good thing the U.S is not apart of the world court because with McCain's plan he would have our troops in a place where the they would not be wanted. I think that puts the troops in harms ways even more.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  62. T. R.

    The Iraqi people want their own damn country back and us to leave them alone. It has been way past time to get out.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  63. Kirven Dunham

    Let's see. We want out. The Iraq people wants us out and the Iraq government wants us out. McBush is wrong and all the tough talk about victory (which they refuse to define) is just hot air.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  64. John in San Diego

    It shows that the Iraqi leadership can read the handwriting on the wall – even when it's written in English instead of Arabic.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  65. Bill,Quarryville. PA

    I think it means we should leave. The only reasoned President Bush invaded Iraq was for their oil nothing more or less. I think that is why he wants to keep troops there, so American Oil companies can get contracts signed and oil flowing. We should be after the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan the people responsible for the 911.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  66. Frank from Peterborough

    Well Jack it means al Maliki has seen how to work the surge by paying your enemies not to fight. With all the oil wealth Iraq has stockpiled they should be able to keep the peace for quite some tiime.

    Of course the U.S. could continue with arming the insurgents unless of course they remember what happened with these tactics when they armed Saddam Hussien to invade Iran and Osama Bin Laden when he was fighting the Russians.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  67. Larry, Ohio

    Jack, I think every American likes the idea of getting out of Iraq,but let's not forget the reason we are talking about this is because the surge worked.The irony is that Obama would most likely not be in Iraq without that success,let"s remember Obama said the surge would not work,so as far as judgement goes he is 50/50,just like your local weatyherman!!!!

    July 21, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  68. Harry

    It means that negotiations between Iraq and the U.S.A. will have more strings attached. Maliki is a politician and wants something, before Bush leaves office. Maybe Maliki is much sharper than Bush had originally implied.


    July 21, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  69. Dean in Modesto

    This is actually a much better question Sir; and after reading some of those responses, it looks like they've got it covered.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  70. Dean in Modesto

    Jack, I want you to know that I really enjoy what you are doing. I love this format, and I was tickled pink when I heard you say my name on air, and then read my comment. My grandfather called me from Oregon and asked, "Was that you Dean?" Yupper gramps. It was. Thanks Jack, for keeping this Big Big World, a small, tight knit communtiy. Hugs 'n' Smootches! Dean-O Bean-O

    July 21, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  71. Pat McCarthy from Beautiful South Carolina

    Hello Jack; I don't usually respond to theses articles. My 2 sons have served in Iraq after being trained for combat. They had approximately 18 months of training. They are combat engineers. My youngest spent his time removing IED's so troops could navigate safely in dangerous areas. My question is if my son's can do this successfully, then why in the world can't the Iraqi forces take control in 5 years (without a timetable)
    Barack Obama has at least stated the folly of a blank check to the Iraqi government. Maybe we should bring these Iraqi soldiers over here to get some real training and put them out there so we can leave and deal with bigger problems at home? God Bless our troops.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  72. BOB in Michigan

    Jack when the Iraqis agree with Obama it means that Bush and his clone John McCain are "dead in the water" and no amount of spin or retraction of Maliki's statements can change it.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  73. lance

    Jack , Jack , Jack .........When a country you are against (war)agrees with a candidate for President like Obama......its the beginning of the end of Sen. McCain.


    July 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  74. Jason in Chandler, Arizona


    It means the Iraqi's are tired of playing host to America in their own country. Maybe, just maybe Iraqi's know what they want and are tired of the "American way, or the highway" mentality that has been in place since Bush illegally invaded.

    Iraq to America: Thanks for coming, now don't let the door hit ya on the way out!!

    July 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  75. joan ont.ca

    It means Barack has been right all along, and raising 25million in one day proves many people agree with Barack. As for McCain, " you just can't make a canary out of a crow ".

    July 21, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  76. Jerry in Boston

    It means that if we were ever sincere in believing that , following free elections, Iraq became a self governing sovereign nation, then we are obliged to do what their Prime Minister asks us to do on their territory.

    Otherwise, we are simply an occupying army.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  77. Clincher

    It means more money to Iraq. As soon as they can begin to be at 100% oil producing capacity, nothing will stop them. We (USA) will only be getting in their way.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  78. Mitchell in NJ

    It means that McCain still hasn't got a clue. The radio is tuned to the wrong frequency, the TV is on stuck on channel 1, and the 'Blue screen of Death' is on McCain's computer screen.

    Stick a fork in him, he's done. Let's elect Obama already and move on.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  79. Maryann wethersfield CT

    Al-Maliki is also quoted in Der Speigel as saying that his comments were "by no means an election endorsement".....covering his bases? likely, yes. ...I'm still not clear how we could have gotten to the level of being able to develop a plan for withdrawal UNLESS the surge worked...which it has, like it or not.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  80. TR in TX

    It means The Surge worked!

    July 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  81. Sandra

    It means that Obama and the majority of U.S. citizens are right and Bush and McCain are wrong!!

    July 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  82. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    Not all that much.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  83. Anthony Smith

    It just means what I have been saying for years...they don't want us there and Obama is the closest one to making it happen. They can't fathom 100 years of occupation or Mc Cain!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    July 21, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  84. kim

    As they are a nation with different goals then the USA. He may not be endorsing Obama but feels its time for the USA to leave, this goes along with the pressure Bush (McCain)is giving trying to get permanent bases there, more the agreeing with Obama.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  85. Dan, Chantilly VA

    It doesn't mean much. Iraq is going to fall into a civil war whether we leave now or 100 years from now. Besides, it's not like Obama convinced him that the troops need to be withdrawn, he already said he wants them out. It would be like asking what it means when oil execs endorse McCain's energy policy. Wake me up when actual news occurs.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  86. Alan, Buxton, Maine

    It means that they have used us up as much as they think they can and want us gone before we steal their oil.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  87. JD in NC

    Does it mean we won? I can't tell.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  88. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    The Iraqi PM probably, as most thinking Americans do, regards the Bush Administration as a total failure. The Bush policy has increased the threat of terrorism rather than reducing it. Obama has a clear strategy for getting us out of Iraq which will mean this needless war will be over and consequently our economy will start to improve!

    July 21, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  89. Nelson, Knoxville Tenn

    It means Americans is about to have a president with vision, insight and good judgement.

    Nelson, Knoxville, Tenn

    July 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  90. Gigi in Alabama

    I think it means that they have seen the writing on the wall and they had better shape up. They are going to have to take over the running of the country after our troops leave and they have better start preparing for that day.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  91. Shirley-Ohio

    Well Jack what it means that they want their country back. There were never any weapons of mass destruction, Baby Bush caught Saddam because Daddy Bush could not get him now it is time to get out of there.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  92. Jeremy D (University of Texas)

    It means that not even the Democrats can screw up an election when the incumbent party produces a nominee with virtually zero policy differences.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  93. Will from San Jose, CA

    Doesn't it mean we've achieved victory. A freely elected Iraqi government is making a decision and we then choose to respect that rebuilt nation's sovernty.

    Or are we abandoning the whole nation building rational now and moving on to some other reason why we staying there.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  94. Jaime, Plantation FL

    It means that McCain is going to find a new excuse to keep our men and women over there. Barak is just smart enough to shift them into Afghanistan. It's a shame no one is smart enough to bring them home.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  95. vern - anaheim ca

    jack,i think it means they(iraq) have played us for suckers as long as they could and can see which way the wind is blowing regarding the american people

    July 21, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  96. Jean in Texas

    Jack it is because they recognize intellectual foresight, practical reality and diplomacy in Senator Obama.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  97. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    It means that over 4,000 (so far) brave soldiers were sent to their death by President Bush so he could line the pockets of his corporate conspirators, and the Iraqi people are the only ones willing to do anything about it. The Pelosi Posse should be appropriately ashamed for being out-classed by the Iraqi government. At least THEY have some guts and will tell Bush to get out. And. I'm pretty sure they are not whining about a lack of votes to get us out.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  98. Dianne

    It means the 'jig' is up! Iraqis want US soldiers out of Iraq so that they can govern their own soverign country without interference.

