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President Obama's Oval Office speech on Iraq -- text

Democrat president Barack Obama speaks on Iraq from the Oval Office 8-31-10

 

Oval Office Remarks by President Obama, as provided by the White House

Good evening. Tonight, I’d like to talk to you about the end of our combat mission in Iraq, the ongoing security challenges we face, and the need to rebuild our nation here at home.

I know this historic moment comes at a time of great uncertainty for many Americans. We have now been through nearly a decade of war. We have endured a long and painful recession. And sometimes in the midst of these storms, the future that we are trying to build for our nation – a future of lasting peace and long-term prosperity may seem beyond our reach.

But this milestone should serve as a reminder to all Americans that the future is ours to shape if we move forward with confidence and commitment.  It should also serve as a message to the world that the United States of America intends to sustain and strengthen our leadership in this young century.

From this desk, seven and a half years ago, President Bush announced the beginning of military operations in Iraq. Much has changed since that night. A war to disarm a state became....

...a fight against an insurgency. Terrorism and sectarian warfare threatened to tear Iraq apart. Thousands of Americans gave their lives; tens of thousands have been wounded. Our relations abroad were strained. Our unity at home was tested.

These are the rough waters encountered during the course of one of America’s longest wars. Yet there has been one constant amidst those shifting tides. At every turn, America’s men and women in uniform have served with courage and resolve. As Commander-in-Chief, I am proud of their service. Like all Americans, I am awed by their sacrifice, and by the sacrifices of their families.

The Americans who have served in Iraq completed every mission they were given. They defeated a regime that had terrorized its people. Together with Iraqis and coalition partners who made huge sacrifices of their own, our troops fought block by block to help Iraq seize the chance for a better future. They shifted tactics to protect the Iraqi people; trained Iraqi Security Forces; and took out terrorist leaders. Because of our troops and civilians –and because of the resilience of the Iraqi people – Iraq has the opportunity to embrace a new destiny, even though many challenges remain.

So tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country.

This was my pledge to the American people as a candidate for this office. Last February, I announced a plan that would bring our combat brigades out of Iraq, while redoubling our efforts to strengthen Iraq’s Security Forces and support its government and people. That is what we have done. We have removed nearly 100,000 U.S. troops from Iraq.  We have closed or transferred hundreds of bases to the Iraqis. And we have moved millions of pieces of equipment out of Iraq.

This completes a transition to Iraqi responsibility for their own security. U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq’s cities last summer, and Iraqi forces have moved into the lead with considerable skill and commitment to their fellow citizens. Even as Iraq continues to suffer terrorist attacks, security incidents have been near the lowest on record since the war began. And Iraqi forces have taken the fight to al Qaeda, removing much of its leadership in Iraqi-led operations.

This year also saw Iraq hold credible elections that drew a strong turnout. A caretaker administration is in place as Iraqis form a government based on the results of that election. Tonight, I encourage Iraq’s leaders to move forward with a sense of urgency to form an inclusive government that is just, representative, and accountable to the Iraqi people. And when that government is in place, there should be no doubt: the Iraqi people will have a strong partner in the United States. Our combat mission is ending, but our commitment to Iraq’s future is not.

Going forward, a transitional force of U.S. troops will remain in Iraq with a different mission: advising and assisting Iraq’s Security Forces; supporting Iraqi troops in targeted counter-terrorism missions; and protecting our civilians. Consistent with our agreement with the Iraqi government, all U.S. troops will leave by the end of next year. As our military draws down, our dedicated civilians –diplomats, aid workers, and advisors –are moving into the lead to support Iraq as it strengthens its government, resolves political disputes, resettles those displaced by war, and builds ties with the region and the world. And that is a message that Vice President Biden is delivering to the Iraqi people through his visit there today.

This new approach reflects our long-term partnership with Iraq–one based upon mutual interests, and mutual respect. Of course, violence will not end with our combat mission. Extremists will continue to set off bombs, attack Iraqi civilians and try to spark sectarian strife. But ultimately, these terrorists will fail to achieve their goals. Iraqis are a proud people. They have rejected sectarian war, and they have no interest in endless destruction. They understand that, in the end, only Iraqis can resolve their differences and police their streets. Only Iraqis can build a democracy within their borders. What America can do, and will do, is provide support for the Iraqi people as both a friend and a partner.

Ending this war is not only in Iraq’s interest– it is in our own. The United States has paid a huge price to put the future of Iraq in the hands of its people. We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacrifices in Iraq, and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at home. We have persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people –a belief that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility. Now, it is time to turn the page.

As we do, I am mindful that the Iraq War has been a contentious issue at home. Here, too, it is time to turn the page. This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush. It’s well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset. Yet no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I have said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hope for Iraq’s future.

The greatness of our democracy is grounded in our ability to move beyond our differences, and to learn from our experience as we confront the many challenges ahead. And no challenge is more essential to our security than our fight against al Qaeda.

Americans across the political spectrum supported the use of force against those who attacked us on 9/11. Now, as we approach our 10th year of combat in Afghanistan, there are those who are understandably asking tough questions about our mission there. But we must never lose sight of what’s at stake. As we speak, al Qaeda continues to plot against us, and its leadership remains anchored in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. We will disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda, while preventing Afghanistan from again serving as a base for terrorists. And because of our drawdown in Iraq, we are now able to apply the resources necessary to go on offense. In fact, over the last 19 months, nearly a dozen al Qaeda leaders –and hundreds of Al Qaeda's extremist allies–have been killed or captured around the world.

Within Afghanistan, I have ordered the deployment of additional....

OvalOfficeNewBeforeandAftersusanwalshapplewhiteAP

.... troops who–under the command of General David Petraeus –are fighting to break the Taliban’s momentum. As with the surge in Iraq, these forces will be in place for a limited time to provide space for the Afghans to build their capacity and secure their own future. But, as was the case in Iraq, we cannot do for Afghans what they must ultimately do for themselves. That’s why we are training Afghan Security Forces and supporting a political resolution to Afghanistan’s problems. And, next July, we will begin a transition to Afghan responsibility. The pace of our troop reductions will be determined by conditions on the ground, and our support for Afghanistan will endure. But make no mistake: this transition will begin – because open-ended war serves neither our interests nor the Afghan people’s.

Indeed, one of the lessons of our effort in Iraq is that American influence around the world is not a function of military force alone. We must use all elements of our power –including our diplomacy, our economic strength, and the power of America’s example –to secure our interests and stand by our allies. And we must project a vision of the future that is based not just on our fears, but also on our hopes –a vision that recognizes the real dangers that exist around the world, but also the limitless possibility of our time.

Today, old adversaries are at peace, and emerging democracies are potential partners. New markets for our goods stretch from Asia to the Americas. A new push for peace in the Middle East will begin here tomorrow. Billions of young people want to move beyond the shackles of poverty and conflict. As the leader of the free world, America will do more than just defeat on the battlefield those who offer hatred and destruction –we will also lead among those who are willing to work together to expand freedom and opportunity for all people.

That effort must begin within our own borders. Throughout our history, America has been willing to bear the burden of promoting liberty and human dignity overseas, understanding its link to our own liberty and security. But we have also understood that our nation’s strength and influence abroad must be firmly anchored in our prosperity at home. And the bedrock of that prosperity must be a growing middle class.

Unfortunately, over the last decade, we have not done what is necessary to shore up the foundation of our own prosperity. We have spent over a trillion dollars at war, often financed by borrowing from overseas. This, in turn, has short-changed investments in our own people, and contributed to record deficits. For too long, we have put off tough decisions on everything from our manufacturing base to our energy policy to education reform. As a result, too many middle class families find themselves working harder for less, while our nation’s long-term competitiveness is put at risk.

And so at this moment, as we wind down the war in Iraq, we must tackle those challenges at home with as much energy, and grit, and sense of common purpose as our men and women in uniform who have served abroad. They have met every test that they faced. Now, it is our turn. Now, it is our responsibility to honor them by coming together, all of us, and working to secure the dream that so many generations have fought for –the dream that a better life awaits anyone who is willing to work for it and reach for it.

Our most urgent task is to restore our economy, and put the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs back to work. To strengthen our middle class, we must give all our children the education they deserve, and all our workers the skills that they need to compete in a global economy. We must jumpstart industries that create jobs, and end our dependence on foreign oil. We must unleash the innovation that allows new products to roll off our assembly lines, and nurture the ideas that spring from our entrepreneurs. This will be difficult. But in the days to come, it must be our central mission as a people, and my central responsibility as President.

Part of that responsibility is making sure that we honor our commitments to those who have served our country with such valor. As long as I am President, we will maintain the finest fighting force that the world has ever known, and do whatever it takes to serve our veterans as well as they have served us. This is a sacred trust. That is why we have already made one of the largest increases in funding for veterans in decades. We are treating the signature wounds of today’s wars post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, while providing the health care and benefits that all of our veterans have earned. And we are funding a post-9/11 GI Bill that helps our veterans and their families pursue the dream of a college education. Just as the GI Bill helped those who fought World War II- including my grandfather- become the backbone of our middle class, so today’s servicemen and women must have the chance to apply their gifts to expand the American economy. Because part of ending a war responsibly is standing by those who have fought it.

Two weeks ago, America’s final combat brigade in Iraq –the Army’s Fourth Stryker Brigade –journeyed home in the pre-dawn darkness. Thousands of soldiers and hundreds of vehicles made the trip from Baghdad, the last of them passing into Kuwait in the early morning hours. Over seven years before, American troops and coalition partners had fought their way across similar highways, but this time no shots were fired. It was just a convoy of brave Americans, making their way home.

Of course, the soldiers left much behind. Some were teenagers when the war began. Many have served multiple tours of duty, far from their families who bore a heroic burden of their own, enduring the absence of a husband’s embrace or a mother’s kiss. Most painfully, since the war began fifty-five members of the Fourth Stryker Brigade made the ultimate sacrifice –part of over 4,400 Americans who have given their lives in Iraq. As one staff sergeant said, “I know that to my brothers in arms who fought and died, this day would probably mean a lot.”

Those Americans gave their lives for the values that have lived in the hearts of our people for over two centuries. Along with nearly 1.5 million Americans who have served in Iraq, they fought in a faraway place for people they never knew. They stared into the darkest of human creations –war –and helped the Iraqi people seek the light of peace.

In an age without surrender ceremonies, we must earn victory through the success of our partners and the strength of our own nation. Every American who serves joins an unbroken line of heroes that stretches from Lexington to Gettysburg; from Iwo Jima to Inchon; from Khe Sanh to Kandahar – Americans who have fought to see that the lives of our children are better than our own. Our troops are the steel in our ship of state. And though our nation may be travelling through rough waters, they give us confidence that our course is true, and that beyond the pre-dawn darkness, better days lie ahead.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America, and all who serve her.    ####

Related Item:

GOP's John Boehner talks of Iraq, Afghanistan and the economy - text

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Photos: Susan Walsh / Associated Press; Susan Walsh (left) and J. Scott Applewhite (right, Oval Office makeovers before and after, right).

 
Comments () | Archives (31)

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Can we as Americans answer the call for peaceful coexistence and give our support to President Obama who had pulled us off the cliff of economic disaster and out of one war? It is time American stop listening to the divisionism of Fox and help move America forward.

Claudette...no, apparently not. We tried that 8 years ago, to give support to a President following the 9/11 attack on our country. But a segment of our country wanted to listen to the MSM and divide the country. Now we have a President who is divisive, creating an "us and them" along racial and economic lines. Don't blame FOX, try watching their news and educate yourself.

That's the spirit, Claudette. Alienate the 45% who actually appreciate that Fox doesn't parrot what ALL the other major news outlets say. Instead, you don't ask for unity but uniformity. Unity for you is thinking exactly as you do. No thanks. Try again.

Since the withdrawal time frame was set by President Bush three months before President Obama took office, I find it difficult to stomach the man claiming any credit for this. He is flat out lying abut the cost of the war, too. He has spent more in two years than the was has cost after 7.

Once again, our pathetic poser president provides aid and comfort to the enemy. This is either treason or he has was again behaved stupidly. Since when does he C&C tell our enemy when we will withdraw? We truly need a leader not a politician.

Look at Obama’s Achievements -----

1) Revived the Republican Party from the brink of extinction
2) Destroyed the moderate wing of the Democratic Party
3) Double digit unemployment -- and NOT IMPROVING
4) Two ultra liberals on the supreme court
5) a nuclear Iran (As of August 21, 2010)
6) Sharia law (desired) (Why doesn’t Michelle go to Arab Countries with him?)
7) a victory mosque at ground zero
8) rights for illegal aliens
9) a HC bill that the majority of the country doesn't want
10) a new record for vacations by a President
11) $14 trillion in debt
12) Permanent unemployment benefits
13) record size of Gov’t
14) Gov’t worker's salary higher than private industry
15) Personally put over 23,000 oil workers out of work in the Gulf
16) As a pseudo FIELD MARSHAL, advised the enemy when and where we would be withdrawing from Iraq, and trying to do the same with Afghanistan
17) Displayed a ‘DITHERING’ demonstration during a 100 day oil spill crisis
18) Insults the public’s intelligence on a daily basis by blaming others for his lack of judgment, foibles, and ill thought through actions, and appears incapable of accepting responsibility!
19) Constantly displays his Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

AND TEAM OBAMA FEELS THEY ARE GOING TO INSTILL CONFIDENCE

Isn't this the same man who swore the surge would fail?

