Monday, August 2, 2010

Obama Hails Iraq War

In a speech to a disabled veterans group in Atlanta Monday, President Barack Obama claimed credit for winding down the US war in Iraq, even as tens of thousands of troops remain there, and his administration continues to escalate the war in Afghanistan.

The speech appeared calculated to divert rising opposition to the Afghanistan war, particularly in the wake of the WikiLeaks disclosure of tens of thousands of classified battlefield reports, exposing an unrelenting and savage assault on the country’s civilian population.

Obama touted the reduction of US troop strength in Iraq—now down to some 65,000 from a high of 144,000—and vowed that the target of pulling out all but 50,000 troops by the end of this month would be met, as well as the withdrawal of all US military forces by the end of 2011.

“As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end,” Obama told the veterans audience. The “responsible end” formulation was employed by Obama as a clear signal to the US ruling elite that his antiwar rhetoric in the presidential campaign would be quickly discarded once the Democrat entered the White House and assumed the role of commander in chief for US imperialism.


“They took to the skies and sped across the deserts in the initial charge into Baghdad,” he declared. “When the invasion gave way to insurgency, our troops persevered, block by block, city by city, from Baghdad to Fallujah,” he continued.

One would never know from this lyrical description that the US had waged a criminal war of aggression that has cost the lives of over a million Iraqi men, women and children and left an entire country in ruins.

Nor, for that matter, would one guess from his words that the speaker was a candidate who won the Democratic nomination less than two years ago by proclaiming that the Iraq war “should never have been authorized and never been waged.” One could be excused for thinking instead that it was George W. Bush.

Obama hails Iraq war in “withdrawal” speech

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