Bush Drops By Iraq

George Bush decided to kick-start the September debate on Iraq by getting his own feet on the ground in Anbar. He’ll visit the troops, but more importantly meet directly with Nouri al-Maliki to determine how well the newly-announced political reform agreement is faring — and talk with a few tribal leaders as well (via Memeorandum):

Air Force One touched down under the blazing sun at Al Asad Air Base in Anbar province. The White House said the base was chosen because of the “remarkable turnaround” in the province.
Bush has hailed Anbar — a Sunni province west of Baghdad — as a success, citing the U.S. military’s alliance with tribal leaders in fighting al Qaeda in Iraq.
Marine commanders on the ground told Bush that “morale is high,” despite long troop rotations.

Bush stayed primarily in Baghdad the last two trips he took to Iraq, but today he will stay in Anbar. The President wants to highlight the success of General David Petraeus in the once-hopeless province, a particular point to make ahead of the debate coming up in Congress this month. The visit also puts Bush outside of what Ellen Tauscher this week referred to as the “Green Zone fog”.
Bush brought quite a few top members of the team along with him. Condoleezza Rice, Robert Gates, General Peter Pace, national security adviser Stephen Hadley, and “war czar” General Douglas Lute all traveled along with Bush on Air Force One. It’s a rather impressive roster, underscoring the confidence the White House has in making the trip.
How will this affect the debate on Iraq here in the US? It will show that more of Iraq has been secured in a rather dramatic fashion. A year ago, a presidential visit to Anbar would have been a ludicrous suggestion. His meetings with tribal leaders may have been even more ludicrous regardless of whether they occurred in Anbar or Baghdad. It cuts through the filters of conventional wisdom and media narratives to make a rather bold point about the progress since the start of the surge.
More importantly, how does this affect politics inside Iraq? By meeting with Maliki, Bush can assuage some hurt feelings over calls for Maliki’s ouster by Hillary Clinton and Carl Levin. However, his meetings with tribal leaders will demonstrate that the US will be willing to work with a broad range of political leadership, a move that should send a message to Maliki. It will be a recognition of tribal leaders who have chosen political engagement rather than terrorist support, which will strengthen the momentum towards political reform.
It’s a smart move in all directions. Bush has once again shown the relevance and the power of the presidency, and he chose the best possible time for this demonstration.

54 thoughts on “Bush Drops By Iraq”

  1. Given that the Anbar awakening started last September, and has nothing to do with the surge, are you admitting that the surge has failed?
    (Since civilian deaths are up in Iraq, and the only “success” Bush can point to has nothing to do with the surge, you’re presumably admitting that there is no progress from the surge.)
    And, of course, you’re also admitting that Iraq will never have a government, since the Anbar success consists of us arming the people who want to overthrow the central Iraq government.
    So the Anbar thing proves that a) We’ve failed in our goal of creating an actual Iraq government, and b) Iraqis hate Al Qaeda and we can leave without worrying that AQ will take over Iraq.
    Thank you for making the case for withdrawal.

  2. I don’t really think it’s negative spin. There’s a very positive lesson to learn from Anbar: Iraqis, even Sunnis, hate Al-Qaeda, and therefore there is no danger of AQ taking over the country when we leave. This disproves the statements of gloomy defeatists like Bush, who is always saying that AQ is only one U.S. withdrawal away from taking over Iraq.
    We can’t “win” in Iraq in the sense of creating a real government, but there’s no need to be negative: we can leave without worrying about AQ taking over, because we’ve seen that AQ has no support in Iraq.

  3. Tonne – we all know Ostriches are deaf with all that dirt in their ears.
    Good post for those not in denail though.
    “A” for effort.
    These koolaiders will insist it is Day when the sun is nowhere to be seen and that it is Night when in fact it is high Noon. They will spin spin spin that Pig Ear into the silk purse – they will be doing such silly things ten years from now – long after Iraq is lost they will still spin spin spin defeat into some silly delusional victory – just like they do with Vietnam.
    no matter they are a minority of maybe 10-percent – the hard core koolaiders. Irrelivant and delusional to the rest of us living in the real world.

