The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Barack Obama

Obama Makes a Courtesy Call to George W. Bush

By Anne E. Kornblut
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Before announcing his plan for withdrawing troops from Iraq, President Obama made an intriguing courtesy call on Friday morning: to former president George W. Bush, who began the war that Obama has so vehemently opposed.

White House officials did not elaborate on the call, which Obama placed from a holding room at Camp Lejeune just moments before he gave his long-awaited speech. Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said Obama made the call "as a courtesy" to the former president.

Earlier in the day, aboard Air Force One, Obama called another interested party, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. The Iraqi prime minister had already declared that he was unconcerned about the troop withdrawals, which will leave about 50,000 U.S. troops in place even after the bulk of the forces leave in August of 2010.

Obama is delivering his address to thousands of service members here.

Posted at 12:21 PM ET on Feb 27, 2009  | Category:  Barack Obama
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Previous: Obama Promises End to Combat in Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010 | Next: Gordon Brown to Meet with Obama

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Good one!

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 9:09 AM

Of course our new president will need a considerable period of rest after battling that exhausting war for so long.
You funny, funny little libs.

Posted by: robtay12003 | February 28, 2009 6:47 PM

Just one small point:
This was originally Bush's time frame.
All being negotiated while Obama and the Democratic Party were calling for America's surrender.
We're onto you.

Posted by: robtay12003 | February 28, 2009 6:40 PM

In keeping with his policy of refusing to have direct contact with an enemy of the United States, Bush should've refused Obama's call.

Posted by: robtay12003 | February 28, 2009 6:34 PM

We cover 1100 military installations thru out the world and we're leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq. We will never completely leave Iraq, as we have never left any place where troops have been sent.

So now we will have 1101 military installations thru out the world. Just what is the rewards and the cost of all our interest in these little fiascos?

Posted by: jdmsad | February 28, 2009 11:33 AM


You can be assured that Bush 43 has indeed called Bill Clinton to thank him (as I understand, even Bush 41 has reconciled with Bill). Next canard?

Posted by: JakeD | February 28, 2009 1:02 AM

Did Obama at least thank Bush for the surge?

Posted by: tomchambers | February 27, 2009 11:29 PM

President Obama calling X President Bush was thoughtful gesture and a touch of class. You can be assured that effort would not have been considered by Bush. Cheney's call would would have been Obscene.

Posted by: oldgeek143 | February 27, 2009 8:36 PM

Its the same old crap we heard during the Vietnam War. But it will be interesting to see how Barrach H. Obama reacts to the adualation he will undoubtedly will receive for ending the war.

Posted by: a4853916 | February 27, 2009 7:01 PM

Yeah, just like The One already saved the economy.

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2009 6:48 PM

Well now that Obama has won the war in one month that Bush couldn't win in 7 years he can move on to winning in Afghanistan next.

Posted by: JRM2 | February 27, 2009 5:54 PM

Again, I am glad that 50,000 troops are staying. Too bad you Bush haters couldn't support that last year. Now that Obama is doing it, I guess it's all kumbaya now.

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2009 5:23 PM


Don't worry about it.

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2009 5:14 PM

I first voted for JFK, it feels really good to be excited with a president once again. "It did happen in our lifetime Nancy."

Posted by: danandlindaking | February 27, 2009 4:47 PM

The only courtesy call Bush should receive is to the one advising him to surrender voluntarily or have the cops come and arrest him in front of the paparazzi. Those saying the Iraq war was just have twisted values: those of a guy who gets fired and takes it out on his wife with a baseball bat. Bush was a ping-pong ball batted around by Bin Laden, who is doing to the U.S. what the Afghans did to the USSR: bankrupting it, in this case aided by the "patriots" on Wall Street.

Posted by: edwcorey | February 27, 2009 4:45 PM


Didn't you get the memo about "Lame Psy Ops"?

Please try harder. This is not statecraft.

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 27, 2009 4:06 PM

To those who are still for this war in Iraq must understand that this "illegal" war was a major reason for our current economic crisis. As the Bush tax cuts rollback eventually we will finally begin paying for this war with our children's and grandchildren's future bound up in that. Other than the initial battles that toppled the Saddam regime the Bush (Cheney)Administration and the Pentagon handled by Rummy & Crew stumbled like the Keystone Cops in the aftermath. We help break Iraq we are obligated to pay for it and boy will we!