    The UN agreement for US troops in Iraq ends at the end of December. The 'talking point from the Pentagon & the White House is now an "aspirational time horizon" = "timetable for withdrawl" and it's up to the Iraqis, it's their country!

    "Timetable" is not in the "Grand Old Party" vocabulary!

    I see one thing on the aspirational horizon and that's the 'back side' of George W. Bush, and don't let the White House door slap you in the a$$ on the way out!

    July 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  99. Ed Peters

    JACK: We all need a change. Of course a change is good as a rest. JACK we have hard enough of Tax cut and wars this Rebublicans that is all they know. We need time to grief for our 4,000+ loved young American who have dead in Iraq. It is a change all way.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  100. Nelson, Knoxville Tenn

    It means Americans are about to have a president with vision, insight and good judgement.

    Nelson, Knoxville, Tenn

    July 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  101. Rosa Birmingham, AL

    It means let's go!

    July 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  102. june

    It indicates that the prime minister would like a firm commitment that one day the Americans are going to give the country of Iraq back to the Iragi people. They would like freedom and they don't have it while the Americans are telling them what to do and when to do it. Nor can they be pleased to hear that there will be a time horizon. Anyone who has ever walked or driven down the road toward the horizon, knows that they never get any closer to it.



    July 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  103. Teri in FL

    It means it's time to get out!

    July 21, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  104. Sue

    It means Obama has better knowledge of the world than John McCain has!

    They can call him naive, inexperienced, etc, but he has more knowledge and judgement required to make this serious decisions and not talking about fightling along McSame's Iraq/Pakistan borders.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  105. Terry, Manassas, VA

    The Iraqi minister looked deeply into Obama's eyes and decided he did NOT see a completely entitled, incompetent, vacuous moron.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  106. Rod From Chicago

    Its simple Jack, if a foreign government came and wanted to occupy America for the next hundred years, how would you feel? The Iraqi government feels the same way, and they are thanking and praising God to have Barack Obama in a position to use sound judgment and common sense. Need I say more!

    July 21, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  107. Jaybrown NY/NJ

    I think it means they believe it's possible to win this war and move on. I'm not surprised they agree with Obama. Most of the countries outside of the US do. I'm not going to believe that Obama is perfect or is going to be perfect. But I think he is capable of running this country correctly and respectfully. I think he's going to do well with foreign policy. He knows how to communicate with people very well.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  108. dave

    It means it's not only doable, it's desireable to both Americans and the Iraqis people. It's time to get the hell out of dodge!

    Dave from NH

    July 21, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  109. Donna in ID

    Anyone want to bet with in 2 yrs after we get out of there we will be asked back to help them fight off who ever will be trying to take them over. My money is on Iran trying to take them.

    July 21, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  110. Joshua P form N.C.

    I don't know Jack maybe you should ask Europeans not Americans this question

    July 21, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  111. Carl in South Carolina

    The Iraqi people don't want to be occupied by the US any more than the US people would want to be occupied by the Iraqi's.

    July 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  112. Pietro from NYC

    It means when the you-know-what hits the fan when we leave, the Iraqis can put the blame on the next American president, saying, "It was his idea."

