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September 1st, 2010
05:55 AM ET

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Biden to mark transfer of U.S. command in Iraq

(CNN) - After more than seven years of American military operations in Iraq, Vice President Joe Biden will help mark the transfer of U.S. military command in Iraq on Wednesday.

The historic ceremony is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. (8 a.m. ET).

While the U.S. combat mission is ending, roughly 50,000 American troops will remain in the country until the end of 2011. Their mission will be to train, assist and advise the Iraqis.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is also in Iraq to help mark the transfer.

The U.S. combat mission in Iraq officially ended at 5 p.m. ET Tuesday. The drawdown and end to the U.S. combat phase is a new page in what has been a controversial seven-year conflict. Weapons of mass destruction, a major justification by the Bush administration for going to war, were never found. Saddam Hussein was toppled along with his massive Baghdad statue, but sectarian violence soon erupted.

On Tuesday night, President Obama addressed Americans about the transition in a televised speech. Read more
Another evacuation ordered as Hurricane Earl approaches U.S.

(CNN) - As Hurricane Earl continues to spin toward the East Coast, authorities in North Carolina are ordering more people to get out of the way.

But at least one bartender there insists on weathering out the storm on a sliver of land reachable only by ferry.

"A lot of times when [residents] evacuate, it's hard to get back on the island," said Brandon Benecki, who tends bar at Howard's Pub in Ocracoke Island. "It's simpler to just stay here and kind of ride it out."

Emergency management coordinators ordered the mandatory evacuation of Ocracoke late Tuesday.

The order, which was issued for all visitors and residents of the island, goes into effect at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, said Lindsey Mooney, interim emergency management coordinator with Hyde County Emergency Management. He added thousands of people would likely be affected by the decision.

As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, Earl was located about 130 miles (210 km) northeast of Grand Turk Island and about 910 miles (1,460 km) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.

The cyclone packed winds of 135 mph (215 kph) and was headed northwest at about 15 mph (24 kph). Read more

Sound off: We want to hear from you this morning. Add your comments to the LIVE Blog below and we'll read some of them on the show.


Filed under: American Morning • LIVE Blog
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. KIm

    Dust your pants off Gov. Jan Brewer and get back on the horse to secure the border and reinforce Federal Law ! Hold Obama's administration accountable for doing so. What a sick and nasty political distraction and they call it the silly season ? To bad Jan Brewer didn't remember to remind news reportors and her democratic running mate that Brian Thomas with Associated Press covered the mulilated bodies hung by their feet as 12 decapitated bodies found in Mexico. By the way,what's the name of the democrat she's running against and why question such violence we all recoginize needs Federal Law reinforcement and support. Hang in there if you're riding out Hurricane Earl ! Shag on out of here Earl ! Ticked me off the national media is chewing Brewer up like a bunch of old buzzards. Looks like that old movie ,"The Birds ." Political bird poop and secure the border ! Send more troops !

    September 3, 2010 at 7:45 am |
  2. mike sey

    I'd rather listen to Arwa Damon about the legacy of the Iraq war than to Tony Blair and the other so-called experts who continue to wring their hands and whip up hysteria over Iran. And don't repeat that nonsense about existential threats and WMDs which is just a repeat of the Iraq war cycle all over again and an excuse for more crocodile tears.

    September 1, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  3. Fred Robinson

    Any war that is started for political gain only is paramount to war crimes against humanity. The prior administration should be presented to a judge, and subsequently charged with this crime. No doubt a guilty plea would be the result.

    The brave soldiers who fought this war deserve justice. A justice that will be far better than this useless war that cost so many lives.

    Regards,
    Fred Robinson

    September 1970

    September 1, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  4. RICHARD D. DUFFY

    AGAIN, we send America's youth to fight a war controlled by non military bureaucrats who control there every move through RULES OF ENGAGMENT.
    If you send in the military for any reason, let their experience and training take the fight to the enemy and destroy them in the shortest possible time. When the political hacks get involved, we lose our hero's on the battlefield. These ignorant politicians come up with an award called the RESTRAINT RIBBON (for holding fire).
    History shows that we defeated much larger forces in Germany and Japan by totally destroying entire cities. Today our soldiers fight people without uniforms. How can you tell who is the real enemy? Our soldiers die trying to discern who is who.
    Why do let Iran survive at all?? They have been providing IED's and training to the enemy as well as supplying replacements. When they are allowed to develop nuclear bombs-we will all pay for the stupidity of our government decision makers. We should have long ago followed a basic tenant of war called PREEMPTION and attacked Iran - its not too late! Is this a MUSLIM issue?

