Obama Salutes George Bush in Iraq War Speech

President declares end of combat operations in Iraq
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2010 7:21 PM CDT

President Obama stuck to the script tonight in declaring the end of the 7-year US military operation in Iraq. "Our combat mission is ending," he said. "Our commitment to Iraq's future is not." But Obama also acknowledged George W. Bush's stewardship of the war, along with his own personal opposition to it as an Illinois senator. "It’s well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset," he said. "Yet no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security." (He made no mention of the troop surge ordered by Bush.)

Obama said "there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it, and all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hope for Iraq’s future." As expected, he later pivoted from the war to the economy, calling its restoration "our most urgent task." (More details in the New York Times, which also has the full text here. For excerpts, click here. To read about Obama's speech earlier in the day to troops at Fort Bliss, click here.)

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