White House officials are very wary of echoing Bush's pronouncement of: "mission accomplished," especially given the ongoing political turmoil and potential for violence in Iraq. Instead, in his speech, Obama will remind Americans that thousands of troops will remain in the country as a "transitional force" for years, and will likely face danger.
"The hard truth is we have not seen the end of American sacrifice in Iraq," the president will say.
The above is from Michael D. Shear's "Obama to speak with vets on Iraq drawdown" (Washington Post). "Combat" troops was always an artificial creation. (Michael R. Gordon was the first to call it out -- and did so to Barack's face in an interview for the New York Times.) But what is this "we have not seen the end of American sacrifice in Iraq"? Doesn't that undercut the entire myth of "combat" troops? The drawdown speech should be interesting. I'm thinking of a speech Jimmy Carter once gave. It should be very interesting. Elizabeth Williamson (Wall St. Journal) notes that Barack is expected to follow that with one of his verbal ticks (he's such a Barbra Streisand and Kim Carnes fan!), "But make no mistake, our commitment in Iraq is changing -- from a military effort led by our troops to a civilian effort led by our diplomats."
Make no mistake, Barack sings, he's mine, he's mine, he's mine.
Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro and Ali Weinberg (MSNBC's "First Read") note:
Iraq is back: It has been weeks, it seems, since we last typed the word “Iraq” on this blog -- which is ironic given that it was the ultimate political issue from 2003 to 2007 (and was the biggest supposed issue difference between then-candidate Obama and candidate Clinton). But it once again takes center stage, both today and this month. At 11:30 am ET in Atlanta, President Obama addresses the Disabled Veterans of America conference, where he will discuss the U.S. meeting its goal of ending combat operations in Iraq by Aug. 31.
The war's not ending, the State Dept's being militarized. Meanwhile AFP reports that a Baghdad bus shelter bombing claimed 2 lives and left four people injured and an Al-Garma bombing "destroyed a policeman's house, killing three of his relatives, including a woman, and wounding three others, two of them women, according to the police."
Bonnie notes that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Happy Birthday, Barack!" The Dry Land is playing in three cities currently: Los Angeles, New York and Dallas. The Ryan Piers Williams directed film stars America Ferrera, Ryan O'Nan, Wilmer Valderrama, Melissa Leo and Jason Ritter.
We'll close with this from Debra Sweet's "More War Crimes Exposed - Now, What Do We Do? " (World Can't Wait):
3 days after documents of 8 years of war crimes against the people of Afghanistan were leaked, what does the U.S. government do? Admit or apologize for the crimes? No -- go after the leakers! Pentagon Launches 'Manhunt' for Document Leaker. Cut off the funding for the wars? No, vote another $59 billion! On Friday U.S. Conducts Afghan massacre - On Tuesday Congress Votes to fund more death. The massive release of documents by Wikileaks.org only proves what our movement has been saying for years: the illegitimate occupation is built on regarding all civillians as potential enemies, killing them in strikes from the air, detaining them indefinitely, depriving them of safe havens from either the Taliban, the war lords in Karzai's government, or US troops, and carving up the resources under Afghanistan for foreign use. In the name of a war for empire, everyone here and there is less safe.
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