President Obama Declares End of Iraq War; Troops to Return By End of 2011 (and comments)

Posted on October 21, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

(Mission FINALLY Accomplished8 1/2 years later)

October 21, 2011

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody.  As a candidate for President, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end — for the sake of our national security and to strengthen American leadership around the world. After taking office, I announced a new strategy that would end our combat mission in Iraq and remove all of our troops by the end of 2011.

As Commander-in-Chief, ensuring the success of this strategy has been one of my highest national security priorities. Last year, I announced the end to our combat mission in Iraq. And to date, we’ve removed more than 100,000 troops. Iraqis have taken full responsibility for their country’s security.

A few hours ago I spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. I reaffirmed that the United States keeps its commitments. He spoke of the determination of the Iraqi people to forge their own future. We are in full agreement about how to move forward.

So today, I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.

Over the next two months, our troops in Iraq — tens of thousands of them — will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home.  The last American soldier[s] will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops. That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end.

(The remainder of the President’s remarks are posted below.)

Andi Parkinson :: President Obama Declares End of Iraq War; Troops to Return By End of 2011

But even as we mark this important milestone, we’re also moving into a new phase in the relationship between the United States and Iraq. As of January 1st, and in keeping with our Strategic Framework Agreement with Iraq, it will be a normal relationship between sovereign nations, an equal partnership based on mutual interests and mutual respect.In today’s conversation, Prime Minister Maliki and I agreed that a meeting of the Higher Coordinating Committee of the Strategic Framework Agreement will convene in the coming weeks. And I invited the Prime Minister to come to the White House in December, as we plan for all the important work that we have to do together. This will be a strong and enduring partnership.  With our diplomats and civilian advisors in the lead, we’ll help Iraqis strengthen institutions that are just, representative and accountable.  We’ll build new ties of trade and of commerce, culture and education, that unleash the potential of the Iraqi people. We’ll partner with an Iraq that contributes to regional security and peace, just as we insist that other nations respect Iraq’s sovereignty.

As I told Prime Minister Maliki, we will continue discussions on how we might help Iraq train and equip its forces — again, just as we offer training and assistance to countries around the world. After all, there will be some difficult days ahead for Iraq, and the United States will continue to have an interest in an Iraq that is stable, secure and self-reliant. Just as Iraqis have persevered through war, I’m confident that they can build a future worthy of their history as a cradle of civilization.

Here at home, the coming months will be another season of homecomings.  Across America, our servicemen and women will be reunited with their families.  Today, I can say that our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays.

This December will be a time to reflect on all that we’ve been though in this war. I’ll join the American people in paying tribute to the more than 1 million Americans who have served in Iraq. We’ll honor our many wounded warriors and the nearly 4,500 American patriots — and their Iraqi and coalition partners — who gave their lives to this effort.

And finally, I would note that the end of war in Iraq reflects a larger transition.  The tide of war is receding. The drawdown in Iraq allowed us to refocus our fight against al Qaeda and achieve major victories against its leadership — including Osama bin Laden. Now, even as we remove our last troops from Iraq, we’re beginning to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, where we’ve begun a transition to Afghan security and leadership. When I took office, roughly 180,000 troops were deployed in both these wars.  And by the end of this year that number will be cut in half, and make no mistake: It will continue to go down.

Meanwhile, yesterday marked the definitive end of the Qaddafi regime in Libya. And there, too, our military played a critical role in shaping a situation on the ground in which the Libyan people can build their own future.  Today, NATO is working to bring this successful mission to a close.

So to sum up, the United States is moving forward from a position of strength.  The long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year. The transition in Afghanistan is moving forward, and our troops are finally coming home.  As they do, fewer deployments and more time training will help keep our military the very best in the world. And as we welcome home our newest veterans, we’ll never stop working to give them and their families the care, the benefits and the opportunities that they have earned.

This includes enlisting our veterans in the greatest challenge that we now face as a nation — creating opportunity and jobs in this country. Because after a decade of war, the nation that we need to build — and the nation that we will build — is our own; an America that sees its economic strength restored just as we’ve restored our leadership around the globe.

Thank you very much.