    September 1, 2010 at 9:49 am |
  5. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    @MeLoN, me? "biased mouthpiece toeing the party line?" I follow NO one, you ought to know that. You, at times seem to be toeing YOUR party's line. I am not against the Republican Party or the Democrat Party. I am HIGHLY against this new 'true conservative' GOP-Tea Party because they have NOTHING to offer America but despair. Attempting to blame? No, I AM blaiming where blaim is due.

    September 1, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  6. art

    MeLoN says- "However corrupt the GOP is – the Democrats are just as corrupt. The sooner Americans realize that point the sooner Americans can repair the country."

    Are you implying that after November we can take comfort after a hard day's work repairing the country by placing moistened tea bags on our eyes before we go beddy-bye? That should go over real well down at the Union Hall.

    Union Brother: Hey, Art...this new two-tiered wage system they put in place to repair the country sure is keeping us gainfully employed, and, I swear, these tea bags over the eyes at night make me look ten years younger.

    Art: "Maybe it's not the tea bags at all. Maybe it's coz your head's been up your butt since Reagan? How could you vote for the two-tiered wage scale in the first place, Jablonsky?!!

    September 1, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  7. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    @Michael Armstrong Sr, in order to fix a severely damaged America, we have to get at the core of the problem. I am an Independent (no party) voter. However, having said that, I am not about to vote out an incumbent simply to vote him out. In my opinion, their are many trying to get in congress who are more corrupted than those currently holding the seats. Vote out Obama to put someone like Palin in? I don't think so. I have 'issues' with some of the Democrats as well. However, at this point in time, I have many much larger 'issues' with the GOP-Tea Party candidates because they are not what they claim to be on a much larger scale.

    September 1, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  8. MeLoN

    People should stop attempting to paint the "Democrats" as some kind of "victims" of the GOP. The only true victims is the American public.

    September 1, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  9. MeLoN

    @Tom.. you'd be better served when you stop attempting to lay the blame solely at the feet of the GOP and until you do that you appear to be just another biased mouthpiece toeing the party line.

    September 1, 2010 at 9:27 am |
  10. MeLoN

    And .. the sooner Americans stop taking "sides" and face reality the better off the country will be.

    September 1, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  11. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    @MeLoN, certain Democrats historically have also fallen into David Koch and Charles Koch and Fred Koch's trap. Everyone in Congress is corruptable and the sad part about it, is that they usually do not know that they are being corrupted until it's too late! Meanwhile, go read everything you can get your eyes upon concerning the Koch family and Murdock. Bios...everything! It's quite an eye opener.

    September 1, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  12. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    @ MeLon I agree both counts .

    September 1, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  13. MeLoN

    However corrupt the GOP is – the Democrats are just as corrupt. The sooner Americans realize that point the sooner Americans can repair the country.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  14. MeLoN

    All the US did with the Iraqi operation is destabilize the whole region. Iraq under Saddam was the most progressive country in the region.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  15. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Iran will invade Iraq and take it over .

    September 1, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  16. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    Okay, MeLeN, I'll do that. Now let's talk about REAL corruption. I think that every one who calls themselves grassroots Tea Party, true conservatives, capitalists, patriots, etc. should do a little (maybe a lot) of on line researching of the following individuals: David Koch, Charles Koch and Rupert Murdock...all billionaires who are self-serving, power brokers now in control of the GOP. Take a real hard look at their histories and their companies that they own. Look at the organizations that they started and founded. Note also that they are profiting profoundly during this horrible economic downturn. Look also on 'how' they made their fortunes. Note also that they and their constituents are master manipulators of large groups of peoples. Lots of material to digest. I think in the end, all those who have done this research will see that much of what is wrong with America today can be connected to David Koch, Charles Koch and Rupert Murdock. They have corrupted much of our society. History will show this to be true.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  17. MeLoN

    The US doesn't really want to get Bin Laden. The day they do – is the day they make him a martyr. When that happens the US will have a bigger problem.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  18. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    None of this makes a difference Iran will gain control after were gone .

    September 1, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  19. MeLoN

    Today is not only the "end of the combat mission" for the US but is also the first day for the Iraqi civil war to begin in ernest.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  20. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    We went to Afganistan to get Ben Lauden and were not doing that instead were over there baby sitting the people who attacked us lets get the hell out and just drop bombs .

    September 1, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  21. MeLoN

    Do not confuse Afghanistan with Iraq. The US has every reason to destroy Afghanistan and should have nuked it years ago. Two entirely different situations.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  22. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Our troops would not be leaving if it wernt for George Bushes surge plan .

    September 1, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  23. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Iraq isnt paying for squat and there being forced to fight for themselves we need to get the heck out of Afganistan also thats a lost cause where we pay there government to stay there .

