This today from Mike Allen's Politico Playbook
10 YEARS AGO TONIGHT, at 10:16 p.m., President George W. Bush announced Operation Iraqi Freedom in an address from the Oval Office: "My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger. On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war. ... Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly -- yet, our purpose is sure. ... Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures, and we will accept no outcome but victory. My fellow citizens, the dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others and we will prevail. May God bless our country and all who defend her."
"50 killed on eve of Iraq war anniversary," by AFP's Ammar Karim and Mohamad Ali Harissi, in Baghdad : "A wave of attacks and explosions in Iraq killed 50 people on Tuesday and officials delayed provincial polls, highlighting security concerns on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion. At least 20 explosions and two assassinations also left more than 170 people wounded in the country's bloodiest day in more than six months, reflecting the brutal unrest and endless political crises that were sparked by an invasion that had aimed to build a democratic ally in the heart of the Middle East. ... Though the war itself was relatively brief -- it began on March 20, 2003 [local time], Baghdad fell weeks later, and then-US president George W. Bush infamously declared the mission accomplished on May 1 -- its aftermath was violent and bloody.
"[U.S. death count through the war's official end on Dec. 15, 2011: 4,485.] Britain-based Iraq Body Count has said that more than 112,000 civilians have been killed since the ... invasion, while a study published in The Lancet put the figure at 116,000 from 2003 up to December 2011, when US forces pulled out. ... Since the American withdrawal, Iraq's military and police are consistently described by Iraqi and American officials as capable of maintaining internal security, but not yet fully able to protect the country's borders, airspace and maritime territory."
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