  4. They will spin spin spin that Pig Ear into the silk purse – they will be doing such silly things ten years from now – long after Iraq is lost they will still spin spin spin defeat into some silly delusional victory – just like they do with Vietnam.
    More political static instead of insight.
    It’s still all about Bush and Florida 2000.

  5. its about your willingness to admit defeat.
    its about preparing for defeat
    its about a plan “b” – managing to contain that defeat.
    …………….
    you people are not even to step two in the 12 step program – so steeped in denail it would be hillarious if it was not so tragic.
    those of us in living in the real world know Iraq is lost and are trying to think of how to contain our defeat to Iraq proper and make the best of a fu%&ed up situation.
    while the koolaiders are awaiting word from dear leader as to what to think and say (as usual).

  6. Bush Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq

    The big news this labor day is Bush’s surprise visit to Iraq.
    President Bush and his national security team made a first-hand assessment of the war in Iraq and prospects for political reconciliation Monday as a showdown nears with Congress over t…

  7. Bush Visits Anbar

    And takes the whole national security/defense team with him. How’s that for a display of confidence in the troops and the Surge? President Bush greeted his war commanders with salutes Monday during a surprise visit to a U.S. air base…

  8. “It’s still all about Bush and Florida 2000.”
    I thought they had moved on to Bush and Ohio 2004?
    Ah well. Credit where it’s due. The loyal opposition can certainly claim its share of victories here and there with all the bad news out of Iraq over the last 4+ years. I guess their current frustration over anything even remotely positive is understandable when the ultimate prize –our unconditional surrender– seemed so close at hand just a few months ago.
    Although I am surprised they’re posting here this morning. I would have thought they’d all be out lining up at the nearest theatre waiting for DePalma’s latest movie to show.

  9. heck Otter, I’m surprised they aren’t arguing that Karl Rove left the White House to fine tune the mind control beams they’re using in Iraq to make people visiting spout good news when they leave.
    And as to Oh and 04, go to townhall and read some of the comments to a Ken Blackwell article. moonbats, “there’s election fraud unless we win.”

  10. *
    Yup, you’re so right Blank One… Bush is the real enemy. Let’s all get with a “real leader.”
    President Mahmoud “Madman” Ahmadinejad climbs back on board the “Crazy Train.”
    “I draw up tables. For hours, I write out different hypotheses. I reject, I reason. I reason with planning and I make a conclusion. They cannot make problems for Iran.”
    *

  11. “Ah well. Credit where it’s due. The loyal opposition can certainly claim its share of victories here and there”
    as I read this I thought you were talking about the Bush loyalists – always spouting off “sucess” here and their these last 5 yrs…then I read farther and WOW saw these words “bad news”………
    you must be another defeatocrat. no bushite would ever use such words. Iraq is all puppybogs, candy and balloons!!
    didn’t you get the memo?

  12. “Iraq is all puppybogs, candy and balloons”
    Well now who needs a memo when Michael Moore showed us in his movie.
    Say will Sean Penn and his little red cup will be rowing his good self into Darfur to save all the black people from Chimp the McHitler’s Katrina hurricane?

  13. Let’s face it folks. It is just a fact of life that there are some people in America who so badly desire to see their country defeated and humiliated that they will say and do anything. The only avenue “left” for the left (and I’m not sure I would limit it to the extreme left) is active collusion with the enemy — and my guess is this is no more than one election cycle away.
    It is beyond me why these people want this outcome but they do. Perhaps they still hear echos of their Cold War Soviet masters’ voices.

  14. Dear gaffo, et. al.,
    Thanks for the semi-coherent, grammatically garbled, factually incorrect, frothy-mouthed postings. They were truly breathtaking…..
    Shoot me your address and I’ll send you $5.00 for an ice cream and bus fare: you can go home now.

