The main stream news media is making a big deal of this, as if it were some milestone.
What they don't want people to know or realize, this is the plan that the Bush Administartion and Iraq had negotiated and signed last year ! All US forces were to be out of Iraq by 2011, unless the US was requested to leave troops at the request of the Iraqi government.
So while Obama takes all the credit, this is really President Bush's plan that is being initiated.
As a matter of fact, President Obama and America have former President Bush and the brave men and women of the US Military to thank for the highly successful "surge" in troops he and Gen. David Petraeus put in place, making withdrawal possible.
In his comments Friday, Obama noted the progress made.
"Thanks in great measure to your service," he said, "the situation in Iraq has improved. Violence has been reduced substantially from the horrific sectarian killing of 2006 and 2007.
"Al-Qaida in Iraq has been dealt a serious blow by our troops and Iraq's Security Forces, and through our partnership with Sunni Arabs," Obama continued. "The capacity of Iraq's Security Forces has improved, and Iraq's leaders have taken steps toward political accommodation."
He further lauded January's elections showing Iraqis have begun "pursuing their aspirations through peaceful political process."
Iraq has been a big success, which explains why you never hear about it in the mainstream news media anymore. Suicide bombings and attacks on troops have become relatively rare, and now that Bush is out of office, there's little political profit remaining for the left in bashing America's Iraq theatre camapign in the war on terror.
Whether or not you agree with Bush, he brought a kind of democracy to Iraq that can be found nowhere else in that area. His plan rocked al-Qaida back on its heels, to the point where its survival is in doubt. Iraq is a model.
In short, Obama's policy is Bush's policy. The fact that our brave men and women in the military can now come home proudly is a tribute to former President Bush's steadfastness even in the face of insurmountable criticism.