Posted by SAM on 8 April, 2009 at 4:26 am. 19 comments already!

HE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you, guys. Let me say [damn, no teleprompter…gonna have to go old school and use a notecard or these people will realize I don’t know who they are]…Multinational Force Iraq, Multinational Corps Iraq, Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq First Corps, America’s Corp Band: Thanks to all of you.

Listen, I am so honored.

AUDIENCE MEMBER [State Dept Official/appointee who is new in-country]: We love you.

THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.) I am honored — I’m honored and grateful to be with all of you [and grateful that you all have cameras, or I wouldn’t have even flown over this place]. And I’m not going to talk long because I want to [get as many photos for the web] shake as many hands as I can. (Applause.) And I’ve been talking all week. (Laughter.) [It’s time words mean something-like when I told North Korea to STOP or I’ll have to say STOP again!]

But there’s a couple of things I want to say. Number one, thank you.

AUDIENCE MEMBER [member of traveling press corps]: You’re welcome.

THE PRESIDENT: You know, when I was at Camp Lejeune [to push back the timeline for withdrawal again] I spoke about what it means for America to see our best and brightest, our finest young men and women serve us. And what I said then is something that I want to repeat to you, which is: You have performed brilliantly [and ACCOMPLISHED] every mission that has been given to you.

AUDIENCE: [barely audible] Ooh-ah.

THE PRESIDENT: Under enormous strain and under enormous sacrifice, through controversy and difficulty and politics [Gosh I hope no one remembers “I opposed this war in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 06, 07, and again in 2008.”], you’ve kept your eyes focused on just doing your job [despite opposition to your doing your job from Democrats and me]. And because of that, every mission that’s been assigned — from getting rid of Saddam [which I opposed], to reducing violence [which I opposed], to stabilizing the country [which I opposed], to facilitating elections [which I opposed]– you have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country. That is an extraordinary achievement, and for that [now that I’ve successfully used your as tools to get elected] you have the thanks of the American people [including Democrats now-woohoo!!]. (Applause.) That’s point number one.

Point number two is, this is going to be a critical period, these next 18 [err, 19] months. […and it’s going to be even tougher for the 50,000 of you who will stay here indefinitely beyond those 19 months] I was just discussing this with your commander, but I think it’s something that all of you know. It is time for us to transition to the Iraqis [’cause, ya know, no one’s been trying to do that for the past six years, right?]. (Applause.) They need to take responsibility for their country and for their sovereignty [oh gawd, I hope no one notices that my speechwriter took that verbatim from a Bush speech in 2003]. (Applause.)

And in order for them to do that, they have got to make political accommodations [and do things that we American politicians would never do: work together rather than ramrod through legislation over minority parties]. They’re going to have to decide that they want to resolve their differences through constitutional means and legal means [or they can do it like today’s Democratic Party does ala Chicago-style politics]. They are going to have to focus on providing government services that encourage confidence among their citizens […and I’m not sure how to do that ’cause confidence among American citizens is waning at best].

All those things they have to do. We can’t do it for them [oops, more Bush speech taken verbatim-hope no one notices]. But what we can do is make sure that we are a stalwart partner, that we are working alongside them, that we are committed to their success, that in terms of training their security forces, training their civilian forces in order to achieve a more effective government, they know that they have a steady partner with us. [WTF?! How much did we plagiarize from Bushitler?]

And so just as we thank you for what [MISSIONS] you’ve already accomplished, I want to say thank you because you will be critical in terms of us being able to make sure that Iraq is stable, that it is not a safe haven for terrorists, that it is a good neighbor and a good ally, and we can start bringing our folks home [OMG, I think Rahm hired a Bush speech writer]. (Applause.)

So now is not the time to lose focus. We have to be even more focused than we’ve been in order to achieve success [which I opposed, but now that I’m President…I damn well support!].

The last point I want to make is I know how hard it’s been on a lot of you. You’ve been away from your families, many of you for multiple rotations. You’ve seen buddies of yours injured and you remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

AUDIENCE [traveling White House press corps photographer looking for pics of caskets to sell/make money off of]: Ooh-ah.

THE PRESIDENT: There are probably some people here who have seen children born and have been missing watching them grow up. There are many of you who have listened to your spouse and the extraordinary sacrifices that they have to make when you’re gone.

And so I want you to know that Michelle and myself are doing everything — (applause) — are doing everything we can to provide additional support for military families. The federal budget that I have introduced increases support for military families. We are going to do everything required to make sure that the commitment we make to our veterans is met, and that people don’t have to fight for what they have earned as a consequence of their service.

The main point I want to make is we have not forgotten what you have already done [In fact, we Democrats are only now noticing/supporting it], we are grateful for what you will do […and I no longer oppose it], and as long as I am in the White House [the most important thing], you are going to get the support that you need and the thanks that you deserve from a grateful nation [Including Democrats now!]. (Applause.)

So thank you very much everybody [for being the tools you were to get me elected]. (Applause.) God bless you [Oops, Markos Moulitas might take that as a call for Holy War]. (Applause.) God bless the United States of America [Oh man, Keith Olberman’s gonna say I’m trying to create a theocracy now]. (Applause.)

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