Midnight has passed in Iraq, marking the official end of US combat operations. A few hours before President Obama's prime-time address on the subject (8pm EST), the White House has released excerpts. No big surprises here, and no clue as to whether Obama will mention George W. Bush (the two spoke today, and, separately, John McCain says Bush is due credit). Read the speech excerpts in full here. Highlights:
- “Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country. ... We have met our responsibility. Now, it is time to turn the page."
- “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."
- "At every turn, America’s men and women in uniform have served with courage and resolve."
- The milestone "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.”
- “Today, our most urgent task is to restore our economy, and put the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs back to work."
(Read more President Obama