August 31st, 2010
10:59 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama aide: Iraq speech not a victory lap

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" President Obama will give an Oval Office address Tuesday night."]Washington (CNN) - When President Obama steps into the Oval Office to deliver his prime-time address on Tuesday, he won't be taking a victory lap and won't utter the words "mission accomplished, a top aide says. Instead, the president will have a "change of mission" moment, where he explains the way forward in Iraq and thanks U.S. troops for their sacrifice.

The address, which is expected to last between 15 and 20 minutes, will mark what the White House is calling an important "milestone" and a campaign promise accomplished.

While the president's remarks have not been released, top aides say Americans will hear about the end of the combat mission in Iraq, about the challenges of forming a unified and stable government, and about the new role for the fewer than than 50,000 U.S. troops remaining to advise and assist Iraqi security forces.

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Filed under: Iraq • issues • President Obama
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Riley

    Will Obama thank President Bush for the surge? He SHOULD, but I doubt it.

    August 31, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. gt

    5 more american soldiers killed today....get out of the quick sand.. get our troops home ...

    August 31, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  3. Soap

    Just watch, he will try to take credit for the troops leaving Iraq under President Bush's negotiated terms with Iraq. The surge got us to where we are now and must be mentioned that Senator's biden and obama said it would not work and were opposed to it. Oh well, he will take credit for others accomplishments and shift blame for his failures.

    August 31, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Eric

    At least Jimmy Carter had enough sense and tact not to go golfing and be on Permanent Vacation while his nation economically bled to death.

    I'm done watching any of his speeches, as I can tell exactly what is going to be said, before he says it.

    "Make no mistake... let me be clear... I will not rest..."

    I find it most telling that when his binky-prompter freaks out on him, he is literally stumbling and fumbling like the Great Oz when someone looks behind the curtain.

    Turn out the lights... this presidency is now officially over and Obama has lost the independent voter forever.

    My greatest fear now is that this president has nothing to lose, and he'll manufacture a Presidential Wag-the-Dog event to save his legacy... and (democ)rats can be most vicious when cornered. Expect the unexpected and believe little of what you read in the Obamedia.

    August 31, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Lets be thankful that President Bush did not bow to the demonization and degradation that Obama, Biden and the liberals heaped upon him in making the surge decision, that Obama is now taking the credit for. It was so nice back then when we actually had principaled, adult leadership rather than this inept, incompetent, corrupt bunch that now occupy the White House. Yes we can get rid of the scumbags in 2012 and see some real hope and change rather than the racial, bigoted, corrupt, union toady crap that is currently destroying this country.

    August 31, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. Four and The Door

    The address, which is expected to last between 15 and 20 minutes, will mark what the White House is calling an important "milestone" and a campaign promise accomplished.
    I hope it's focused on the fine military men and women who were successful in what they were asked to do in spite of a difficult, dynamic assignment and patchy support due to political positioning back home. This is not about Obama. It is about our military doing their job well and making great sacrifices to accomplish that.

    August 31, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. Ben in Texas

    What Obama should say:

    "We are winding down the war and recovering from the disastrous crime committed by Bush/Cheney and foisted upon the American public by a Repugnant congress. Blood is on the hands of Bush/Cheney for those soldiers and marines who died unnecessarily in Iraq, not to mention hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. The war should never have happened, and it wouldn't have if it hadn't been for Bush's lies. Bush and Cheney and others should be in jail for war crimes, and I will do everything in my power to put them there, for the rest of their lives."

    August 31, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I'm sure this President won't make a false claim of "Mission Accomplished." However I believe that he will express to us that this mission is now in the hands of Iraq and that they are now resposible for their country. The timetable to completely pull out should stay on course.

    August 31, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The Commander in Chief clarified our position with the Iraqi people and why we continued to feed Malaki millions of dollars during the Bush administration which proved to be worthless. Karzai also finds himself under the same scrutiny because he clearly recognizes this President holds his feet to the fire for straight answers.