    July 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  113. Tracy Brown

    If Americans want out of Iraq, and Iraq wants Americans out of Iraq then what could both Bush and McCain want with Iraq? Can anyone say O-I-L! Prime Minister Al-Maliki clearly wants us out. It's time to leave

    July 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  114. Vig

    It means we will be in Iraq through the next Presidency because neither Obama nor al-Maliki know what they are doing or talking about. We don't need a mutual admiration society while people are dying. Two incompetents stroking each other – I'm sure the military generals are grumbling behind their backs.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  115. Blake from CA

    It means McCain's campaign is toast. He's going to need to pull a baby out of a burning building in order to win this election.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  116. Bit

    Jack, it means that they don't want us over there any more than we want to be there. That said, it means that Al-Maliki feels that since Obama will become President, he (Obama) will do what the republicans couldn't do,,,,and that is have talks and come up with a plan to bring our troops home and let Iraq do what our men and women have been doing there since this administration.

    Bit, Alabama

    July 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  117. Christina Adelakun

    No one could have possibly seen this one coming! Well, It means that we need to get out of Iraq. period. Obama seems to be on the right track. Thank god that someone is.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  118. "Diamond Don" Barnes

    Jack, the war in Iraq is kind of like getting hit in the head with a hammer, it will feel so good when it stops ! I am disgusted to think of the hundreds of Billions we are spending to keep the war going when I think of all the good we could be doing with that money here at home. Bring our troops home and let them guard our borders. Let's
    stop giving so much foriegn aid to countries who are corrupt and hate us. We need to use that money to help people here in America.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  119. Sherri Ellis

    This one is easy....when those who are going through situations we can not fully imagine endorse Senator Obama's plan for withdrawal, it means Iraq wants our soliders "out of there" just as much as we want them home!

    July 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  120. Vera from AZ

    It’s not rocket science.
    How much plainer does have to be.
    He is telling the USA that we have done enough.
    Time to move on and find the people responsible for 9-11.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  121. Julius

    Jack, it means that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is sending all but clear message that Iraq will not suck up to the US by giving up its Oil-fields or its sovereignty. Who said the Iraqis are not smart?

    London, Ontario

    July 21, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  122. Graham, Burlington, VT

    It means that an administration headed by Obama will more likely have a better relationship with a country whose gov't we put in power and that someday we will be able to work diplomatically with this country, a country in the Middle East, rather than through force either overtly or covertly.

    We should be listening to what they want since they are a Democracy now, right?

    July 21, 2008 at 5:19 pm |

    What it means is the Bush Adminitration, has a different agenda. They want the troops to stay there and protect the oil companies interest, not that of the american people.They don't understand, or don't care, that the tax payers of america are footing the bill and the oil companies as well as the Iraqis arethe only ones reaping the benefits.Three hundred billion dollars in oil profits, come on, let iraq pay for thier own security.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  124. Bill Rogers

    If we went in to "liberate" Iraq, shouldn't we respect the Prime Minister when he suggests we begin leaving before we overstay our welcome (as if we hadn't already)?

    If we went in to "invade" Iraq, then grab the oil fields and send in the rest of our troops (to the victor goes the spoils...).

    Poop or get off the pot!

    July 21, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  125. Israel

    God bless whatever god you worship, finnaly someone with the balls to stand up to bush. And dont worry we wont let the door hit us on the way out.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  126. circy in New Mexico

    It means that the rest of the world understands that what we're doing in Iraq is endless and futile. Bush and McCain talk about killing all the terrorists in Iraq before withdrawing. They've never understood that many of the people fighting Americans in Iraq are patriots, not terrorists. No one on this planet wants foreign troops on their soil. That applies to Iraq, Afghanistan,South Korea, Germany, Saudia Arabia and all the other countries where we have set up shop.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  127. Terrance from Detroit

    Jack, this shows that world leaders are excited about the possibily of finally working with a level headed U.S. president who does not mind admitting when a mistake has been made and more importantly shows eargerness to fix it.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  128. Justin from Asheville, NC

    What does it mean? It means the Iraqi prime minister is capable of understanding the difference between right and wrong. It means Obama has this election wrapped up. It means the Bush adminstration will finally be replaced with intelligence and ethics. You know ...a truly "Christian" set of rules. It's time we all take a step back and look at the big picture. End this war and start concerning ourselves with the environment and economics.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  129. Delmar

