Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Baghdad Bush

On the heels of Tony Blair's visit last week and over three years after his 'victory' lap on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, George Bush made a second surprise visit to Iraq today. The 'scene of the crime' so to speak. His first visit was during Thanksgiving in 2003. The unannounced five hour visit entailed a meeting with new Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, in the fortified 'Green Zone' and a meeting with some U.S. troops.

"Good to see you," exclaimed al-Maliki as they met. "Thanks for having me," Bush responded (AP). An interesting response by Bush, since Maliki only knew about the visit five minutes before Bush's arrival, so there couldn't have possibly been a formal invite, not to mention permission for him to visit given by Maliki. The fact that Bush's visit needed to be a surprise, only five hours long and that he was helicoptered into the 'Green Zone' from the airport wearing a 25 pound flak jacket all for security reasons, says pretty much all you need to know about the situation there. Additionally, the fact that Maliki wasn't told about the visit days or even hours in advance says a lot about the level trust that there really is between the White House and Iraq's leaders.

Obviously, 'Bush's brain' is hoping to get some bounce in the poll numbers from the visit which comes 6 days after the death of Musab al-Zarqawi. Another reason, that will go under the radar, is that they need to make it clear to Iran that Maliki is still our guy, despite his recent half-hearted remarks that Iraq would not support any kind of military action against Iran from their soil.

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