  15. “Iraq is all puppydogs, candy and balloons!!”
    I did miss that memo. I think supporters of our efforts there have always acknowledged the mission in Iraq as a tough, ugly slog. Not even so much for us as for the Iraqi people.
    What opponents of that effort seem unwilling to acknowledge is that it might, just might, turn out to be worth it. Not even so much for us as for the Iraqi people.
    I am not a member of the “my country right or wrong” club. But I don’t belong to the “blame America and cheer for her defeat” crowd either.

  16. “I think supporters of our efforts there have always acknowledged the mission in Iraq as a tough, ugly slog.”
    revisionism noted.
    the above is not true. ask Bush and Runsfield and Wolfowitz.
    it was to be a catwalk.
    blinders are still on i see.

  17. Gaffo, first of all it would probably help if you picked a different screen name. Because it comes across as “gaffe”…which I don’t think is the impression you are trying to create, that everything you write is a gaffe.
    Destroying the Iraqi military in the initial invasion WAS a cakewalk. That was the context in which the remark was made. It’s intellectually dishonest for you to cherry pick quotes to support your larger argument.
    You may have something meaningful to impart when you post here. And really I think most of us would be willing to give you a fair hearing. But for that to happen, you need to be more than our comic relief.

  18. —it was to be a catwalk.
    This is not a very lucid or comprehensible troll.
    Here Troll!! here are the similes you were aiming for.
    “It was to be a cakewalk.”
    cake·walk /ˈkeɪkˌwɔk/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[keyk-wawk] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun 1. (formerly) a promenade or march, of black American origin, in which the couples with the most intricate or eccentric steps received cakes as prizes.
    2. a dance with a strutting step based on this promenade.
    A “CATWALK” on the other hand is something hard to do
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk7yqlTMvp8
    (cat herding)
    UNLESS, you are referring to this Catwalk ….. In fashion jargon, “what’s on the catwalk” or similar phrasing can refer to whatever is new and popular in fashion. A catwalk is also known as a runway, especially when it is not elevated, and as such has been used in such instances as the title of the television series Project Runway.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catwalk
    Since you have such trouble with a very common English phrase, I can’t help wondering if you are a foreigner… perhaps from a Middle Eastern country?

  19. Plank Tonne,
    Here are some interesting notes on the surge:
    CS Monitor on civilian casualties.
    Spacewar.com on American casualties.
    Reuters on Civilian casualties in the whole of Iraq. Note that a significant number of deaths (approximately 19%) came from one incident involving religious warfare targeting the Yazidi community.
    Of course, there are still casualties even in the Green Zone — most memorable to date is Rep. Ellen Tauscher, who reported getting slimed by American troops whilst wandering about the place visiting her favorite journalists. I suspect there will be a federal lawsuit over that, because sliming of an incumbent lawmaker is prohibited by King George III’s Civility Proclaimation of 1775, isn’t it? Tauscher is lucky the soldiers didn’t use canes, because those apparently are still legal against lawmakers (their use results merely in censure, not in criminal prosecution).
    You indicate that it is something other than the “surge” which has helped Anbar calm its violence. Might it have been another, previous “surge” — such as Operation Phantom Fury? What do you think is the reason for the reduction in violence in Anbar and Baghdad?

  20. People, people (on both sides) – the word is “denIAl” — not “denail”. At least you’re not spelling it “denile” as in the river.
    I love the smell of moonbat froth in the morning.

