'Libya, Iraq remind of renewed US leadership'
US President Barack Obama said today that his decision to pull all US troops out of Iraq by the end of the year and the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi were reminders of "renewed" US leadership in the world.world Updated: Oct 22, 2011 15:52 IST
US President Barack Obama said on Saturday that his decision to pull all US troops out of Iraq by the end of the year and the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi were reminders of "renewed" US leadership in the world.
"This week, we had two powerful reminders of how we've renewed American leadership in the world," Obama said in his weekly radio and internet address.
"I was proud to announce that -- as promised -- the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of this year, " he explained.
"And in Libya, the death of Muammar Gaddafi showed that our role in protecting the Libyan people, and helping them break free from a tyrant, was the right thing to do."
Gaddafi, who lorded over the oil-rich North African nation for 42 years, met a violent end on Thursday after a Nato air attack hit a convoy, in which he was trying to escape from his hometown of Sirte.
He survived the air strike but was apparently captured and killed after a shootout between his supporters and new regime fighters.
Obama said that without putting a single US service member on the ground, "we achieved our objectives" in Libya.
"Soon, our Nato mission will come to a successful end even as we continue to support the Libyan people, and people across the Arab world, who seek a democratic future," he added.
On Friday, the president also announced that all American troops will leave Iraq by the end of the year, ending a long war which cleaved deep political divides and estranged the United States from its allies.
The decision came after Iraq failed to agree to legal immunity for a small residual force that Washington had hoped to keep in the country to train the army and counter the influence of neighboring Iran, officials said.
"Thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, the Iraqi people have the chance to forge their own future," Obama noted in his address.
The president argued that after these foreign policy successes, Americans should now turn their attention to challenges at home, revitalizing the economy and creating new jobs.
He urged members of Congress to work together to pass his jobs plan without delay.