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- PALESTINE DAILY: Discover News based on what your friends are reading and publish your own reading activity. You have full control over what you publish. Gadhafi put on display in shopping center freezer By KIM GAMEL and RAMI AL-SHAHEIBI – Associated Press | AP – 1 hr 33 mins ago 59 6 Email Print Related Content The body of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi lies on a mattress in a commercial freezer at a shopping center in Misrata, Libya, Friday, Oct. 21, 2011. The burial of slain leader Moammar Gadhafi has been delayed until the circumstances of his death can be further examined and a decision is made about where to bury the body, Libyan officials said Friday, as the U.N. human rights office called for an investigation into his death. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo) The body of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi lies on a mattress in a commercial freezer … The body of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi lies on a mattress a commercial freezer at a shopping center in Misrata, Libya, Friday, Oct. 21, 2011. The burial of slain leader Moammar Gadhafi has been delayed until the circumstances of his death can be further examined and a decision is made about where to bury the body, Libyan officials said Friday, as the U.N. human rights office called for an investigation into his death. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo) The body of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi lies on a mattress a commercial freezer … World slideshows Thailand flooding 45 photos – 19 hrs ago Iraq War 50 photos – 1 hr 13 mins ago Gadhafi’s death spurs Syria protests 8 photos – 15 hrs ago See latest photos » MISRATA, Libya (AP) — Moammar Gadhafi’s blood-streaked body was on display in a commercial freezer at a shopping center Friday as Libyan authorities argued about what to do with his remains and questions deepened over official accounts of the longtime dictator’s death. New video emerged of his violent, chaotic last moments, showing fighters beating him as they drag him away. Nearly every aspect of Thursday’s killing of Gadhafi was mired in confusion, a sign of the difficulties ahead for Libya. Its new rulers are disorganized, its people embittered and divided. But the ruling National Transitional Council said it would declare the country’s liberation on Saturday, the starting point for a timetable that calls for a new interim government within a month and elections within eight months. The top U.N. rights chief raised concerns that Gadhafi may have been shot to death after being captured alive. The fate of his body seemed tied up in squabbles among Libya’s factions, as fighters from Misrata — a city brutally besieged by Gadhafi’s forces during the civil war — seemed to claim ownership of it, forcing the delay of a planned burial Friday. Also muddled was the fate of Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, the only Gadhafi son who stayed in Libya and reportedly survived after his father’s Aug. 21 ouster. It appeared Friday that he was still at large: some government ministers had said he was wounded and in custody in a hospital in the city of Zlitan, but a military official at the hospital, Hakim al-Kisher, denied he was there. In Misrata, residents crowded into long lines to get a chance to view the body of Gadhafi, which was laid out on a mattress on the floor of an emptied-out vegetable and onions freezer at a local shopping center. The body had apparently been stowed in the freezer in an attempt to keep it out of the public eye, but once the location was known, that intention was swept away in the overwhelming desire of residents to see the man they so deeply despised. Men, women and children filed in to take their picture with the body. The site’s guards had even organized separate visiting hours for families and single men. “We want to see the dog,” some chanted. Gadhafi’s 69-year-old body was stripped to the waist, his torso and arms streaked with dried blood. Bullet wounds in the chest, abdomen and left side of the head were visible. The bloody siege of Misrata over the summer instilled a particularly virulent hatred of Gadhafi there — a hatred now mixed with pride because he was captured and killed by fighters from the city. New video posted on Facebook showed revolutionary fighters dragging a confused-looking Gadhafi up the hill to their vehicles after his capture and less than an hour before he was killed. The young men scream “Moammar, you dog!” as their former leader wipes at blood covering the left side of his head, neck and left shoulder. Gadhafi gestures to the young men to be patient, and says “What’s going on?” as he wipes fresh blood from his temple and glances at his palm. A young fighter later is shown carrying a boot and screaming, “This is Moammar’s shoe! This