  21. Bennett said:
    “Gaffo, first of all it would probably help if you picked a different screen name. Because it comes across as “gaffe”…which I don’t think is the impression you are trying to create, that everything you write is a gaffe.”
    Long ago I started calling him Gabbo, a much more fitting moniker. It comes from an old “Simpsons” episode, and wiki describes the Gabbo character thusly:
    “a Howdy Doody-type ventriloquist’s dummy with a voice like Jerry Lewis.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krusty_Gets_Kancelled

  22. Micah,
    You need to use gaffo’s 12-step program ASAP:

    1. Prepare yourself to admit defeat
    2. Prepare a plan to manage your defeat
    3. Admit your defeat
    4. Sign the treaty admitting your defeat
    5. Pay the victorious enemy for your defeat
    6. Prepare yourself to admit that the plan to manage your defeat has been defeated.
    7. Prepare a plan to manage the fact that the plan to manage your defeat has been defeated.
    8. Admit that the plan to manage your defeat has been defeated
    9. Sign the treaty admitting that the plan to manage your defeat has been defeated

    Gaffo, you gotta help me out here — I don’t know the remaining steps! I remember something about bending over like an osterich to break out of the recursion, but then everything goes blank!

  23. We will see what we will see.
    But claiming that Anbar is separate from the surge is wrong. The tactics of the surge – putting combat soldiers at outposts in the field instead of having them go out on missions then return to huge American bases, embedding US soldiers in Iraqi units, using local tribes and turned insurgents to create the “neighborhood watch groups” were all started in al-Anbar province with the Awakening.
    It’s interesting how positions have flipped: for four years it was people like Gaffo who pointed to the numbers and said Iraq wasn’t working while supporters of the war could only talk generally about “elections were held” and “the Iraqi Army is getting better (without proof)” and such. Now it is Gaffo who must rely on shouting as loudly and as frequently as possible rather than pointing to facts.

  24. Captain,
    This comment thread once again makes an excellent case for eliminating the comments section from captainquartersblog. Please consider eliminating this feature, whose silly tit-for-tat detracts from an otherwise fine web site.

  25. “This comment thread once again makes an excellent case for eliminating the comments section from captainquartersblog. Please consider eliminating this feature, whose silly tit-for-tat detracts from an otherwise fine web site.”
    Is there some requirement here that visitors actually have to read the comments? I missed that.
    Although funny that someone makes a comment to encourage eliminating comments. At least I thought it was funny.
    But then I think everyone’s comments are the best part. Allowing all of us to weigh in is egalitarian, very American. And fun…so yeah, maybe he should eliminate that. Fun is bad, bad, bad.

  26. Click:This comment thread once again makes an excellent case for eliminating the comments section from captainquartersblog. Please consider eliminating this feature, whose silly tit-for-tat detracts from an otherwise fine web site.
    I respectuflly disagree. The discussion here does veer off the road maybe more frequently than we’d like but then there are times when the commenting here (not mine) is brilliant and definitely worth reading.
    I’ll take a guess — I think the Cap’n omitted the old “Recent Comments” summary from the new website to see if that would encourage more thoughtful commentary and discourage personality-based posting. I can’t see much of a difference although I’ve noticed that I tend to browse fewer comment sections now when the topic isn’t of particular interest and the identity of the commenters is a mystery. So maybe removing RC was for the better but I still miss that feature.

  27. “I’ll take a guess — I think the Cap’n omitted the old “Recent Comments” summary from the new website to see if that would encourage more thoughtful commentary and discourage personality-based posting. I can’t see much of a difference although I’ve noticed that I tend to browse fewer comment sections now when the topic isn’t of particular interest and the identity of the commenters is a mystery.”
    I never even knew there was that feature. I feel as if I missed a meeting. Are there rules here beyond what is posted under the Privacy policy?
    There are literally millions of blogs but obviously a lot less than that which get read regularly. Some allow comments (or have set up a separate forum for that like Powerline). Others don’t. They all have their place don’t they?
    With respect, I find many of the comments at least as interesting as what Captain Ed writes himself. There are some commenters who I skip over when I see their name and like Cannoli I don’t read everything here (although I find Cannoli’s comments often incisive and definitely brilliant).
    Since this is about Bush in Iraq. I’ll stop here. But on that subject, I just exchanged emails with a Sgt Major in Anbar who missed out on the Bush meeting (he wasn’t invited but ummm…didn’t really seem to mind, mentioning something about that sort of thing being “pretty chaotic”). He reports that things are very busy but all is well.