Posted by: LibHawk | February 27, 2009 4:06 PM

snowcialist, i agree with you 100%

however it just follows logic that obama who supports efforts in iraq, and an increased presence in afghanistan should be painted by the same brush by anti-war people as bush. If you are anti-war, you are anti-war. i have no respect for anything to do with code-pink except for their non-partisan ties, they dont make excuses for those in their party as many here do.

Posted by: mongoose3 | February 27, 2009 3:55 PM

Be serious. The US has to keep troops in Iraq to keep this colossal mistake from turning over the entire region to Iran. It might not help, but the best they can do is to try to check the expansion of Iran's influence, and to create a buffer between Israel and Iran. Otherwise, kaboom!

Posted by: Snowcialist | February 27, 2009 3:47 PM

it would be nice to see someone address JakeD's question...if bush is a murder and should be immeadiately handcuffed etc...where is obama's liability? At least pretend not be be in the helps credibility...

Posted by: mongoose3 | February 27, 2009 3:43 PM

Bush does not need a courtesy call he needs an indictment for murder and treason, then put in jail, the discusting slug that he is.

Posted by: alanearth | February 27, 2009 3:28 PM


"Brilliants" (plural)?

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2009 2:47 PM



Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2009 2:45 PM

Obviously, I don't think the Iraq War was a lie. More importantly, though, why would Obama keep 50,000 U.S. troops there for a "lie"?

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2009 2:17 PM

Obama is just easing the top off the pressure cooker, slowly, rather than snatching it off all at once... Unfortunately, the results will be the same. Sooner or later, the Iraqis are going to revolt against this western-style democracy and all hell is going to break lose.

Posted by: demtse | February 27, 2009 2:39 PM

It is a PLEASURE to listen to a leader who is intelligent, articulate and forceful. What a joy to behold. I could listen to him all day. I am in love with America again. I never thought it would happen. Since JFK I have not adored a president. Finally, I do. I am not a praying person but I do for this president offer a prayer now and then. What can it hurt. Bless you Mr. President, God bless and keep you safe. We need you so!

Posted by: natalierosen1 | February 27, 2009 2:36 PM

Now we have adults in charge of our country, maybe we will get somewhere now.
We haven't seen brilliants in our government in a long time. It looks good.

Posted by: pokeymompokey | February 27, 2009 2:35 PM

"Earlier in the day, aboard Air Force One, Obama called another interested party, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. The Iraqi prime minister had already declared that he was unconcerned about the troop withdrawals, which will leave about 50,000 U.S. troops in place even after the bulk of the forces leave in August of 2010."

"unconcerned" As if Obama thinks he's doing al-Maliki a favor. al_Maliki could care less. All he's interested in is his monthly check, from the US government, for keep his people in line.

Posted by: demtse | February 27, 2009 2:35 PM

Oh, how brave and timely of Obie to announce the troop withdrawal from Iraq. The only reason he can do it is because of George Bush's Surge. How different is the plan from Bush's original? Next thing ya know, he'll be glorifying himself as the One who ended the war on terror. What hypocracy. He sounds a bit different than he did on the campaign does he not? Cindy Sheehan will not like this.

Posted by: gwalter1 | February 27, 2009 2:30 PM

Obviously, I don't think the Iraq War was a lie. More importantly, though, why would Obama keep 50,000 U.S. troops there for a "lie"?

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2009 2:17 PM

scrivener50, the padded truck is on the way. They'v got you on their GPS. Please go quietly.

Posted by: NotBubba | February 27, 2009 2:10 PM

Thanks for the answers. I'm glad 50,000 troops are staying.

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2009 2:00 PM




Sen. Leahy's "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" is needed.

But first, President Obama, Vice President Biden and Atty. Gen. Holder, you must act to end these crimes against humanity and unconstitutional abuses of power. And bring to justice all of those who are responsible for this national disgrace.




OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 27, 2009 1:58 PM

"I feel like the adults are in charge again."