    September 1, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  24. MeLoN

    All the Americans have accomplished in Iraq is switching one corrupt Iraqi leader for another corrupt Iraqi leader.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  25. MeLoN

    Biden is a fool to say "the change of course wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the US Military". The change of course wouldn't be necessary if the US Military hadn't invaded and destroyed Iraq for nothing than personal revenge for Bush.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  26. David C

    I think there was even more going on in Iraq than oil. Saudi/American enterprises like the Carlyle Group certainly made a bundle off of the immediate decline in supply of oil but there are so many other "coincidental" benefits to this U.S. led invasion.
    We have obviously concluded that there were no WMDs, but Iraq-Palestinian relations were clear. Saddam was a buffer for Gaza and other Palestianian interests. It is without a doubt, Isralei combat operations (along with US "aid") increased dramatically in the years following Saddam's removal.
    This can only be a long term strategic move to secure a greater position in the Middle East since India has proven that they won't do our dirty work for us.

    In some agreeance to previous comments: The only parts worse than the immediate deaths of those on both sides (including civilians) from simply following orders are the unimaginable consequences of displaying to the world our unwavering belief in that we are irreproachable. Providing a sound byte for the "unfortunate collateral damage of innocents" is as irresponsible as it is pointless.

    Political glib will never replace loved ones. Our own fear and hatred led us to the War on Terror as a self fulfilling prophecy. Those who refuse to understand that there are many who are being told right now around the world that WE are the scary backwards folk, hellbent on destroying THEIR country will never understand how the easily the whims of the influential can manipulate public opinion.

    Or maybe I'm just reading too much into it and the scary man with the beard just "hates freedom".

    September 1, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  27. Linda in Boulder

    Is Iraq paying for their war now? Is Iraqi oil paying for the 50K troops remaining? Who is in charge, if there is no government in place?

    September 1, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  28. MeLoN

    According to Biden .. what is happening today in Iraq – isn't anything Barry Obama has done but is in accordance with an agreement that Bush made years ago with the Iraqis.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  29. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    I always thought that when we went over there that we was going to kick there butts and destroy there infrastructure and leave not stay and rebuild the whole damd country .

    September 1, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  30. MeLoN

    Does the nickname "Credit Card Joe" mean anything to you? How much damage has the Credit Card Companies inflicted on Americans? Research how Biden received that nickname.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  31. xavier

    I am proud of our president Barrack Obama! I believe we lost our american soldiers in iraq for nothing, we are not any safer here nor are they any safer in iraq. We as americans should even bring our 50,000 troops still over there back home to protect and serve our homeland instead of still being in everyday constant danger, it really makes no sense to me. We have have wasted time and money on something that could have changed our epidemics here at home such as homelessness and so on...we here in america have our own problems that need straightened out. I am the son of a soldier served in Germany 1985

    September 1, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  32. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    @MeLoN, Biden is most corrupt in DC? What has led you to that conclusion?

    September 1, 2010 at 8:13 am |
  33. SARA LISPCOME

    GOOD MORNING,

    I WATCH YOUR SHOW DAILY YOUR SHOW MAKE SENSE. I WATCH DAVID GERGEN THIS MORNING AND HE SAID THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS NOT CLEAR IN WHAT HE WAS SAYING. I AM SORRY MR. GERGEN HAS REALLY CHANGE HE IS GETTING MORE AND DIFFICUT TO LISTEN TO. TIMES HAS CHANGE AND MR. PRESIDENT SAID THE WAR HAS END THE WAR HAS END. WHAT HE WANT TO HEAR I DONT UNDERSRAND HIM. I USTER ENJOY HIS COMMENTS BUT LAST NIGHT ANOTHER PERSON THAT KNOW IRAQ SHOWED GERGEN HOW TO CONDUCT HIMSELF. HE HAS GOT SO CRITICAL I DONT WANT TO HEAR HIS COMMENTS. IF HE WANTS TO CHERRISH THE WAR GO ON AND DO SO. NOT ON AMERICAN PEOPLE DIME. ANOTHER THING LAST NITE THE PRESIDENT WAS THERE TO END THE WAR NOT TO PLEASE GERGEN. ANOTHER THING WHAT IS IT THIS PRESIDENT CANT DO ANYTHING TO PLEASE THEM HE HAS TO RUN THIS COUNTRY AND THEY RUN THEIR MOUTH. MR. GERGEN COMMENTS IS TOTAL UPSETTING MAYBE HE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND. HE COULD,T WIN THE ARGUMENT LAST NITE SO HE TRIED TODAY. I WISH PEOPLE LIKE GERGEN WOULD SPEAK THE TRUTH NOT DANCING AROUND A LIE. ANOTHER THING I REMEMBER HE SAID THAT MR. OBAMA WOULD WIN BUT HE DID. PLEASE LET HIM KNOW THAT WE ARE WATCHING AND WE WILL NOT STAND BY AND LET HIM SAY ANYTHING HE WANTS. ANOTHER WHY HE DOES NOT TALK ABOUT THE ACCOMPLISHNMENT THAT HAS BEEN DONE I BELEIVE HE WANTS THIS COUNTRY TO FAIL. JOIN THE GOP.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:13 am |
  34. Rob

    I'm surprised everyone has forgotten that this is not just "7 years in the making". A few of us went the first time in 91-92 and a few of my fellow soldiers are still suffering because of it.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  35. MeLoN

    We don't need to hear from the most corrupt person in Washington (Biden). Please spare your viewing public that traumatic experience please.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:08 am |
  36. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    This is over unless we have to send 50.000 more troops back next month .

