A cautious Obama urges Americans to ‘turn the page’ on Iraq
2010 09 01

By Holly Bailey | YahooNews.com



President Obama faced a major dilemma heading into Tuesday’s prime-time address on Iraq: How do you mark the milestone of a campaign promise fulfilled when what has happened in Iraq isn’t exactly "mission accomplished"? It was an obstacle that Obama never quite overcame in his 18-minute speech, which was remarkably disjointed for a president well known for his eloquence.

In only his second Oval Office address, Obama was careful not to use words like "victory" or "win" when announcing the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq. That’s because Iraq, seven and a half years and thousands of lost American lives later, remains a largely dysfunctional democracy, heavily dependent on U.S. aid. While Obama met his political goal of withdrawing combat troops, 50,000 American personnel will remain on the ground there until at least next year, as the threat of violence in the region continues.

"Violence will not end with our combat mission," Obama warned. "Extremists will continue to set off bombs, attack Iraqi civilians and try to spark sectarian strife." But ultimately, the president insisted, "these terrorists will fail to achieve their goals."

The president then somberly tried to shift the focus, saying it’s time "turn the page" away from one crisis to a pair of others. He braced Americans for what will be continued sacrifice both at home, as the nation struggles to rebuild a collapsed economy, and abroad, where continued American bloodshed in Afghanistan is a virtual certainty.

"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," Obama said.

The president fleetingly acknowledged his own opposition to the Iraq war, mentioning that he had disagreed with former President George W. Bush, with whom he spoke earlier today. He did not mention he opposed the 2007 troop surge that was widely credited for turning the Iraq effort around. Instead, in a pitch aimed squarely at Democrats who have been increasingly critical of the war in Afghanistan, Obama insisted it was time to "turn the page" here, too, and refocus on what had been the larger goal of both wars: preventing another al-Qaida attack on the U.S. and its allies.

"But, as was the case in Iraq, we cannot do for Afghans what they must ultimately do for themselves," Obama said, repeating his pledge to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan next July. "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."

Pivoting to domestic issues, Obama said the nation’s "most urgent task" is rebuilding an economy that has been put under pressure by paying for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — though he offered no specifics. "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," the president said. "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."

Ahead of a crucial midterm election, Obama’s goal in the speech was to remind the public of a promise he had delivered on and mark a moment of transition for the nation. But by tying together two messy wars with no clear ends and an economic struggle that defies easy solutions, the president’s sometimes confusing remarks tonight were less the mark of an important milestone and more of a somber reminder of the difficult days ahead for him and the country.

You can view the entire speech here.


Article from: news.yahoo.com

The End of the Combat Mission in Iraq

Video from: YouTube.com




Related Articles
US psywar plan includes 2 hot wars
US wasted billions in rebuilding Iraq (Contractors make a killing)
Iraq Exit: Rebranding the Occupation (Video)
Obama: US commitment in Iraq is shifting


Latest News from our Front Page

NATO Exercise in Ukraine Coincided with MH-17 Shoot-down
2014 07 24
Rapid Trident was omitted from the flurry of coverage on the shoot-down MH-17. From the U.S. Army in Europe website: Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, the United States, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. The exercise helps prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support from civil and governmental agencies. ...
Warning of ’imminent’ terror attack in Norway
2014 07 24
Norwegians were warned Thursday of the concrete possibility of a terror attack occurring in that country at the hands of people with connections to an extremist group in Syria. A press conference was called in Oslo, Norway on Thursday where an announcement was made of a "possible concrete threat" to national security in that country from terrorists related to an extremist ...
Judge says government can access everything in a Gmail account
2014 07 24
All your emails are belong to us. At least that’s what the latest court order from a judge in New York says. The warrant, granted on June 11, states that the government can access all the content and files contained in a Gmail account. Yes, this is a significant blow to privacy. The subject of this specific search relates to a money laundering ...
Scotland Yard Spied on Grieving Families: secret surveillance after police victim shot seven times in head ’by mistake’
2014 07 24
More terror from the ’anti-terror’ brigade. Undercover police gathered evidence on 18 grieving families By Rob Evans and Vikram Dodd | The Guardian Undercover police officers secretly gathered intelligence over two decades on 18 families fighting to get justice from the police, it was revealed on Thursday. The intelligence covering high-profile campaigns was collected between the mid-1980s and 2005, and affected grieving families ...
Air Algerie AH5017 with 116 onboard goes missing for hours, found crashed in Mali
2014 07 24
An Air Algerie flight carrying 110 passengers and six crew members has reportedly crashed in Mali after having disappeared from radar early on Thursday morning between Burkina Faso and Algeria. A French Ministry of Defense official told Fox News that the two French fighter jets located the wreckage of the plane, which had crashed in Mali. An airport official additionally confirmed ...
More News »