In a new Web video, President Obama's reelection campaign is touting his follow-through on a campaign pledge to end the war in Iraq, a withdrawal formally marked in a ceremony this week.
"This month, President Obama is making good on his promise to bring the last American troops home from Iraq in time for the holidays. Here's a look at the president's record on the war in Iraq—from his time as a state senator through the end of this nine-year conflict," the video's description says.
The video's timeline begins in November 2004, when Obama declared he would have voted against the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq if he were in the Senate, and it continues through his later 2008 campaign promise to end the war if elected and his announcement this month that the last American soldiers will cross the border out of Iraq. "Over the last three years, nearly 150,000 U.S. troops have left Iraq," Obama said this week, in a clip featured in the video. "And over the next few days, a small group of American soldiers will begin the final march out of that country. Iraq's future will be in the hands of its people. America's war in Iraq will be over."
Nearly nine years after the “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq in 2003 that quickly toppled Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship but sparked a vicious insurgency, the Baghdad headquarters for U.S. forces there ended its command responsibilities. The remaining 3,500 U.S. troops are expected to depart Iraq within days.
The video's timeline leaves out the 2002 remarks in which then-state Sen. Obama fiercely opposed the war, calling it a "dumb war," while insisting he was opposed to the "cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne."
This week, Obama was asked whether he still believes the war was "dumb." Standing alongside Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, Obama responded: "I think history will judge the original decision to go into Iraq. But what's absolutely clear is, as a consequence of the enormous sacrifices that have been made by American soldiers and civilians--American troops and civilians--as well as the courage of the Iraqi people, that what we have now achieved is an Iraq that is self-governing, that is inclusive, and that has enormous potential."