Obama to call Bush ahead of Iraq speech

August 30, 2010

Just a friendly chat between two commanders in chief over a 7-1/2 year Iraq war…

President Barack Obama plans to call former President George W. Bush and discuss Iraq where he is ending combat operations that his  predecessor began. OBAMA/

Whether or not Obama will mention Bush in his primetime Oval Office television address at 8 p.m. Tuesday is unclear. But White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the ex-president will be among the people Obama calls before giving the speech.

Republicans have criticized Obama for what they say is a failure to acknowledge the success of  Bush’s troop surge in bringing down violence in Iraq.

Gibbs was pressed during a briefing with reporters on whether Obama, who opposed the Iraq troop increase, now believes it worked.

Gibbs said additional troops were one element that contributed to the reduction in violence, but there were a “host of factors” that also played a role, such as the Sunni Awakening and an improved political environment.

“The president always believed that you would change part of the security situation by vastly increasing the number of troops,” Gibbs said.

But he said Obama’s view was that “we were not going to accomplish all of what needed to be done in Iraq simply militarily, that there had to be a political accommodation.”

Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama leaves Walter Reed Army Medical Center after private meeting with injured troops)

6 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Barry, “Hey GW, I’m givin’ a lil speech t’night ’bout Iraq.”
George,”Yeh?, you gonna blame ever’thang on me again?”
Barry, “Sho am brother … an big time”.
George, “Ride that bronco till November, cowboy, then you gonna git throwed.”

Posted by misterliu | Report as abusive

More like:

Barry: “Hello, George?”
George: “Yeah, but I can’t talk ’cause I’m on the phone right now” (click)
Barry: “Hello?”
George: “Damn, another bad intelligence decision…”

Posted by mikemm | Report as abusive

The surge worked. It brought violence down from “absolutely horrible” to just “tremendously bad”.

Posted by Jonesy | Report as abusive

The surge worked. It brought violence down from “absolutely horrible” to just “tremendously bad”.

Posted by Jonesy | Report as abusive

“The president always believed that you would change part of the security situation by vastly increasing the number of troops,” Gibbs said.

Why did Gibbs say that? I saw a video clip of Senator Obama vehemently declaring an increase in troops would have no effect on the war.

Liar.

Posted by Avatar666 | Report as abusive

I don’t quite understand why Obama wants to chat with Dubya. It would be interesting to hear what they say….

“Yo! George!”
“Whoze this?”
“The President!”
“Whish one?”
“Ah, Barak?”
“Oh, yea, what it is?”
“Well, I’m bringing back those troops you sent over to Iraq seven years ago.”
“WHUT? WHY??? Therz still eve-eel axis’es and “Weapons Of Mash Disstruction” over there…ah, aren’t there? Do I git to keep Husshein’s gun?”
“Well, I don’t know about that. But I’ll be on TV at 8 pm tonight, Eastern Standard Time.
“8?…What time’ul that be here in Dallush?”
“Have another beer, George…Goodbye.”

Posted by mark4747 | Report as abusive