President Barack Obama on Friday announced that virtually all U.S. troops will come home from Iraq by the end of the year -- at which point he can declare an end to America's long and costly war in that Middle Eastern nation.
"After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over, Obama said. "The coming months will be a season of homecomings. Our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays."
Of the 39,000 troops in Iraq, about 150, a negligible force, will remain to assist in arms sales, a U.S. official told CNN. The rest will be out of Iraq by December 31.
The president said he was making good on his 2008 campaign pledge to end a war that has divided the nation since it began in 2003 and claimed more than 4,400 American lives. It also came after talks that might have allowed a continued major military presence broke down amid disputes as to whether U.S. troops would be immune to prosecution by Iraqi authorities.
Beyond the human cost, the price tag for U.S. military activity in Iraq has been steep as well. The Defense Department estimated that its operations there over the past decade have cost more than $700 billion.
The good news is that's a big ol' check mark in the Promise Kept column. The bad news is Republicans are either complaining that the President just handed the country over to AQ terrorists, or that he owes Dubya and Cheney a public ceremony in the Rose Garden for really winning the war they handed him. Mittens for example immediately opposed the announcement.
“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.”
He actually said this, calling Iraq "President Obama's astonishing failure." That's the most asinine thing I've ever heard, as if the war in Iraq started on January 21, 2009 or something. And yes, Mittens thinks you are that stupid.
He's counting on it at the polls, in fact.