is Moammar’s shoe! Victory! Victory!” In Tripoli, joy over Gadhafi’s end spilled into a second day as thousands converged on central Martyrs’ Square for Friday prayers and celebrations. Men danced and hoisted the country’s new red-green-and-black flag. “It’s the start of a new era that everybody hopes will bring security and freedom,” said Tarek Othman, a computer specialist. “I hope democracy is the path we take so all of these Libyans who have sacrificed will really feel free.” He stood with his wife — who wore a cap in the revolution’s colors over her all-encompassing black niqab — in the square, which was formerly known as Green Square and was used by Gadhafi to stage rallies against the uprising. Khaled Almslaty, a clothing vendor, said he wished Gadhafi had not been killed after being captured. “But I believe he got what he deserved because if we prosecuted him for the smallest of his crimes, he would be punished by death,” he said. “Now we hope the NTC will accelerate the formation of a new government and … won’t waste time on irrelevant conflicts and competing for authority and positions.” It’s a tall order after nearly 42 years of rule by one man, who often acted according to whims and tolerated no dissent. Libya’s new leaders have stressed the need for reconciliation, but many factions are eager to have their say after years of repression. The Western-backed NTC, a collection of former rebels, returned exiles, technocrats and Islamists, has always been united behind its goal of ousting Gadhafi. Now the group must overcome divisions and competing self-interests to rebuild the oil-rich North African nation, which was stripped of institutions under Gadhafi. The NTC said interim leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil will formally declare liberation on Saturday in the eastern city of Benghazi, where the revolution began in mid-February. Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril has promised to resign, saying he will not be part of any new government and will instead turn his attention to fighting corruption. The transitional council has asked the United Nations “to play a significant role” in helping it write a constitution, hold elections and build democratic institutions, Ian Martin, the U.N. envoy to Libya, said. “No one should underestimate in this moment of celebration in Libya how great are the challenges that lie ahead,” he said. He also warned of “a major challenge in the future of those of the fighters who don’t wish to return to previous civilian occupations.” At the U.N. in New York, Russia proposed Friday that the Security Council lift the no-fly zone it imposed on Libya and end its authorization of military action to protect civilians now that Gadhafi has been killed. The French and British ambassadors to the U.N. said that more consultation with Libyan authorities is needed to smoothly end the no-fly zone and transfer traffic control to civilian authorities. Gadhafi was killed when revolutionary fighters overwhelmed him and the last of his loyalists in his coastal hometown Sirte, the last bastion of his regime to be captured after weeks of heavy fighting. Authorities have promised to bury Gadhafi in accordance with Islamic traditions calling for quick interment, but Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam said the burial was delayed because officials were debating “what the best place is to bury him.” Gadhafi’s family, most of whom are in Algeria or other nearby African nations, issued a statement calling for an investigation into how Gadhafi and another of his sons, Muatassim, were killed. In the statement on the pro-Gadhafi, Syria-based TV station Al-Rai, they asked for international pressure on the NTC to hand over the bodies of the two men to their tribe. Gadhafi was captured alive and there have been contradictory accounts of how and when he received his fatal wounds. Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the images of his last moments were very disturbing. “More details are needed to ascertain whether he was killed in some form of fighting or was executed after his capture,” Colville said. According to most accounts from fighters on the ground and their commanders, Gadhafi and his loyalists were in a convoy trying to flee when NATO airstrikes hit two of the vehicles. Then revolutionary forces moved in and clashed with the loyalists for several hours. Gadhafi and his bodyguards fled their cars and took refuge in a nearby drainage tunnel. Fighters pursued and clashed with them before Gadhafi emerged from the tunnel and was grabbed by fighters. Most accounts agree that Gadhafi died from wounds 30 to 40 minutes later as an ambulance took him to Misrata. But accounts differ over how he suffered those wounds. Most commanders and fighters at the scene with whom The Associated Press has spoken say that when he was captured, Gadhafi already was fatally wounded. In the videos of his capture, however, he has blood on his head, but none on his chest or abdomen. At one point, his shirt is pulled up to his chest, but no wound is visible. Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam said Gadhafi was wounded after his capture. “It seems like the bullet was a stray and it could have come from the revolutionaries or the loyalists,” Shammam said. Other fighters, commanders and witnesses have not spoken of any such crossfire or further clashes. Siraq al-Hamali, a 21-year-old fighter, told AP that he rode in the vehicle carrying Gadhafi as it left Sirte. He did not mention coming under fire and said Gadhafi died en route of wounds he already had. Even reports of the coroner’s conclusions were confused over which wound was fatal — some said it was the shot to the head, others said it was a shot to the liver. Muatassim, who had been his father’s feared national security adviser, was captured alive separately in Sirte, and how he died also remains unknown. In a video aired Friday on Al-Rai, the 34-year-old Muatassim, wearing a bloodied undershirt, sits on a mattress in a room with fighters around him. He takes a swig of water and smokes a cigarette as he argues with at least one man who accused him of robbing the country and abusing its sons. The fighter then orders Muatassim to say “Allahu Akbar” or “God is great” before the video cuts to a segment with Muatassim lying subdued on the mattress with his forearm on his forehead. He also appears to check for an injury on his collar bone. The last scene is of Muatassim lying dead, apparently in a hospital, with a huge gash in his chest. ___ Gamel reported from Tripoli. Associated Press writers Hadeel al-Shalchi, Sarah El Deeb and Lee Keath in Cairo and Anita Snow at the U.N. contributed to this report. @yahoonews on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook Editors’ Picks A riot police officer tries to extinguish the fire of a petrol bomb on another officer during riots with anti-austerity demonstrators in Athens’ Syntagma (Constitution) squareslideshow Petrol bomb attack on Greek police Hannibal Gaddafislideshow Gadhafi family on the run FILE – In this Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009 file photo, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gestures with a green cane as he takes his seat behind bulletproof glass for a military parade in Green Square, Tripoli, Libya. Libyan special forces stormed a two-day-old protest encampment in the country’s second largest city of Benghazi, clearing the area early Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, said witnesses, as a human rights group estimate scores of people have died in the harsh crackdown on days of demonstrations. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)slideshow Libyan dictator Gadhafi killed Libyans celebrate Moammar Gadhafi’s death in front of the Libyan Embassy in Amman, Jordan, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011. Moammar Gadhafi, who ruled Libya with a dictatorial grip for 42 years until he was ousted by his own people in an uprising that turned into a bloody civil war, was killed Thursday when revolutionary forces overwhelmed his hometown, Sirte, the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)slideshow Libyans celebrate Gadhafi’s death 1slideshow Captain Scott’s lost photographs Detective Rick Lee talks to a pedestrian in Zuccotti Park in New York, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011. Lee is gaining Internet fame for his un-stereotypical appearance. Online blog posts make tongue-in-cheek references to him as the “Hipster Cop.” His look includes cardigans, professorial-style glasses and side-swept hair. The plainclothes officer has been doing community affairs work at the protest. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)slideshow Occupy Wall Street’s hipster cop Explore Related Content 1 – 4 of 12 Gadhafi body stashed in shopping center freezerPlay Video Gadhafi body stashed in shopping center … Libyan kids holding an assault rifle celebrate in Souk El Juma district in Tripoli, Libya, Friday Oct. 20, 2011. The death Thursday of Gadhafi, two months after he was driven from power and into … Libyan kids holding an assault rifle … Men Filmed Attack at Shopping Cente … A group of young men who evidently attacked a woman at a shopping center apparently … Full Story »Men Filmed Attack at Shopping Center ABC News (RSS) NTC fighters brandish Gaddafi’s golden gunPlay Video NTC fighters brandish Gaddafi’s golden … Top Stories » Iraq war over, US troops coming home, Obama says Gadhafi put on display in shopping center freezer Murdoch takes on shareholders at annual meeting Clinton visiting Tajikistan, Uzbekistan Cain tweaks 9-9-9 tax plan to allow exemptions AP-GfK Poll: 37 percent of public back protests AP sources: Bachmann staff in New Hampshire quits Most Popular Some stores freezing out Ben & Jerry’s new flavor Obama announces total Iraq troop withdrawal For $1 billion, one dictator Steve Jobs predicted Obama would be a one-term president Gadhafi was looks-conscious until the end Qadhafi death blunts GOP’s critique Today on Yahoo! 