White House: No 'Mission Accomplished' in Obama Speech on Iraq

WASHINGTON -- The White House says President Barack Obama was avoiding a certain two-word phrase in his speech about the end of the U.S. combat role in Iraq: "Mission accomplished"

Seven years ago, then-President George W. Bush stood on an aircraft carrier to declare an end to major combat operations in Iraq. A huge banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished" hung on the carrier's superstructure, clearly obvious to television viewers. The Bush White House came to regret that sign deeply as the war dragged on and U.S. deaths mounted.

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said Monday, "You won't hear those words coming from us." Instead, he said Obama would talk about what is involved in the U.S. troop drawdown and the changing mission in Iraq.

Obama did plan to call Bush before delivering his Oval Office address Tuesday, however, Gibbs said, although he wouldn't say what Obama's message to his predecessor would be. Obama also called Bush last year before delivering a speech laying out the Iraq withdrawal timeline.