Barack Obama announces that everyone is coming home except for several dozen thousands of soldiers.
President Barack Obama: Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.
Jon Stewart: War — is — over . . . . (swaying to the song “Happy Xmas [War Is Over]”). Hey you, get outta here! Mess O’Potamia, go away! War is over!
Obama: We will retain a transitional force to carry out three distinct functions. . . .
Stewart narrows his eyes.
Obama: . . .this force will likely be made up of 35-50,000 U.S. troops.
Stewart: That’s right. Apparently, everybody is coming home, except for several dozen thousands of soldiers. But combat will be over, right?
Obama: Our mission will change from combat to supporting the Iraqi government and its Security Forces . . . training, equipping, and advising Iraqi Security Forces . . . conducting targeted counter-terrorism missions.
Stewart: Wow, that sounds amazing. That’s a really big change from the old mission.
George W. Bush: As this transition in our mission takes place, our troops will focus on a more limited set of tasks, including counterterrorism operations and training, equipping, and supporting Iraqi forces.
Stewart: Sounds so similar. Must be difference between these men. Computer?
Computer: Yes, Jonathan.
Stewart: Render side-by-side scan for contrasts.
“Our mission . . . counter-terrorism . . . training, equipping, and advising Iraqi security forces”
“Our mission . . . counter-terrorism . . . training, equipping, and supporting Iraqi forces . . .”
Computer: Scan complete.
Stewart: Thank you. Thank you, Computer.
Computer: You’re welcome, Jonathan. I love you.
Stewart: I love you, too. So, it sounds like the only difference between our combat troops that are there now and the combat troops that will be there a year from now is that we’re calling them something else. But that can’t be right.
Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense: The units that will be left there will be characterized differently. They won’t be called combat brigades. They will be called advisory and assistance brigades.
Stewart: You’re not supposed to tell us that!
Stewart: “Advisory and assistance brigades.” Phew, for a second I thought they’d be still in danger. They’ll just be an Iraq geek squad now. Just tell me straight, without any funny business. When are we gonna be out of Iraq?
Obama: I intend to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.
Stewart: You’re positive about that — you’re not gonna leave the cleanup and disinfecting brigade? 30,000 soldiers of the cable installation squad? Maybe reclassify the troops as trees so they never have to go? How can we be sure?
Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff: We’re required by the SOFA agreement to be out of Iraq at the end of 2011.
Stewart: All right, the SOFA agreement. That’s the agreement that states that the occupying forces can only crash on Iraq’s sofa for so long before they have to start paying rent, and since we are sh*t out of money, that’s when we’re leaving.
This segment of the Daily Show was broadcast on 3 March 2009. The text above is a partial transcript of the segment.