1 – 4 of 40 Christina Aguilera’s alarming attire Christina Aguilera’s alarming attire Some stores shun new Ben & Jerry’s flavor Some stores shun new Ben & Jerry’s flavor Gadhafi’s last act of vanity revealed Gadhafi’s last act of vanity revealed Why Obama is ending the war in Iraq Why Obama is ending the war in Iraq All Comments Shared On Facebook My Comments Zubaida • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia • Show location? HelpComment Guidelines your avatar Please Enter a Comment Manage Updates Your updates will be shared through Yahoo! Updates based on your preferences. Start sharing your updates on Yahoo! to Twitter based on your preferences. Add Twitter Your update will be shared to Facebook based on your Facebook preferences. 737 comments Popular Now Newest Oldest Most Replied Kay 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 Kay • Pleasanton, United States • about a minute ago Report Abuse He declared death to the end and that is what he got. Reply Namatullah 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 Namatullah • Curtea de Argeş, România • 2 minutes ago Report Abuse The bad days of Libia started by killing of Gadafi, Libia people have to see what the eastern leaders will do with them …… Shame on you, you had to look once at Afghanistan destiny then stand against your leader……Shame on you Reply TOTALLY AWARE 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down1 TOTALLY AWARE 2 minutes ago Report Abuse OUR OWNED MEDIA WILL NOT POST THE TRUTH STATED HERE. THEY ONLY LIKE PROPAGANDA AND FILTH…. More Reply JD 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down1 JD • San Jose, United States • 3 minutes ago Report Abuse Moammar … We are going to take all of your oil too. Reply TOTALLY AWARE 2Thumbs UpThumbs Down2 TOTALLY AWARE 3 minutes ago Report Abuse OUR U.S.A. ISRAELI REGIME HAS GIVEN THE WORLD “1984” AT ITS VERY WORST. HANGING IS TOO GOOD FOR THEM. OUR ARROGANT REGIME’S MEDIA MAKES LIGHT OF THE HIDEOUS WAR CRIMES…. More 1 Reply D D RED 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down1 D D RED 3 minutes ago Report Abuse HA HA HA Ha ha ,,,, He got exactly what he so richly deserved. Now where is that locherbie bomber with the prostate cancer ,,, It’s time to remove his prostate through his brain….slowly Reply billy bronco 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 billy bronco 4 minutes ago Report Abuse That is one cold cut. Reply FWE 1Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 FWE • Buffalo, United States • 4 minutes ago Report Abuse What day is garbage day in that neighborhood? Reply RALPH W 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 RALPH W 4 minutes ago Report Abuse Just a temporary measure until the display case is ready. Reply lance 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 lance • Chicago, United States • 4 minutes ago Report Abuse this sounds like sum jeffery damher sh:t Reply JD 1Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 JD • San Jose, United States • 4 minutes ago Report Abuse I wonder if he felt the same terror the passengers on Pan Am felt over Scotland? The only thing better than a dead terrorist, is a dead terrorist. Rot in hell Moammar Gadhafi. Reply TOTALLY AWARE 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down2 TOTALLY AWARE 5 minutes ago Report Abuse WE HOPE THAT THERE IS AN “AMERICA” LEFT….FOR PRESIDENT RON PAUL. IT IS CURRENTLY A DRUGGED “LUNATIC ASYLUM”….RUN BY AIPAC. 1 Reply TOTALLY AWARE 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down1 TOTALLY AWARE 5 minutes ago Report Abuse IS THERE ANY AMERICAN….THAT DOES NOT REALIZE THAT “OUR NEW YORK ISRAELI REGIME”….”IS” ….NATO…..AND THE U.N…….? … More Reply TOTALLY AWARE 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down2 TOTALLY AWARE 5 minutes ago Report Abuse ARE THE FRENCH AND BRITISH TAXPAYERS AWARE THAT “THEY” TOO ARE GOVERNED BY ISRAELI’S AND PUPPETS OF ISRAEL….? THESE CONTINUING ASSASINATIONS SMACK OF “ABU GRAIB” ALL-OVER-AGAIN…. More 1 Reply TOTALLY AWARE 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down5 TOTALLY AWARE 6 minutes ago Report Abuse OUR U.S.A. ISRAELI REGIME’S MEDIA MAKES LIGHT OF THE HIDEOUS WAR CRIMES. CAN TRADITIONAL AMERICANS SLEEP AT NIGHT…..KNOWING “WHO” RULES THEM…?