  28. Great comment thread. Planky and Gaffy, good job!
    (reaches out and indulgently pats them on the head)
    Many of your fellow (whackjobs) fellow travelers are buying 01/20/09 religious totems. Good idea; we should borrow it.
    Ours might read “8/01/09 – Has Reality Set In Yet?”

  29. “Progressives” are panicking. Reading these hilarious (and semiliterate) comments, you can actually smell the desperation. The victory in Anbar proves that we’ve lost? Orwell would shake his head in admiration at that double-plus good Newspeak.
    In reality Congress will vote to continue the current strategy until total victory is achieved, and we will maintain a permanent presence in Iraq, at the request of the Iraqis.
    Neither Bush nor the U.S. will suffer the humiliating defeat that “progressives” have prayed for.
    Al Qaeda will be discredited, and unless Iran butts out of Iraq and shuts down its nuke program, it will have its entire military capabilities destroyed in the most ferocious bombing campaign in history.
    Why else have we modified the B-2 stealth bomber to carry 80 JDAMs or two Massive Ordnance Penetators?
    Once again Islamists and Democrats will have all their little dreams shattered.

  30. Tom W. said:
    “Once again Islamists and Democrats will have all their little dreams shattered.”
    Hopefully you’re correct on Door Number 1.
    As for Door Number 2, 2008 is the Super Bowl of elections for the Democrat Party. It’s their last gasp with their core of people who came of age in the 1960s. And since they control the mainstream media, they’ll desperately pull out any and all stops to ensure that their predetermined candidate wins. They’ll never report anything negative about said candidate.
    Since the mainstream media came oh so close to getting their puppets elected President in 2000 and 2004, be very afraid of what happens in 2008. Given their downfall in ratings and circulation, they have nothing to lose.
    A wounded and cornered animal is the most dangerous.

  31. Bennett sayeth:
    “Destroying the Iraqi military in the initial invasion WAS a cakewalk.”
    relivance?
    none.
    did i say otherwise?
    nope.
    Bennet sayeth more:
    “That was the context in which the remark was made.”
    what remark oh wise one?
    “a few dead enders” –nope that one was months after “mission accomplished”.
    “freedom is messy” – nope that too was months later.
    which quote you referenth Bennett (note: you and REVISE HISTORY ALL YOU WANT – but I will not let you play that game without calling you on it!).
    Bennett sayeth more crappola:
    “It’s intellectually dishonest for you to cherry pick quotes to support your larger argument.”
    1. what quote did I charry pick: place HERE:
    2. how am I dishonest when I didn’t quote anyone?
    ……………..
    Bennett – a fw words of advise:
    1. YOU need to look inward and rise to the occasion – you were took. Now admit it. First to yourself and then to me and others.
    2. Bush administration DID THINK CAKEWALK. All you hve to do is look at recent history (doing so objectively will destroy your willfull binders and expose you as falling for the spin and so may not be within your ability)
    a. Why disband the Iraqi Army? I mean after the third week we had all of Iraq – yes? And Bush and Rummy etc..were SO WISE they knew that the occupation/rebuilding would be so much harder and was just begining…………………..so why remove the Iraqi Army?
    b. Why remove Bathists? I mean they were the most educated and qualified to govern. And Bush and Rummy etc..were SO WISE they knew that the occupation/rebuilding would be so much harder and was just begining…………………..so why remove all Bathists?
    c. Why let Iraqis loot and destroy for a week – I mean Bush and Rummy etc..were SO WISE they knew that the occupation/rebuilding would be so much harder and was just begining…………………..so why let Iraqis run rampent?
    …………….
    here are TWO clues:
    1. Bush/co are ideologs – they though the “free market will provide” and Iraq will fix itself.
    2. Relates to point above. They were ARROGANT, and assumed that the US culture was the ONLY culture and it the free market works here it will automatically work there.
    ……..
    in summation – they were wrong, arrogant and incompetent.
    …………..
    in conclusion – step up to the plate – admit you were took and stop re-writing history, in a word stop being the Whitehouse shill Bennett.

