Nice job Mr. President. I am impressed.
You have once again delivered a very smooth speech. Of course you always do so long as your teleprompter doesn't go on the fritz. And this time... Well this time - I actually agree with the meat of your message.
You listened to our military leadership and set us on a path for what appears to be a responsible withdrawal from Iraq, and for that I commend you. One thing that I am totally confused about though - How is this any different than what was in place already? Don't get me wrong - I am very pleased to hear your plan but let's be honest - this plan is the same plan that was put in place already. All you've really done is take the GWB (Petraeus) strategy and put your own name on it.
I do have one caution, note or lesson for you… You said:
"Let me say this as plainly as I can -- by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end."
I hope conditions continue to improve and that this statement doesn't come back to haunt you. If it does – you'll wish you never said it.
One fun note... I suppose it will be interesting to watch the anti-war zealots. They must be plagued with anguish and confusion, tearing themselves up inside trying to square their cause of the last four or so years with their blind support for you. This should be fun - where is my popcorn?