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Breaking: Obama: All troops out of Iraq by 2011.

Great Iraq speech by Obama, just concluded. Instead of 16 months to withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq (as per campaign timetable) 18 months, with transition complete by Aug. 31, 2010. This was stated with a firm “I will end” U.S. combat mission in Iraq.

True, 35,000-50,000 U.S. troops will remain after that date for training, embassy protection and those nervous-making “targeted anti-terrorism missions.” I’ve always been very uneasy about this loophole.

But the main reason for that concern was that it seemed a possible way to keep the occupation going, indefinitely, under another name. That’s why I was mostly, and greatly reassured by Obama’s commitment to honor the Status of Forces Agreement that calls for all U.S. troops to be out of Iraq by the end of 2011. This was stated as less of a firm guarantee, but as an intention: “I intend to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.”

N.Y. Times has the full text of the speech, as prepared for delivery.

I have to go to an appointment and will update this post this afternoon. But for now, my bottom line, I am greatly reassured about the concerns I expressed yesterday. It was a great speech, better than the Tuesday address to Congress. I didn’t hear a false note in it.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 02/27/2009 - 01:21 pm.

    Spot on Eric!

    One of the many points that the President touched on was the continued support of the troops. One of which was to supply increased funding for health care for our veterans and their families. Another was to improve and build upon the GI bill. Then again, a pay increase for the enlisted who all too often bear the full burden of any war efforts.

    The president did mention that the cost of the war was in the neighborhood of one trillion dollars.

    Perhaps if all the external costs were added into that figure, it would be closer to three trillion dollars. If you factor in the long term costs for health care and for battle field related injuries and then equipment replacement, surely the figures will grow exponentially.

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/27/2009 - 03:10 pm.

    Good afternoon, Eric.

    Since none of us are union members, or public employees, my friends and I expect to have a lot of time on our hands as soon as inflation starts filling the hole where our national treasury used to be.

    Accordingly, we’ve decided to be outraged by the President’s continued persecution of the victims of American Socialism (AMSOC) in Iraq, and are planning to take our streets back.

    As you will understand, this is new territory for us; we’re used to working weekdays and hanging out with the kids on weekends. So, I wonder if you, or one of your contacts in “the reality based community” could give us a couple of tips to ensure we get this thing right.

    For instance, just how long should we wait until we start hanging “Obama Lied and People Died” banners on overpasses? Technically, the guy is already in lying territory, but we’d hate to jump the gun.

    And about those little flags with “the One’s” picture on them (we’ve opted for the OBEY GIANT image- http://obeygiant.com/headlines/obama- ‘cause we think it’s teh kewl); is it kosher to start planting those babies into dog poop piles on the sidewalks during winter, or is that strictly a summertime gig?

    We’ve reached out to “Code Pink” community, but I guess they were offended by the Bic razors we were handing them and haven’t heard back. So we’re hoping you can help us out.

    Thanks,

    TJSwift
    Communications Director
    National Organization of Pissed Off Republicans held Kaptive

  3. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 02/27/2009 - 09:17 pm.

    Three trillion dollars — why does that figure sound familiar?

    On another front: I wonder if “I intend to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.” includes ‘contractors’ (mercenaries)?

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