Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wire: Obama Adopts Bush Position on Iraq Drawdown

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

Obama says bringing troops home tied to making Iraq stable, not a safe haven for terrorists.

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2009 -- Newswires reported this afternoon that President Barack Obama, visiting U.S. troops in Iraq, told them that the next 18 months would be critical for their mission in the country.

Referring to the Aug 2010 deadline for the withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops from Iraq, Obama told troops "You will be critical in terms of us being able to make sure Iraq is stable, that it is not a safe haven for terrorists, and we can start bringing our folks home."

This is a marked change from the Obama of the presidential campaign. Left unsaid in Obama's remarks to the troops is that the strategy that made it possible to leave behind a stable Iraq which will not be a safe haven for terrorists was executed by Obama's processor, George W. Bush, whom Obama rarely misses an opportunity to criticize.

Reuters reported that the White House said that the top U.S. commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, told Obama that even with deadly suicide bombings that claimed scores of civilians this week in Iraq, the level of violence in the country is the lowest since the start of the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

(Report from commercial news sources.)

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