What a beautiful and moving speech our President gave tonight. I am proud to have him as the leader of my country.

And compared to the petty and partisan sniping that came out of the two Republican leaders today, President Obama should be sainted.

Claudette, coffee, smell, K?

Barack Obama is bringing back soldiers

Joy here, joy there, to end the war
To come home, to families near!
That is the best wish for a soldier
To taste life by ending death fear!

Bush made mess and he did the wars
Barack Obama is bringing back American soldiers!
One made death squads and the other for peace
To calm down worldwide, all families!

Longer than WW one and WW two
Sophisticated governments against ordinary foe!
Bush people all, made one big tie
To let Saddam and his folks to die!

Made conspiracy, untrue allegation
That, Saddam got Weapons of mass destruction!
For their lies, war, jump and song!
War monger big guys were totally wrong!

What they got, what they brought
What civilization, education, they taught!
All were fooled with worldwide intelligentsia
Governments, Christianity, Religions, Media!

In a ferocious war, Bush and his gang
They did violations for one Saddam to hang!
Tons of decorations for destruction and pain
To kill Iraqis and that Saddam Hussein!

Saddam was OK to run his nation
But he was against Bush-peoples fashion!
Against Bush, Blair and their ill policy
To salute their high nose and supremacy!

President Obama promised and he is bringing
Parents are happy, wives are waiting!
All those children in a foreign country
No more with blood game, no more dirty!

Awaiting soldiers, home to reach
To see love ones, to see families!
In that nightmare, to kill or to be killed
A forceful duty will be sealed!

Joy here, joy there, to end war
To come home, to families near!
That is the best wish for a soldier
To taste life by ending death fear!


It would be nice to know who actually wrote that speech. It sure wasn't him. It is impossible to understand the total sacrifice of those who serve in an overseas assignment if you haven't actually done it.

I'll bet that Kuwait looks pretty good to the Fourth Stryker Brigade. We must remember though that every American in the Middle East is still a target. That would include Joe Biden too.

The money spent on the Iraq War is all Bush's fault and bad.
The trillions that Obama has given to his co-conspirators is not Obama's fault and is good. The troops came out of Iraq on Bush's schedule, not Obama's 16 month schedule. He simply cannot tell the truth.

"...Unfortunately, over the last decade, we have not done what is necessary to shore up the foundation of our own prosperity. We have spent over a trillion dollars at war, often financed by borrowing from overseas..."

So, you see, my economic policies haven't been contributing to our budget woes--it's Bush's wars!

This spoken one breath after pretending to praise Bush as a patriot. This man has but one song to sing: Blame Bush. When, oh WHEN is he going to start BEING president and acknowledge ownership of the problems presently facing the country?

This man is too weak for words. November 2012 can't come soon enough.

THE WAR IN IRAQ WAS ABOUT OIL----U.S. HEGEMONY OVER OIL. NOW WE ARE OUT OF IRAQ, MOVING FORWARD. OUR CURRENT ECONOMIC CONDITIONS ARE ANOTHER DEPRESSION, NOT A RECESSION. THIS IS THE DIRECT CONSEQUENCE OF NEO-LIBERTARIAN IDEOLOGY, SO PERVASIVE AMONG REPUBLICANS. JUST BECAUSE SARAH PALIN AND GLENN BECK ARE MASTERS OF "SPIN", DON'T THINK FOR ONE MOMENT THEIR POLICY AGENDA HAS PRAGMATIC VALUE, WHEN IT COMES TO LEGISLATING THIS COUNTRY OUT OF THIS DEEP ECONOMIC MESS. BARACK OBAMA HAS MADE SOME TACTICAL ERRORS DEALING WITH THE CURRENT POLITICAL LANDSCAPE IN WASHINGTON, HOWEVER HE AND THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE BEST BET FOR THE TIMES, TO PULL AMERICA OUT OF THIS HOLE. DON'T SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT BASED ON FEAR, BECAUSE YOU ARE IMMERSED IN DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES.