Amen. President Obama has done so much good in first month, than Bush did in 8 years. He has been downright honest with us, and that's all most of us wanted. The Iraq war was a lie, and Obama is taking care of things responsibly.

Here's a question for people that want the war to end; Do you really think it's possible to just leave immediately? Obama will end this war, and it will end it the right way. He knows this war was a lie...he also knows if he just leaves, that would be a huge risk.

Posted by: JasonSoCA | February 27, 2009 1:33 PM

WTF, The only call that MF should get is a heads up he is being cuffed and shackled to go to GITMO as a domestic and global war criminal and by his acts a terrorist to stand trial for treason, violating his oath of office war crimes, crimes against humanity, conspiracy to commit murder, 5k+ counts of murder plus Iraqi deaths,for starters upon which he will land on death row where he belongs.

Posted by: R2D2-51 | February 27, 2009 1:28 PM

I feel like the adults are in charge again.

Posted by: nodebris | February 27, 2009 1:25 PM

> As someone who is/was against the Iraq War, I COMPLETELY support President Obama's plan. He can't just leave! That would be foolish!

Indeed. A withdrawal simply takes time for logistical reasons. And a few months longer than the bare logistical minimum may help stabilise Iraq.

As for the residual force, it's necessary. It's the responsible course. America created the mess in Iraq and has to assist the Iraqis to help 'em prevent a descent into another civil war.

Really beats me why some on the left have so little concern for the fate of the Iraqis and want an immediate withdrawal no matter what the costs.

Fortunately, I think a great majority of war skeptics will see how the course set by Obama is the responsible one.

Posted by: charlesf1 | February 27, 2009 1:24 PM

Obama never shows his disappointment. He is a man of honor.

Common sense finds no words for the tragic, horrific mistake that Cheney (first of all, Cheney) & Bush & Rice & Powell & Rumsfeld and coterie made in concocting lies to invade this ancient nation. What was not destroyed in the bombings & fortuitous slaughter has been perverted. How Irak will ever find its way back to peace and governance is an open question.

The worst is ... that the above self-righteous group of warmongers still hold the belief beyond the pale that theirs ... is the right to tread on other peoples, simply because another nationality hasn't yet adopted hamburgers & fries & Spielberg as their religion and crass culture.

Posted by: hchiba | February 27, 2009 1:23 PM

I am an anti-war Patriot. I am disappointed that President Obama is leaving 50K troops in until 2011. We got them in 6 months, we can surely get them out in 6 months.

Posted by: CranialRectalLoopback | February 27, 2009 1:22 PM

As someone who is/was against the Iraq War, I COMPLETELY support President Obama's plan. He can't just leave! That would be foolish! He has stated he will end this war and he will do it the right way. Dubya, got us in this mess, and #44 will get us out. It's so refreshing to have a LEADER again in the White House! We love you Mr. President and keep up the good hard work!!!!1 God Bless you!

Posted by: JasonSoCA | February 27, 2009 1:14 PM

As an 'anti war' protester, It is not soon enough and I want them ALL home!
Can the 'pro war' parents tell me what their young sons and daughters are doing??

Semper Fidelis
Oceanside, CA

Posted by: marinemommilof3 | February 27, 2009 1:09 PM

Jake, I was against the Iraq war from the moment we started it. It was wrong, sidetracked us from the perpetrators of 9/11, mired us in an endless war with zero goals or exit strategies, lost our friends in the world and galvanized far too many against us. We lost our moral ground completely. In short a HUGE disaster.
That being said, Obama has inherited the mess and as much as I want the troops completely out yesterday....I know he is doing the right thing. He has my complete support for all the work he is doing to fix the worst economic mess in decades...and that started with the Iraq war.

Posted by: BethA | February 27, 2009 1:08 PM

JakeD, I think many of us who opposed the war are happy Obama is doing what he said he'd do during the campaign, and resigned to the fact that he and our country have been left with a responsibility to cautiously play a limited role for some time in supporting Iraq. But withdrawing these combat troops is a great decision and takes us partway to the goal of getting all the way out.

Posted by: MiddleWay1 | February 27, 2009 1:04 PM

How do the anti-war protesters feel about Obama leaving so many troops in Iraq?

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2009 12:59 PM

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