President Obama all but declared victory in Iraq Tuesday, telling U.S. troops during a surprise visit to Camp Victory that they had given the Arab nation an opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country. That, he said, is an extraordinary achievement.
"We're not going to baby sit a civil war." Barack Obama on NBC's
Today Show on January 11, 2007
"I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war." Barack Obama at an anti-Iraq war rally in Chicago, October 26, 2002.
"Here's a couple things I want to say. Number one, thank you," the president bellowed as he addressed troops at a stopover at the tail end of a marathon overseas trip.
Obama said the next 18 months are critical to the mission. U.S. troops are expected to be out of the country by the end of 2010.
"You've kept your eyes focused on just doing your job and because of that, every mission that's been assigned, from getting rid of Saddam to reducing violence to stabilizing the country to facilitating elections, you have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country. That is an extraordinary achievement and for that you have the thanks of the American people," he said.
The troopers that are out there making this possible know the difference.