Amazing whitewash of an American holocaust against Iraq. 1 million poeple killed, 1 million wounded and 2 million displaced internally from their homes and 2 million displaced outside IRAQ. Obama is as evil as Bush in this ugly affair. After all this effort death and torture Iraq will be closer politically to Iran than ever. Instead Obama should have exposed the torturers and war criminals of Shock and Awe and Fallujah. The republicrats all work for the evil empire.

I can't believe there are actually people on here who take FOX seriously - or any other 'MSM' for that matter.

Then again, I'm the fool commenting on the LA Times.

Claudette: This president has failed you and our country and the saddest part is you don't even realize it. He and his Illinois cronies have passed a multi-trillion dollar health care bill (while in the midst of a recession) that no one understands, knows how much it will cost, or how it will be paid for. I live in Illinois, trust me, they're doing to this country what they did here - bankrupting the state, highest tax in the nation, record deficits, patronizing unions for votes - I could go on and on. "Pulled us off the cliff"? We're living his failed economic disaster with huge unemployment (promised to stop at 8%, remember - it is now 9.5 and rising), taxes going through the roof, and 51% of the population dependent on the other 49% for support. Do the math, unless this turns around the 49% will become disenfranchised with busting their humps for no gain erstwhile supporting others (read: the reason Socialism fails everywhere, without exception). After that we won't be able to borrow any more money (see recent history: Greece) and we'll enter a depression. It is a cop out and smoke screen blaming the media for this mess, I don't watch Fox or listen to Rush or Beck or any other conservative phreaks.

Hah, as if the people that watch fox diligently would EVER vote for a liberal. No use to appeal to them, they have their mind set in stone. To truly gain traction, Obama has to appeal to the moderates, and the most important issue of all is the economy.

In Hannity (and Beck and O'Reilly) we Trust. After all, Rupert Murdoch would never lie to us in order to make a buck, would he? And professional wrestling is really about two men fighting honestly without any pre-arranged script, right? These ostriches who watch Fox exclusively have their heads buried in the sand and refuse to listen to any other voices. I'm sure things will improve dramatically once they drive Obama out of office and we get a truly caring figure into office like Jeb Bush or Newt Gingrich. These are men of true integrity and family values, just like those great American heroes Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.

Sorry, Claudette, but, based on the responses of ECW and Scotch, the answer to your question would be 'no'.

Wonder how far the cliff this country needs to be before we start acting as one country again ...

Claudette, I would happily give my support to a President Obama who pulled us off of the cliff of economic disaster. However, that isn't this President Obama. Despite his rhetoric, his close to 19 months in office has miserably failed to affect the staggering unemployment rates in this country.

I would also like to support a President Obama who has pulled us out of one war. But he hasn't. With semantics and wordplay, he has made it seem as though leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq looks like the fulfilling of a campaign pledge - his own "Mission Accomplished."

It's not "investments in our people." It's called welfare...also known as rewarding the lazy.

One of the other important shortchanges this nation continues to endure is the financial structure of Wall Street.

To have phony documents that siphon off the discretionary wealth of the country, that contribute to nothing except the excessive wants of the few who survive and again excessively prosper after having directed financial disaster is detrimental to our nation and unworthy of it.

Congress and President had their chance to repair the problems and have charted an unsatisfactory middle ground that enables the whole scenario to be revisited.

Awww, you're president for almost 2 years now, and you won't accept responsibility for your actions, Mr. Obama. Shame on you!
You falsely claim that the country was not run right over the last decade. YOU voted against the surge, YOU didn't even show up or vote in the Senate where you could have made a difference. How much did 9/11 cost the country, are you saying we shouldn't take steps to protect ourselves, in an alliance of partners seeking to disarm iraq and weaken the terrorists (whose friends are trying to erect their castle on ground zero).

Your bailouts benefited banks, wall street and your favorite unions and special interest groups, they've made Mr. Soros billions more so he can fund the opposition to democracy while 'main street' sees peanuts. Where are the licenses for new nuclear plants to provide carbon-free power? Your green windmills kill 25,000 birds per year, and still don't produce power when the wind's not blowing.

How will our private enterprises 'compete in the global economy' when you're going to pass cap-and trade (and tax and tax) that'll drive up energy costs for manufacturers and consumers? How will they hire people when health insurance costs are poised to skyrocket thanks to your new law, chock full of entitlements.

