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Vice President Biden In Iraq For End Of Combat Ceremony

Vice President Joe Biden

According to the White House, Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in Iraq to participate in a Change of Command and Change of Mission Ceremony, fulfilling the commitment made by the President in his first month in office. A White House press release says this is the Vice President’s sixth trip to Iraq since January 2009. The United States ends its combat mission in Iraq on August 31st, having drawn down to fewer than 50,000 troops from approximately 144,000 troops in January 2009. The remaining troops will advise and assist Iraq’s security forces, conduct partnered counter-terrorism operations, and protect U.S. civilians. In accordance with an agreement between the U.S. and Iraqi governments, all U.S. forces will leave Iraq by December 31, 2011. Continue Reading →

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Obama:Muslims’ Right To Build A Manhattan Mosque

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While celebrating Ramadan with Muslims at the White House, President Obama says that while we need to be sensitive about the events of 9/11, there is no reason the government should stop Muslims from building a Mosque in lower Manhattan on private property.  Doing so would violate the First Amendment. “Now, that’s not to say that religion is without controversy. Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities -– particularly New York.  Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of Lower Manhattan.  The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country.  And the pain and the experience of suffering by those who lost loved ones is just unimaginable.  So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders.  And Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground. “But let me be clear.  As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country.  (Applause.)  And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.  This is America.  And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable.  The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are.  The writ of the Founders must endure.” Full text of President Obama’s comments when you continue reading. Continue Reading →

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Obama Backs Saints, Gulf Coast

Click to Play President Obama honors the New Orleans Saints for their Super Bowl victory and speaks of the role the team has played in helping New Orleans recover from the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. The President also speaks of the work to cap the BP oil spill and of the Administrations commitment to help the area and its fisheries recover. Continue Reading →

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