    Should we, America impose ourselves upon another county? Did not Bush state that we would leave when the Iraqi people asked us to? then should we not depart and bring our troops home, support the troops in Afganistan, resupply our militaries, but not dominate the world, be prepared to defend with full force this country and allies and think about and reconsider these preempted attacks, as others may want to now make pre empted attacks against us,,
    DELMAR,,, in Missouri

    July 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  130. Donald Williams

    It means that instead of George Bush being a 99% failure, he has reached the seemingly unattainable 100%. Kudos to him for being the most laughable, pathetic failure of an 8 year presidency. Maybe he'll end up in the Guiness Book of Records.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  131. Ed North Carolina

    Who cares if you know what hits the fan when we leave Iraq. We never should have interfered in their internal matters in the first place. The United States just doesn't go invade other countries because we don't like their leaders, well we never used to anyway and, hopefully, Iraq has been a lesson well learned.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  132. Michele, Oregon

    I'd like to submit an ealier post from the wife of an Iraqi soldier that is spot on to this point:

    My husband has been deployed to the Middle east 4 times since 2002. There is no reason for us to be in Iraq. The soldiers are not fighting the Taliban and Al Queda like the news wants you to believe. They are fighting in the middle of a civil war between the Sunni and the Shia. The soldier's are being used as the iraqi police force and it's not right. We never should have involved ourselves without the support of NATO and we shouldn't be there now. I am all for a withdrawal as soon as possible. Even if the surge worked to curb the violence our troops were encountering it still doesn't justify staying there and fighting a civil war for a country that would like to see us leave in the first place. The government doesn't tell you what's really going on and until all of that comes to light the American people are still going to be convinced that our soldiers are fighting the Taliban and AlQueda in Iraq, which they are not.

    The Iraqi's are ready for us to leave so that they will be the captain's of their own fate again and know they have a partner in Obama. A win-win situation to empower them in this difficult task, not the semi-permanent occupation that McCain supports which reduces the natives to our own agendas.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  133. Jonathan English

    It means they've probably wanted to start this process for sometime. The way this administration runs foreign relations, I wouldn't be surprised if Al-Maliki gets a pretty strong arm when it comes to U.S. occupation.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  134. Michael (Longview, WA)

    the Iraqi leader clearly reads American political trends and the mood of the American people. He also is facing pressure from hsi own constituency, and needs to push the Americans to speed toward withdrawl. My question in response to yours is, if Sen. McCain's Candidacy has been predicated on the "surge" and his insistance on staying in Iraq (perhaps for a hundred years,") where does that leave the viability of his presidential bid? On what basis does he seek the office? He's not an economic expert, by his own admission. What now for John McCain?

    July 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  135. Kirby Astbury

    Iraq's endorsement of Mr. Barracks withdrawal plan sends a message to the United States that Iraq (needs) the US gone if it is to recover spiritually as a nation. Iraq needs to distance itelf from the appearance that it is a servant to US policy.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  136. Fred - Evansville, IN

    It's their country. They should know when they want and are able to handle things by themselves.
    What if the French had decided to keep "helping" the USA for 100 years after they helped during the Revolutionary War?

    July 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  137. Paul Deacon (Canada)

    It means the Iraqi government would prefer to deal with an inexperienced president. Americans should ask themselves "Why?".

    July 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  138. James

    It seems that I remember that the talk from al-Maliki over troop withdrawal began days before Obama left for the Mid-East. This nonsensical connection between the two views has no merit. It is just coincidence that they seem in sync and is merely a demonstration of how the media oft times seems to have a memory that is Orwellian in its preoccupation with "the now".

    July 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  139. Matt, NY, NY

    What can it mean besides that Iraq wants us out? President Bush claims that the end point for this war is Iraqi control of their own situation. If the Prime Minister agrees with a withdrawal, we can only facilitate democracy by endorsing Obama's plans.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  140. Jay, Denver CO

    It means he is a smart politician and he understands where we are heading in November.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  141. mike murphy North Port Florida

    Jack, Does it mean Obama will have enough troops to invade Pakistan and widen the war?

