President Obama Addresses the Nation
From MSNBC. President Obama will speak to the nation tonight at 8pm EST as the official combat mission in Iraq comes to a close. Since this is getting far less coverage than Glenn Beck's rally, I thought I'd put out a notice.
FORT BLISS, Texas — Hours before addressing the nation, President Barack Obama told U.S. troops just back from Iraq that his speech outlining the withdrawal of combat forces "is not going to be a victory lap" nor a cause for celebration.
"There's still a lot of work that we've got to do to make sure that Iraq is an effective partner with us," Obama said of his decision to end the nation's combat mission in a war he once strongly opposed.
"The main message I have tonight, and the main message I have to you, is congratulations on a job well done," Obama said.
He also noted that there remained "a tough fight ahead in Afghanistan ... A tough slog."
Before his visit, Obama telephoned former President George W. Bush, who ordered U.S. troops to invade Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein in March 2003. Aides described the phone call from Air Force One as brief and declined to reveal what was said.
Ending the combat mission fulfills Obama's campaign promise to bring the war to a close. However there remains a force of roughly 50,000 U.S. troops still there serving in a support and training capacity. All remaining forces are scheduled to be withdrawn by the end of 2011.
Also, Iraq is still torn with violence, and rival political factions have yet to form a government more than six months after national elections.