… More Reply eastwood 2Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 eastwood 7 minutes ago Report Abuse I think about this ” Islam is the only Religion that Celebrates Death in a Jubilant fashion with all joy and happyness as a joyful occastion of fodd and fun. how odd this includes themselves also. as them being very Reliogios and calling it Holyness. This is aganist all of the… More Reply TOTALLY AWARE 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down3 TOTALLY AWARE 8 minutes ago Report Abuse OUR U.S.A. ISRAELI REGIME HAS GIVEN THE WORLD “1984” AT ITS VERY WORST. HANGING IS TOO GOOD FOR THEM. OUR ARROGANT REGIME’S MEDIA MAKES LIGHT OF THE HIDEOUS WAR CRIMES…. More 1 Reply JAMES R 1Thumbs UpThumbs Down1 JAMES R • Arden, United States • 8 minutes ago Report Abuse Mr. President in your speech about the death of Gadafi, you stated that it ended 4 decades of terror in the world and his country of Libya, with his squandering of his countries WEALTH. Question what are you doing with the wealth of America? Is this not also called SQUANDERING ? Reply If.We.Cant.Beat.Em.Join.Em 1Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 If.We.Cant.Beat.Em.Join.E … 8 minutes ago Report Abuse put him in a museum………………… Reply bogie2 1Thumbs UpThumbs Down1 bogie2 • San Angelo, United States • 9 minutes ago Report Abuse Animals Reply More Post a comment New: Location! You can now share your location with each comment and make it more interesting. 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Local.com Entertainment Centers Great Selection & Price! www.TotallyFurniture.com Building Maintenance Fitouts Painting Defits Repairs Construction call 1800 FACILITY www.facilityservices.com.au World News » Men take pictures of Muammar Gaddafi’s corpse displayed at a house in Misrata Gaddafi family demands body; NATO ends Libya war Rania El Gamal MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) – NATO called an end to its air war in Libya, and the clan of Muammar Gaddafi demanded a chance to bury the body that lay on display in a meat locker after a death as brutal and … Saudi Crown Prince Sultan dies – SPA quotes royal court Angus McDowall (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Sultan died on Saturday, the country’s royal court confirmed in a statement carried by SPA, the state news agency. Anti-government protesters shout slogans during a rally to demand the ouster of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the southern town of of Damt U.N. council condemns Yemen violence, urges deal Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council on Friday condemned the Yemeni government crackdown on protesters but urged the signing of an agreement that would require the president to step down … Pakistan’s PM Gilan greets U.S. Secretary of State Clinton at the prime minister’s residence in Islamabad Clinton says U.S. officials have met with Haqqanis Andrew Quinn and Chris Allbritton ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that the United States had held a preliminary meeting with representatives of the Haqqani network, a group of militants Washington has … Supporters of the Party Democratic Progress (PDP) wave Tunisian flags and light flares during a rally in Ariyana district Tunisia rivals stake positions in election rallies Andrew Hammond and Tarek Amara TUNIS (Reuters)
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- PALESTINE DAILY: Iraq war over, US troops coming home, Obama says APBy BEN FELLER – AP White House Correspondent | AP – 3 hrs ago 25 3 Email Print Related Content FILE – In this Nov. 30, 2010 file photo, members of 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, based at Fort Stewart, Ga., walk toward a C-17 aircraft at Sather Air Base in Baghdad as they begin their journey home after a year in Baghdad, Iraq. President Barack Obama on Friday Oct. 21, 2011 declared an end to the Iraq war, one of the longest and most divisive conflicts in U.S. history, announcing that all American troops would be withdrawn from the country by year’s end.(AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File) FILE – In this Nov. 30, 2010 file photo, members of 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, … President Barack Obama speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, where he declared an end to the Iraq war, one of the longest and most divisive conflicts in U.S. history, announcing that all U.S. troops would be withdrawn from the country by year’s end. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) President Barack Obama speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, … U.S. slideshows Exotic animal survivors held at zoo 3 photos – Thu, Oct 20, 2011 Alexa Meade photos imitate paintings 16 photos – 8 hrs ago News Corp. protests 8 photos – 12 hrs ago See latest photos » WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s long and deeply unpopular war in Iraq will be over by year’s end and all U.S. troops “”will definitely be home for the holidays,” President Barack Obama declared Friday. Stretching more than eight years, the war cost the United States heavily: More than 4,400 members of the military have been killed, and more than 32,000 have been wounded. The final exit date was