  32. chichita sayeth:
    “As for Door Number 2, 2008 is the Super Bowl of elections for the Democrat Party. It’s their last gasp”
    well.close.but four yrs too late.
    2004 was their last gasp. and they did well.
    Dems were a dying party since 2000 – maybe even 1992 (since Perot helped get Klintoon elected).
    All thanks to Iraqnam. Iraqnam single handedly saved the dem party from extinction. and ironically may in fact lead the Repugs to its own extinction.
    such irony – that the Party in Power gives a hand to the opposition and at the same time shoots itself in the foot. But that is what blind arrogance is all about.
    Look at history. full of arrgant men who had Gawd complexes and bit off more that they could chew. Bush should have stopped at Afghanistan, and his Party should have opposed Iraqnam.
    but they did not and now will pay the piper.
    all payment goes to help the dems and puts them in as the majority for 30 yrs.
    thanks fellas.

  33. Gabbo forget to mention BushMcChimpHitler.
    Gasso is furiously spinning his/her own history of Iraq how can he/she possibly be accusing others of the same?

  34. Sorry, Gabbo…
    Unless you can credibly convince me and the fine readers of this blog otherwise, you’re a few bricks shy of a load.
    Some questions for you:
    1. Are you a member of the military or a military family member? And are you even an American citizen?
    2. Were you alive during the Vietnam War?
    Unless you can answer yes to 1 and 2, you’re irrelevant.
    Now, we get to the next page. You’re calling the current conflict “Iraqnam”, which is I am sure a quaint term invented by your college professors. Unfortunately for them and yourself, comparing Iraq with Vietnam is like comparing North Korea with North Conway New Hampshire.
    1. Vietnam was escalated out of control by a Democrat Administration, and over 50,000 Americans died. A Democrat Congress many years later pulled the plug on said war, and a massacre followed.
    2. The Democrats who escalated the Vietnam war used a military pool of DRAFTEES. All of the military people in the service today are VOLUNTEERS.
    3. The Germans never attacked the US at Pearl Harbor. We attacked them anyway. The Left’s greatest fear is that someday a smoking gun will be found definitively linking Iraq to the 9/11 attacks. If that ever happens, alert your local emergency rooms.
    Some might dismiss these comments as idle raves, but the fact that the left still regularly bring up the 9/11-Iraq subject 6 years after the deed shows that they’re still afraid such a connection will show up.
    One more question, Gabby: How is it possible that over the past 10 or so years, al Qaeda was able to operate in every country in the Middle East EXCEPT Iraq? Pass the bong.

  35. Bush Sneaks Into Iraq — Again

    Call me a cynic, but you’d think that he’d be able to do these things openly if there was any sort of stability over there. I’m all for victory in Iraq, and I’m definitely not part of the “cut and run” crowd.
    It’s just that George’s handling of th…

  36. And Gaffi, Gaffo, Gaffe…whatever.
    Can you do something about your spelling. Your comedic timing is being throw off by our need to understand what you were trying to say.
    So you are getting chuckles instead of the belly laughts that you were aiming for.
    What do you mean that he is serious?
    Oh, boy. Someone is off his medications big time.
    🙂
    El Coqui

  37. Fred Thompson Off to a Good Start

    Captain Ed over at Captain’s Quarters gives his assessment of Fred Thompson’s decision to rollout his campaign using Jay Leno as opposed to going to the Fox News New Hampshire soundbitefest. Captain Ed feels it gave Fred a chance to give far more substant

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