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President Obama Declares End of Iraq War; Troops to Return By End of 2011 | 11 comments

Mitt Romney quote (4.00 / 1)

“President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women. The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government. The American people deserve to hear the recommendations that were made by our military commanders in Iraq.”

So according to this particular GOP presidential candidate, we should leave our troops in iraq. Somehow, I suspect this will be just one of many similar reactions by the Republicans, who have pretty much all shown themselves to be utterly certifiably nuts.

Did anyone ask (0.00 / 0)
Mittens for examples of the disorderly transition? Naw – that would require work.

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White House fired back at Mittens (0.00 / 0)
and pulled no damned punches whatsoever:

The Obama campaign accused Mitt Romney of wanting to “leave American troops” in Iraq for no apparent reason in a statement Friday, hours after the GOP frontrunner called the withdrawal of U.S. forces a “failure” on the part of the president.”The President kept his pledge to the nation to end the war in Iraq in a responsible way, he has promoted our security in Afghanistan and eliminated key Al Qaeda leaders while strengthening American leadership around the world,” Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement. “Mitt Romney didn’t lay out a plan to end the war in Iraq in his foreign policy agenda – he barely even mentioned Iraq – but he is apparently willing to leave American troops there without identifying a new mission.”

LaBolt’s kicker: “Mitt Romney’s foreign policy experience is limited to his work as a finance executive shipping American jobs overseas.”

We could not have a clearer view of the theoretical potential “leadership” of Romney, versus that which President Obama has demonstrated, time and again, than this.

Game-Set-Match: Barack Obama.

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What Constitution does Mittens read? (4.00 / 2)
“The American people deserve to hear the recommendations that were made by our military commanders in Iraq.”No, Mittens.The American Commanders should (and do) listen to the orders from their Commander in Chief.

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6th placer Michelle Bachmann squeaked out a response (4.00 / 1)

Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, said Obama’s decision is “a political decision” and “not a military one.”Bachmann said the U.S. has been “ejected” from Iraq and should have demanded “that Iraq repay the full cost of liberating them given their rich oil revenues.”

So now we’re supposed to “Go Pirate” and plunder Iraq???

This is almost like shooting fish in a barrel, except easier…

Imagine the temrity (0.00 / 0)
of a sovereign nation asking foreign troops to leave.There is so much wrong with Bachmann’s statement that it isn’t even worth discussing.

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No, but it’s worth watching (0.00 / 0)
From the other night’s debate:

COOPER: Time. Congresswoman Bachmann… […] Should we cut foreign aid to Israel?BACHMANN: No, we should not be cutting foreign aid to Israel. Israel is our greatest ally. The biggest problem is the fact… that the president — the biggest problem with this administration in foreign policy is that President Obama is the first president since Israel declared her sovereignty put daylight between the United States and Israel. That heavily contributed to the current hostilities that we see in the Middle East region.

Cutting back on foreign aid is one thing. Being reimbursed by nations that we have liberated is another. We should look to Iraq and Libya to reimburse us for part of what we have done to liberate these nations.

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OT: GOP Prez Horse Race (0.00 / 0)
Parent ]

No Mission Accomplished (0.00 / 0)
No mission was ever accomplished – Iraq was not a haven for terrorist support nor did it possess weapons of mass destruction that threatened the United States. Hundreds of thousands died for no good reason and it is not far fetched to assume that Saddam Hussein might have been removed from power in the current Arab Spring.Our blood and treasure were wasted and contribute to today’s economic plight in part (a charge card war). I feel especally regretful of all the young lives and families of US soldiers that we needlessly destroyed.As Robert F. Kennedy reminded the nation during another unjust war, it not what soldiers do that we must decry but what we ask them to do in our name.

The “mission” changed over the course of the past decade (0.00 / 0)
from the illegal war that Bush-Cheney-Rove sold the world, into a mission of getting the troops the hell out of Iraq. And that was the 8 1/2 year mission to which I was referring.

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I agree… (4.00 / 1)
…it is Bush’s words I am addressing.  If I was the new president in January of 2009, I would have withdrawn far faster, within 90 days but I trust that President Obama with the information he had made reasoned decisions that will stand the test of time with far more respect than the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld unreasonable war of choice.

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