sealed after months of intensive talks between Washington and Baghdad failed to reach agreement on conditions for leaving several thousand U.S. troops in Iraq as a training force. The U.S. also had been interested in keeping a small force to help the Iraqis deal with possible Iranian meddling. The task now is to speed the pullout of the remaining U.S. forces, nearly 40,000 in number. Staying behind in Iraq, where bombings and other violence still occur, will be some 150-200 U.S. military troops as part of embassy security, the defense attaché’s office and the office of security cooperation. That’s common practice but still a danger to American forces. Obama, an opponent of the war since before he took office, nevertheless praised the efforts of U.S. troops in Iraq. He said American soldiers would leave “with their heads held high, proud of their success.” For Obama, Friday’s announcement capped a remarkable two days of national security successes, though there’s no indication how much they will matter to re-election voters more concerned with economic woes at home. On Thursday, the president heralded the death of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and a day later the end to one of the most divisive conflicts in U.S. history. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the U.S. more than $1.3 trillion. Obama did not declare victory. He did speak, though, about the string of wins on his watch — none bigger than the killing of Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The Afghanistan war still rages, but there, too, Obama has moved to end the combat mission by the end of 2014. This was, in essence, the third time Obama had pronounced an end to the war, allowing him to remind the nation he had opposed it all along — a stance that helped his White House bid in 2008. Shortly after taking office, Obama declared in February 2009 that the combat mission in Iraq would end by Aug. 31, 2010. And when that milestone arrived, he said it was “time to turn the page” on Iraq and put the focus back on building up the United States. On Friday, he said: “After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.” The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched in March of 2003 after reports, later discredited, that the country was developing weapons of mass destruction. By early April, American Marines were helping Iraqis pull down a statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. Saddam was captured in December of that year and executed in 2006, but the war dragged on. The ending was set in motion before Obama took office. In 2008, President George W. Bush approved a deal calling for all U.S. forces to withdraw by Dec. 31, 2011. At issue was whether that deal would be renegotiated to keep thousands of U.S. forces in Iraq. The Obama administration and Iraqi government spent months debating whether the United States would keep troops to maintain a training force, to provide added stability in a country where spectacular attacks still occur, and to serve as a hedge against Iran. Throughout the talks, Iraqi leaders refused to give U.S. troops immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts, and the Americans refused to stay without that guarantee. Obama never mentioned that issue on Friday. He said that after speaking with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, both were in agreement on how to move forward. Obama said the two nations will now deal with each other in the normal fashion of sovereign countries and will keep open the idea of how the United States might help train and equip Iraqi forces. “Over the next two months, our troops in Iraq, tens of thousands of them, will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home,” Obama said. “The last American soldier will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing the American people stand united in our support for our troops.” The Associated Press first reported last week that the United States would not keep troops in Iraq past the year-end withdrawal deadline, except for some soldiers attached to the U.S. Embassy. “Both countries achieved their goals,” said Iraqi government spokesman, Ali al-Moussawi. “Iraq wanted full sovereignty while the United States wanted its soldiers back home, and both goals are achieved.” In addition to remaining military forces, Denis McDonough, White House deputy national security adviser, said the U.S. will have 4,000 to 5,000 contractors to provide security for American diplomats. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the United States will now “turn our full attention to pursuing a long-term strategic partnership with Iraq based on mutual interests and mutual respect.” He said the goal is to establish a relationship with Iraq similar to other countries in the region. “Iraq is a sovereign nation that must determine how to secure its own future,” Panetta said. Obama’s announcement was applauded by congressional Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who called it “the right decision at the right time.” Republicans were more skeptical. Many praised the gains made in Iraq and gave Obama at least partial credit but expressed concern that getting troops out would bring that progress into question. