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At 8:00 p.m. EDT tonight, President Obama will address the nation from the Oval Office on the end of combat missions in Iraq.

The speech will be broadcast on all (not sure about Faux) the networks and will also be livestreamed via WH.gov: http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

Immediately following the speech, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes will be answering questions submitted by viewers. You can participate in that Q&A session and/or submit your question here: http://www.youtube.com/...

Earlier today, the President visited with troops and Iraq vets at Fort Bliss. He welcomed them home and praised them for a job well done.

For a couple weeks now, the WH has been inviting Americans to salute or servicemen and women for their service in Iraq and welcome them back home. You can leave your message here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

Excerpts from President Barack Obama's Address to the Nation on the End of Combat Operations in Iraq

“But this milestone should serve as a reminder to all Americans that our future is ours to shape if we move forward with confidence and commitment. It should also serve as a message to the world that the United States of America intends to sustain and strengthen our leadership in this young century.”

***

“At every turn, America’s men and women in uniform have served with courage and resolve. As Commander-in-Chief, I am proud of their service. Like all Americans, I am awed by their sacrifice, and by the sacrifices of their families.”

***

“Tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country. This was my pledge to the American people as a candidate for this office.  Last February, I announced a plan that would bring our combat brigades out of Iraq, while redoubling our efforts to strengthen Iraq’s Security Forces and support its government and people. That is what we have done. We have removed nearly 100,000 U.S. troops from Iraq. We have closed or transferred hundreds of bases to the Iraqis. And we have moved millions of pieces of equipment out of Iraq.”

***

“Ending this war is not only in Iraq’s interest – it is in our own. The United States has paid a huge price to put the future of Iraq in the hands of its people. We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacrifices in Iraq, and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at home. We have persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people – a belief that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility. Now, it is time to turn the page.”

***

“Today, our most urgent task is to restore our economy, and put the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs back to work. To strengthen our middle class, we must give all our children the education they deserve, and all our workers the skills that they need to compete in a global economy.  We must jumpstart industries that create jobs, and end our dependence on foreign oil. We must unleash the innovation that allows new products to roll off our assembly lines, and nurture the ideas that spring from our entrepreneurs.  This will be difficult. But in the days to come, it must be our central mission as a people, and my central responsibility as President.”

Originally posted to marabout40 on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 04:53 PM PDT.

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