    September 1, 2010 at 8:06 am |
  37. MeLoN

    What the US needs is more old school Americans that work for what they get and less Socialists with their hand out wanting to get something for free on the backs of others.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:03 am |
  38. John M. Kipp

    I cut meat for 12 yrs. right along side women It's the heart not the gender!

    September 1, 2010 at 7:31 am |
  39. Bill

    I, personally, find David Bergen's comments last night quite "perplexing." Is he in his mid-term political mode?

    September 1, 2010 at 7:11 am |
  40. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    Observing the nation ever since the President got elected, it seems to me that we have a big problem keeping focused on issues and specific topics within issues. In my world economics is 'mathematical' and has nothing to do with moral values that nobody can agree upon. I know that moral values come into play, but when talking about the economy, they must be ignored temporarily when building up a model to test it's viability. Wouldn't you agree?

    September 1, 2010 at 6:50 am |
  41. Randall of Texas

    What we need from the TEA PARTY is "skilled liars" and it doesn't matter how ignorant or rascist they are... if they can lie and are as ignorant as Ron Paul and his son then they will be putty in the hands of guys like Karl Rove and Rupert Murdoch's cowards at FOX news...

    September 1, 2010 at 6:48 am |
  42. Steph

    Interesting that Tea Party winners are now considered Republicans, which will mean they must vote when elected the Republican Party agenda. So it will be the same as the last 12 years....It would have been nice to see true independents.

    September 1, 2010 at 6:47 am |
  43. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Obama for the first time does something that the majority of the people agrees on and then is robbed of the credit America is stuck on blaming George Bush so now there blaming him for the troops coming home that is all but Obama .

    September 1, 2010 at 6:39 am |
  44. Randall of Texas

    OIL...OIL....OIL...OIL...OIL...OIL...oil...oil...oil...DEAD soldiers and Arab civilian, (men,women and children by the tens of thousands and you try to make the soldiers hero's! They are no more hero's than the soldiers of Nam...

    Remember the inspectors were in the process of proving weapons of mass destruction didn't exist and BUSH ran them out...So see the soldiers need to do some strategic killing left to do such as BUSH, CHENEY AND ROVE, etc...but no one finishes a war up in America where the guilty reside...

    September 1, 2010 at 6:36 am |
  45. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    Good Morning Ali Velshi and Kiran Chetry. Glad to see Ali filling in this morning for John Roberts only because Ali likes to talk about the economy. The economy is most important, in my opinion, because if there is a healthy economy then all else becomes much easier to deal with. Quite frankly, I am sick and tired of these 'wedge issues' that have been mucking up the works. I hope to stimulate a healthy discusion that will lead to positive solutions.

    September 1, 2010 at 6:33 am |
  46. Randall of Texas

    The rich and those that believe America must kill to get the things it needs to keep the American woman spending and wasting sent kids to die for them in Iraq. They killed in oil's name, it was of the oil, by the oil and for the oil...so see Ali you and yoUr kids can continue wasting fuel taking those useless trips you take and always brag about..the rich go go go and the poor get caught up in figting the wars they bring...you guys in your tax brackets are wasting fuel you shouldn't be...OIL! OIL! OIL!............................................GET THE FRATERNITY KIDS TO GO KILL AND DIE....

    September 1, 2010 at 6:28 am |
  47. MeLoN

    GOOD MORNING CNN!

    Well Barry Obama announced the end of the "combat mission" in Iraq. About time but Iraq is sliding towards a more open civil war and it is up to the Iraqis to deal with it.

    If people haven't learned from Katrina to get out of the way of hurricanes – they deserve to get what happens to them if they choose to stay in it's way.

    The US needs to stop blindly the terrorist state of Israel and start dealing with all sides in that conflict fairly and evenly.

    September 1, 2010 at 6:14 am |
  48. Bob in Florida

    Iraq. The absolute only people that should get honorable credit for anything to do with Iraq, are the people this Country sent there to fight and die, and their families. Everybody else should get dishonorable credit for having asked them to do it.

    September 1, 2010 at 6:13 am |