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he feared that “all we have worked for, fought for and sacrificed for is very much in jeopardy by today’s announcement. I hope I am wrong and the president is right, but I fear this decision has set in motion events that will come back to haunt our country.” GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney accused Obama of an “astonishing failure” to secure an orderly transition in Iraq, and said, “The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government.” The U.S. said repeatedly this year it would entertain an offer from the Iraqis to have a small force stay behind, and the Iraqis said they would like American military help. But as the year wore on and the number of American troops that Washington was suggesting could stay behind dropped, it became increasingly clear that a U.S. troop presence was not a sure thing. The issue of legal protection for the Americans was the deal-breaker. But administration officials said they feel confident that Iraqi security forces are well prepared to take the lead in their country. McDonough said that one assessment after another of the preparedness of Iraqi forces concluded that “these guys are ready; these guys are capable; these guys are proven; importantly, they’re proven because they’ve been tested in a lot of the kinds of threats that they’re going to see going forward.” The president used the war statement to once again turn attention back to the economy, the domestic concern that is expected to determine whether he wins re-election. “After a decade of war,” he said, “the nation that we need to build and the nation that we will build is our own.” __ Associated Press writers Sameer N. Yacoub in Baghdad and Jim Kuhnhenn, Erica Werner and Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed to this story. @yahoonews on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook Editors’ Picks A riot police officer tries to extinguish the fire of a petrol bomb on another officer during riots with anti-austerity demonstrators in Athens’ Syntagma (Constitution) squareslideshow Petrol bomb attack on Greek police Hannibal Gaddafislideshow Gadhafi family on the run FILE – In this Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009 file photo, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gestures with a green cane as he takes his seat behind bulletproof glass for a military parade in Green Square, Tripoli, Libya. Libyan special forces stormed a two-day-old protest encampment in the country’s second largest city of Benghazi, clearing the area early Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, said witnesses, as a human rights group estimate scores of people have died in the harsh crackdown on days of demonstrations. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)slideshow Libyan dictator Gadhafi killed Libyans celebrate Moammar Gadhafi’s death in front of the Libyan Embassy in Amman, Jordan, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011. Moammar Gadhafi, who ruled Libya with a dictatorial grip for 42 years until he was ousted by his own people in an uprising that turned into a bloody civil war, was killed Thursday when revolutionary forces overwhelmed his hometown, Sirte, the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)slideshow Libyans celebrate Gadhafi’s death 1slideshow Captain Scott’s lost photographs Detective Rick Lee talks to a pedestrian in Zuccotti Park in New York, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011. Lee is gaining Internet fame for his un-stereotypical appearance. Online blog posts make tongue-in-cheek references to him as the “Hipster Cop.” His look includes cardigans, professorial-style glasses and side-swept hair. The plainclothes officer has been doing community affairs work at the protest. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)slideshow Occupy Wall Street’s hipster cop Explore Related Content 1 – 4 of 12 Iraq troop withdrawal bitter sweet for Spokane womanPlay Video Iraq troop withdrawal bitter sweet for … President Barack Obama concludes his remarks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, where he declared an end to the Iraq war, one of the longest and most … President Barack Obama concludes his … Panetta Hopeful of Iraqi Deal on US … Panetta hopeful of striking deal with Iraq to keep US troops there as trainers … Full Story »Panetta Hopeful of Iraqi Deal on US Troops ABC News (RSS) Obama: ‘Our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays’Play Video Obama: ‘Our troops in Iraq will definitely … Top Stories » TV: Saudi crown prince dies abroad after illness Iraq war over, US troops coming home, Obama says Gadhafi put on display in shopping center freezer Murdoch takes on shareholders at annual meeting Clinton visiting Tajikistan, Uzbekistan Thai PM says floods may last for 6 more weeks Cain tweaks 9-9-9 tax plan to allow exemptions Most Popular Some stores freezing out Ben & Jerry’s new flavor Obama announces total Iraq troop withdrawal For $1 billion, one dictator Steve Jobs predicted Obama would be a one-term president Gadhafi was looks-conscious until the end Qadhafi death blunts GOP’s critique Today on Yahoo! 