August 31st, 2010
06:10 PM ET
12 years ago

Excerpts from Obama's Oval Office address

(CNN) - The White House on Tuesday evening released excerpts from President Barack Obama's Oval Office address on the conclusion of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Read the excerpts after the jump:

"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."

Filed under: Iraq • issues • President Obama
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Chicago Joe

    "I voted against the surge and stand by my decision. The surge unfortunately shortened the war, reduced overall causalities and has forced the discussion to the state of the economy. It may be a black eye to myself and my party, but heh, you win some and you lose some."

    August 31, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  2. Perry

    Mr. President,

    Based solely on the excerpts:

    Mr. Boehner says your successful exit was due to the surge you opposed.

    I wish you had reminded everyone that we had no business there in the first place.

    This is only a great day because an error has been corrected. I know you know that. I think we are big enough to hear that understand that.

    Maybe you should go back to writing your own speeches.

    August 31, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Boehner's an idiot, Afghan is where the war should have started and not a war in Iraq based on Bush lies. Yes, President Obama deserves credit for ending the war in Iraq which he voted against in the beginning.

    August 31, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  4. montag

    Maybe, just maybe, if the Republicans would bend a little bit and work with thispresident instead of just saying no to everything, we just might be able to get this country back on track.

    Oh, sorry. I guess I was daydreaming again.

    August 31, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  5. montag

    Maybe, just maybe, if the Republicans would bend a little bit and work with this president instead of just saying no to everything, we just might be able to get this country back on track.

    Oh, sorry. I guess I was daydreaming again.

    August 31, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. Willy Brown

    Obama will blame Bush, so what else is new.

    August 31, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. reality check

    Sounds like a great speech. Congratulations, President Obama, we can now turn the page on this chapter of our history. The President is correct: now is the time to focus on rebuilding our own country and our democracy. Let's turn the page, and show some respect for each other as countrymen and women. Republicans: cut the rhetoric and the backstabbing of our President and work with him, or get out of the way and let someone else do it. But find common ground, and stop being the party of NO. If during the next two months you cannot work with the President, you will be voted out. The private sector would do no less; you work with your co-workers or you are gone. Republicans should be ashamed of themselves....any American who belongs to the R party should do some serious soul searching to determine why they are following a party that is unwilling to contribute to rebuilding our country.

    August 31, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  8. jim

    For anybody that bothered to watch this was a complete waste of time.To say over and over again what he has stated so many times before shows what a complete out of touch president we have.

    August 31, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  9. joseph

    I am keen follower of US News and how it affects the US and the World. I pen here to say that I am proud of this President and we all should be proud of him. May God Bless him immensely and hope that he continues to serve his term wiith Honour.

    Joseph Kup
    Port Moresby, PNG

    August 31, 2010 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |