Start Rebuilding Here

A decade of war that cost us dearly and now for president a clear choice. President Obama ended the Iraq war. Mitt Romney would have left 30,000 troops in Iraq and called bringing them home tragic. Obama’s brought 30,000 soldiers back from Afghanistan and has a responsible plan to end the war. Romney calls it Obama’s ‘biggest mistake’. It’s time to stop fighting over there and start rebuilding here.

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Vice President Biden: “In America, and in Iraq, the Tide of War Is Receding”

Vice President Joe Biden addresses U.S. soldiers at Al-Faw palace at Camp Victory, outside Baghdad, Iraq, Dec. 1, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Speaking at an event in Baghdad to honor the shared sacrifice and commitment of American and Iraqi servicemembers, Vice President Biden heralded a new chapter in the relationship between the United States and Iraq – one rooted in civilian cooperation as the remaining American troops prepare to return home by the end of this year. More than 200 U.S. and Iraqi servicemembers attended the event at Al Faw Palace – a former palace of Saddam Hussein.

“Today we come together at another moment of transition,” said Vice President Biden. “In America, and in Iraq, the tide of war is receding. And our relationship, borne on the battlefield and long defined by the imperative of security alone, is now giving way to a new, more normal partnership between sovereign nations seeking to build a future together.”

In reflecting on the 4,486 American servicemembers who lost their lives in the war in Iraq, and the more than 30,000 wounded, the Vice President quoted President Harry Truman in describing the end of the war as a “solemn but glorious hour.”

The event capped two days of productive talks in Baghdad with Iraqi political leaders – including a meeting of the U.S.-Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee – all focused on the transition to an Iraq in control of its own security, with the United States as an enduring strategic partner across a broad range of areas. From energy development, to trade, to the rule of law, to agriculture, to education – these areas of cooperation defined by the Strategic Framework Agreement offer an “opportunity to help a new Iraqi democracy secure its place in the community of responsible nations,” the Vice President said.

Iraq war over, US troops coming home, President Obama says

Speaking at the Whites House President Obama announced on Friday that the nine year war in Iraq was drawing to a close.

“As Commander-in-Chief, ensuring the success of this strategy has been one of my highest national security priorities.  Last year, I announced the end to our combat mission in Iraq.  And to date, we’ve removed more than 100,000 troops.  Iraqis have taken full responsibility for their country’s security.

A few hours ago I spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki.  I reaffirmed that the United States keeps its commitments.  He spoke of the determination of the Iraqi people to forge their own future.  We are in full agreement about how to move forward.

So today, I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year.  After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over” President Obama said.

Also speaking in Washington, Iraqi government spokesman, Ali al-Moussawi, praised the move by the President, “Iraq wanted full sovereignty while the United States wanted its soldiers back home, and both goals are achieved” al-Moussawi told the Associated Press.

Both of New Mexico’s Senators quickly applauded the President’s Iraq announcement.

U. S. Senator Tom Udall , a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, issued the following statement Friday following  President Obama’s announcement:

“I applaud President Obama for his commitment to bringing the war in Iraq to a close and commend our armed forces and the many other Americans whose exemplary service has made ending the war a reality.  I was opposed to the war in Iraq from the beginning. It crippled the global solidarity that existed after 9/11 and distracted us from the mission in Afghanistan.  The immense cost of the war has contributed to a debt that we’re struggling with today.

“Despite this, for nearly a decade our armed forces served honorably in Iraq and got the job done.  We must remain mindful of their sacrifice and the obligations we hold to every veteran.  As we look to the future and a new Iraq, I agree that the U.S. should maintain a strong diplomatic presence in the region, while working with our allies to ensure the stability of Iraq and the region.”

U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman released the following statement:

“I applaud the president’s announcement that our troops will be coming home in a few months.  I do not think our military involvement was ever justified by a threat to our own security.  I think it is very good to see an end to this conflict, which has cost us much in lives and resources.”