1 – 4 of 41 Christina Aguilera’s alarming attire Christina Aguilera’s alarming attire Some stores shun new Ben & Jerry’s flavor Some stores shun new Ben & Jerry’s flavor Gadhafi’s last act of vanity revealed Gadhafi’s last act of vanity revealed Saudi crown prince dies after illness Saudi crown prince dies after illness All Comments Shared On Facebook My Comments Zubaida • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia • Show location? HelpComment Guidelines your avatar Please Enter a Comment Manage Updates Your updates will be shared through Yahoo! Updates based on your preferences. Start sharing your updates on Yahoo! to Twitter based on your preferences. Add Twitter Your update will be shared to Facebook based on your Facebook preferences. 465 comments Popular Now Newest Oldest Most Replied pynaetlb 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 pynaetlb 8 seconds ago Report Abuse Hurray!! Iran wins. You libs can be real proud of yourselves. You put an anti-American Muslim loving a$$hole in office and he’s made the deaths of thousands of American soldiers meaningless. When Iran takes over Iraq and starts giving the world a whole new set of big problems, it’s all on you and… More Reply frederick 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 frederick • Cape Girardeau, United States • 36 seconds ago Report Abuse Looks to me like we have dealt with plenty of terrorists recently… how about doing something about the domestic terrorists that are silently wrecking our country from within by renting our politicians? Reply Barney Fyfe 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 Barney Fyfe • Dallas, United States • 37 seconds ago Report Abuse Thank you, about time! Reply Reegan 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 Reegan • Waite Park, United States • 57 seconds ago Report Abuse I have a feeling we are gearing up for Yemen or Iran or Uganda or Syria…. It never really ends.. Reply Think 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 Think about a minute ago Report Abuse It’s all political deception. The withdrawn troops will be replaced by private U.S, security contractors which will cost us some major dollars. Obama’s administration is largely fascist, not socialist. A socialist supports government ownership of a service(in this case the military), a fascist… More Reply concerned citizen 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 concerned citizen about a minute ago Report Abuse this is simply a political stunt to win votes. Obozo is desperate so he would rather give Iraq to Iran than lose an election Reply Mary 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 Mary • Tampa, United States • about a minute ago Report Abuse The most important issue Americans don’t face now: The $75 trillion worth of derivatives that the Federal Reserve wants YOU to backstop. Go ahead, google “Bank of America $75 trillion derivatives Federal Reserve” and just read what comes up. Bloomberg, Huffington Post, but hasn’t hit mainstream… More Reply warningsign 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 warningsign • Cobleskill, United States • 2 minutes ago Report Abuse I wish this announcement was completely true. But the article states that 4000 to 5000 “contractors” will still be in Iraq to provide “security” to American diplomats. Huh??? 4000 to 5000??? Along with predator drones, mercentary contractors are one of the new ways our country conducts warfare… More Reply concerned citizen 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 concerned citizen 2 minutes ago Report Abuse yahoo, why do I need to post my location? Are you big brother? copy and past guys, screw giving up your location Reply bruce 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 bruce 2 minutes ago Report Abuse Sen. Lindsey Graham please take your fat arss over there and keep watch if it’s what you want maybe take a couple of you children with you. Reply OHIGAN 1Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 OHIGAN 2 minutes ago Report Abuse Awesome! Halliburton is giving us permission to withdraw from Iraq. I guess they need a few months to rest and resupply for when we invade Iran. BTW
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