Friday, Mar. 19, 2010

April 2009
Obama's Inaugural Visit

"You have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country. That is an extraordinary achievement."

President Barack Obama in a speech to U.S. troops in Baghdad, April 7.

Less than three months after his inauguration, Obama makes a surprise stop in Iraq at the end of his European tour in an effort to show he's serious about his 2011 withdrawal promises. At Camp Victory in Baghdad, the President praises the troops for bringing stability to the region and the crowd of 700 U.S. servicemen cheers as Obama calls on Iraqis to "take responsibility for their country and for their sovereignty." Obama also tells reporters that while he is taking a lot of time to figure out the path forward in Afghanistan, he doesn't want Americans to forget all the work still has to be done in Iraq. He spends about five hours on the ground before returning to Washington. Violence escalates throughout the rest of the month, as a string of at least 18 bombings kill more than 100 people.