Reporter's Note: President Obama says that almost all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by Christmas.
Dear Mr. President,
Although I can respect their opinions, I don’t care what the Republicans say right now; you are clearly having a very good run overseas lately. Osama Bin Laden… gone. Gadhafi… gone. Suspected Iranian plot…busted. And now this sudden news that almost all of the U.S. troops are coming home by Christmas. I imagine you chatting in the Oval Office with Biden. “I don’t know, Joe. It just all seemed to come together.”
I realize that unexpected circumstances played at least some role in all of this, but the bottom line remains: You are the Commander in Chief, and many, many voters will give you credit for these events which will almost all be seen in a positive light if polls are to be trusted.
Funny how things turn out, isn’t it? Back when you were running for office, one of the biggest raps against you was that you had far too little experience in international affairs. And you have to admit, it was a fair point. There was nothing on your resume that would have made anyone suspect such promising developments would happen under your leadership.
By the same token, your domestic policy credentials looked o.k. at the time. Now, here you are launching into your re-election bid, and you’re being pounded senseless over domestic problems (like, ahem…sorry to bring it up…unemployment) and it is your international success that is proving to be one of the stronger planks in your platform. Go figure.
I know that plenty of people, especially among your foes, will say that you were just in the right place at the right time; that you had little part in making these things happen.
You know what I say? Presidents often get both credit and blame that they don’t fully deserve, and it is inherently unfair to lay one at a president’s door and not the other. So congratulations for your success in making these events come to pass. I hope it all plays out to be truly good news for the whole world in the long run.
President Obama announced today that virtually all of the nearly 40,000 U.S. troops in Iraq will be “home for the holidays.”
Filed under: 360° Radar
By National Security Producer Jamie Crawford
With the removal of all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year looking more likely, absent an agreement to extend legal immunity, a large contingent of U.S. contractors will still remain facing their own legal and logistical ambiguities and challenges.
The complexity of the situation is not lost on top officials at the State Department who are busy preparing to assume control of every U.S. responsibility in Iraq – including contracting operations.
"The State Department is doing something that quite frankly we have never done before, this is not going to be easy and I think we all understand that," Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides told CNN.
(CNN) - Three gone (Gadhafi, Mubarak, Ben Ali), two holding on in the face of daily protests (al-Assad, Saleh), two more (Kings Abdullah of Jordan and Mohammed of Morocco) trying to stay ahead of the curve of protest: After 10 months of the Arab Spring, the region is still in the throes of a heady and unpredictable transformation.
Moammar Gadhafi's demise, after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, means that three rulers in power collectively for 95 years are gone. Scholar and author Fouad Ajami, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, says that 2011 "is to the Arabs what 1989 was to the communist world. The Arabs are now coming into ownership of their own history and we have to celebrate."
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with