    July 21, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  142. Corey

    Get off your bias reporting and at least try to act as a professional reporter. You may serve your employer better if you would only report the news and stop trying to make news in a distorted way. Simply, you are a disgrace to your profession.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  143. Tik

    Jack: It means that the Iraqi people are ready to move on, and began to enjoy the fruits of democracy. Sooner, rather than later!!! Bush, McCain and everyone else should be thrilled that Al-maliki feels that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people are ready to stand up on their own; and not require as much of our prescious blood and treasure.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  144. Heidi from Pittsburgh

    The Bush administration has tarnished the United States's reputation around the world. The world views us as egotistical war mongers. Having Europe and Iraqi leaders show agreement with Obama shows that we can reclaim the title as the world's last best hope.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  145. Joe from Florida

    Jack, why don't you find out from the McCain campaign what he means by "victory". We have a right to know what he means by it since he wants to spend our tax dollars to achieve that goal. Bush never told us what it is and we can forgive him for not knowing it because Cheney probably never told him.

    Since the Iraquis are not saying that they want us to be out, we should get out and let them decide what they want to do with the freedom they now have.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  146. Damien, Indianpolis

    It means Bush, Rice, and McSame were all wrong. By the way, what is up with this "time horizon"? Did Bush pick up a thesaurus and search another way of saying "time line"?

    July 21, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  147. Gary

    Who really cares what the Iraqi P.M. says or thinks we won the war not him so it's up us and he just needs to be thankful we did help and nothing else

    July 21, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  148. John J. NY

    It may mean obama might not have trouble with his foreign policy and it may mean his plan of leaving Iraq in 16 months(give or take a month), talk to our allies and enemies and not become hated by the world. is better than McCains stay in iraq for "100 years" "win" and have no use of our ambassador and diplomats

    July 21, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  149. Louis B.

    It's about political expediency. I am not saying it isn't right, but nonetheless, it's about political expediency...

    July 21, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  150. Jackie from Pittsburgh

    Jack, that should tell you something.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  151. Joel from Salinas CA

    Al-Maliki in no way endorsed Obama's “plan” for withdrawal of U.S. troops, which, by the way, is nothing more than a phased retreat which he proposed without benefit of consultation with U.S. leaders on the ground in Iraq, nor preconditioned on conditions on there. In short, while there is a coincidence of a timeframe for troop withdrawal, there is a world of difference on how we get there.
    That a significant troop reduction within 18 months may be possible is more of a testament to the success of the McCain/Petraeus architected surge than to an accidental coincidence with a timeline voiced by Obama.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  152. Joe, La.

    It means wolf will continue to spew right wing talking points and you will continue to be an Obama hack.

    We will stay to protect the oil Jack.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  153. mr.singh

    It means that when troops leave Iraq it will be President Obama that will get the credit for withdrawing them in peaceful manner & ending war in Iraq, and it will be responsibility of Iraqi gov't to control shia, shiites and Iraqi country fate!

    July 21, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  154. Heidi from Pittsburgh

    The Bush administration has tarnished the reputation of the United States. The world views us as closed-minded, egotistical war mongers. Obama is open-minded and anti-war. Europe and Iraqi leaders agreement with Obama shows that we can reclaim the title as the world's last best HOPE.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  155. Will

    Well Jack, it simply means that the prime minister feels what most Americans feel. That its time to bring this war to an end. It also means that despite Sen. McCain’s raves about Obama not knowing what’s going on abroad, he actually has better assessment of the situation, than McCain and his political twin Bush. I guess that’s why, all of sudden the you starting hear talks of time tables for Iraq from the Whitehouse. As well as negotiations with Iran. The Bush administration has learned that its time to start following the real leader Barack Obama.

    July 21, 2008 at 5:49 pm |