Bush makes a surprise PR stop in Iraq on his way to Australia, landing in Anbar to highlight the supposed success in the region.
Bush plans to eat dinner with U.S. troops and to meet with top military commanders, the U.S. ambassador, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and provincial tribal leaders.
Think he brought that rubber turkey with him this time? The wingers are reporting this as a straight story and I saw one urge the president to take a little stroll through Ramadi himself to prove how much better the security situation is, (sorry I lost the link). Right. In their dreams would our feckless leader leave the safety of his bunker. He can't even face Americans. You think he's going to take a chance on confronting an insurgent?
I think James and Dr. Taylor are on the right track here though. Bush isn't fooling anybody with this little imperial visit. It's unlikely to have much of an effect on public opinion of the war outside of the loyalists who don't need convincing anyway and exploiting the troops he refused to give a pay raise to as a backdrop for politicking just makes him look all the more crass.
Furthermore, it only points out that all these years after proclaiming the mission accomplished, Bush still has to skulk into Iraq unannounced to protect his own sorry skin. Don't you think if things were really improving he should at least be able to make a respectful state visit by now instead of imposing himself as an uninvited guest?