Obama to Address US on Iraq Transition

By Admin - Tue Aug 31, 1:28 pm

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama must walk a fine line in a speech on Tuesday night as he highlights progress toward winding down the war in Iraq while trying to avoid any perception of a “Mission Accomplished” moment.

The White House says the removal of all but 50,000 U.S. troops and the declaration of the end to the combat phase shows Obama is fulfilling a campaign promise he made in 2008 to pull out of Iraq.

Obama hopes that message will resonate with Americans ahead of the November 2 elections, where his Democrats are struggling to keep their dominance in the Congress.

The address, scheduled for 8 p.m. EDT, will be only his second from the Oval Office. Obama also used the high-profile venue in June to discuss his administration’s response to the Gulf Coast oil spill.

As Obama prepared to deliver his speech, Vice President Joe Biden flew into Iraq on Monday to assure Iraqis the United States is not abandoning them.

Biden was to hold talks with Iraqi leaders amid a political deadlock almost six months after an inconclusive election in March over forming the next government.

Obama told media in an interview on Sunday that Iraqis are “going through a political process that is natural in a fledgling democracy” but he added, “we’re confident that that will get done.”

Obama plans to visit troops at Fort Bliss, Texas, prior to the speech.

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