Come on, this is a lot of hot air that makes people hunger for the upcoming election, so they can clip the wings of this power hungry democrat entitlement machine and restore citizens rights and lower taxes.

Liar, Liar, pants on fire! The troops came in a surge, and fought per the battle plan established by President Bush and general Petraeus.

Mr. Obama went on record early and often that both of these guys were wrong. Not that he had any better ideas, showing up and voting YEA or NAY in the senate wasn't his thing.

The recession is far more a product of massive government expansion, tax hikes, uncertainty over how much more taxes we'll be stuck with once his health care behemoth starts giving out free insurance and dumping people into state medicaid programs. Businesses won't hire or expand when they fear Obama's cap and trade will drastically raise energy costs, and he won't let us use domestic energy, has made it impossible to extract our own oil (or shale oil or natural gas) from our own soil.

Thus, his buddies (i.e. Soros) profit from their investments in Brazilian energy and asian natural gas, while citizens get, well, nothing! I can't wait till november.

My God, that office is so tacky and tasteless now.

It's like somebody gave trailer trash a credit card.

I can see Reid and Pelosi back-slapping, and congratulating one another about what a great, great speech it was and how far ahead they've come leading this country down their liberal path. Funny, I can't envision anyone else celebrating. Even Joe Biden probably wasn't moved by it.

What the heck happened to The Great Orator?? I had to keep pinching myself to stay awake. Even the NYT said it was short on facts. Yawn.

"In an age without surrender ceremonies, we must earn victory through the success of our partners and the strength of our own nation." My prayer is just that we find a true way to measure success in Iraq and the Middle East.

Not only was President Obama’s speech scattered, it left many questions unanswered and myself personally confused. To sum it up, our President proclaimed to all Americans that the war in Iraq is finally over. Yet, if you payed closer attention, more troops will be sent in to help Iraqis with their “transition” to better cooperation amongst opposing political groups. It will be over a year before there are no more American troops remaining in Iraq. He continues on to say that providing stability in the middle east will strengthen our ties and protect our civilians both at home and overseas. The speech later gives praise to the thousands of americans who have sacrificed their lives and the families of those soldiers who have endured years without their loved ones. What President Obama fails to mention is that President George W. Bush had made an agreement with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in November of 2008, stating that all U.S troops shall “withdraw from Iraqi territories” by December 31,2011.
Considering there has been a plan in action for almost two years now, the hoopla over the supposed “end of the war” is long over due. Barack Obama’s speech seemed to lack organization and commitment, jumping from Iraqi freedom to protection for the home-front. It seems to me that while Obama is finally carrying out the plan, his intentions are geared towards political gain rather than concern for our country. It is important to dissect speeches like this to unveil the true message. My opinion is that this speech left our President just as confused as I was. Why can Americans never get a straight answer from politicians in general? Is it that difficult to state the simple facts and bring reassurance to the people at the same time? By re-reading President Barack Obama’s speech, I was finally able to gather one thing, the war in Iraq is in fact not over.

Not only was President Obama’s speech scattered, it left many questions unanswered and myself personally confused. To sum it up, our President proclaimed to all Americans that the war in Iraq is finally over. Yet, if you payed closer attention, more troops will be sent in to help Iraqis with their “transition” to better cooperation amongst opposing political groups. It will be over a year before there are no more American troops remaining in Iraq. He continues on to say that providing stability in the middle east will strengthen our ties and protect our civilians both at home and overseas. The speech later gives praise to the thousands of americans who have sacrificed their lives and the families of those soldiers who have endured years without their loved ones. What President Obama fails to mention is that President George W. Bush had made an agreement with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in November of 2008, stating that all U.S troops shall “withdraw from Iraqi territories” by December 31,2011.
Considering there has been a plan in action for almost two years now, the hoopla over the supposed “end of the war” is long over due. Barack Obama’s speech seemed to lack organization and commitment, jumping from Iraqi freedom to protection for the home-front. It seems to me that while Obama is finally carrying out the plan, his intentions are geared towards political gain rather than concern for our country. It is important to dissect speeches like this to unveil the true message. My opinion is that this speech left our President just as confused as I was. Why can Americans never get a straight answer from politicians in general? Is it that difficult to state the simple facts and bring reassurance to the people at the same time? By re-reading President Barack Obama’s speech, I was finally able to gather one thing, the war in Iraq is in fact not over.

dats a good speech ppl should stop hatin on obama


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A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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