    August 31, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. water bearer

    Sadly, it won't matter to the irrational right what he actually says. They won't really listen. They will hear what they want to hear, make up lies and grab the headlines with more smears against the President.

    August 31, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. jim

    No but he's taking credit for something he had nothing to do with. The troop removal was decided by the Bush administration with the Iraq folks long before Obama became president.He and Biden are asking everyone forget their actions and comment on Iraq when Bush was president. And if Obama wanted to do something that really counts ,remove our troops from Afghanistan now before more come home in body bags.

    August 31, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. Blame Bush

    I have a dollar bill to bet that Obama will somehow blame Bush for something tonight. Any takers??????

    Even though many will not admit it, the surge worked. And how Obama changed his step from a congressman to a candidate and now President Obama.

    This is just another one of those things Obama wants to thump his chest and say LOOK AT ME,,,, I am GOOD.

    August 31, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. Bedtime for Obonzo

    It will be interesting to see if Obonzo tries to take credit for the surge, which he and Biden both opposed.

    August 31, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Drunken GOP Drivers want the keys back

    We could sure use that thousand a month they paid every Iraq not to fight back.

    August 31, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. mj

    Be very interesting to hear if he commends Bush, at all, for the surge. Obama & his "side kick" opposed the surge. Bush set the time-table and Obama wants us to say "great job, Bo". Considering that there will still be 50,000 Troops there is hardly a Victory. Can't wait to hear about the next Bailout. You have to know one is coming.

    August 31, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. Ancient Texan

    It would be a nice gesture by the President to at least mention that the surge instigated by President Bush was instrumental in Iraq getting to this point. But since the current President voted against the war, voted against funding the war, and voted against the surge, I doubt that will happen.

    August 31, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  17. Fair is Fair

    Why would it be a victory lap? Obama had nothing – nothing – to do with the victory.

    August 31, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Mr obama i do not give a dam about people in irac or af keep are military safe w wou have my support bv if these generals talk you in to staying in these two countrys longer you will be worse then the dum a repubs

    August 31, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    Bush's surge policy was only one factor in turning the tide (relatively speaking) in Iraq.

    What made the biggest difference on the ground was a change in strategy from "shock and awe" to actually trying to build cooperation with the Iraqi people.

    This strategy was proposed by the generals in Iraq – not by the arrogant Bush Administration, who thought they could invade a country and meet no resistence.

    August 31, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    While the surge may have been a policy of GW Bush's, President Obama has been Commander-in-Chief for almost two years.

    President Obama has kept his promise to have all combat troops out of Iraq by September 1, 2010.

    President Obama gets the credit.

    August 31, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Peggy - TX

    Make no mistake, we are now living in what history will call the Obama Era, marked by the fall of the once formidable Republican Party, the end of a major economic recession and an end to two costly, unnecessary, extended wars with two Arab states.

    The abrupt turn in recent months in American politics towards racism, religious extremism, and tolerance for an unceasing stream of lies designed to demonize President Obama will be examined by history and widely viewed as the Republicans Party’s last desperate attempts to make a stand before collapsing into warring factions.

    August 31, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    My idea of victory would come about 10 to 30 years down the line when there is a major issue, and it is resolved peacefully without corruption like bribery. It would be something along the lines of the Bush vs. Gore Supreme Court case - there was no major violence reported after that relating to the court case.

    August 31, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. Silence DoGood

    Would Obama do anything that is not a victory photo-op?

    So instead of Mission Accomplished, he will use some preppy lawyer language. Maybe "Mission Proactively Prioritized".

    And all the stupid people will say "wow, that Obama is SO different".

    And go back to watching America's go Talent or something.

    And the lie is getting old. Of course there will still be killing squads and flying missle robots in Iraq. How is that not military agression? How can you really believe that 50,000 soldiers is a warm fuzzy?

    August 31, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Fitz in Texas

    I'd rather watch 'Barney Goes To The Zoo' than this fool that will spin it his way and lie the entire time.

    August 31, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. Dano

    It's not a victory lap just another campaign promise kept. Thank you President Obama! Now it's time to get all our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan too.

    August 31, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |