I’m really glad Bush made this surprise visit. (Video of his speech here)Hopefully this will send a clear message to the democrats and some republicans in Washington that we are winning and we are staying the course. The surge has obviously worked, and we are inching closer and closer to a secure Iraq.
The president’s statement on the visit was notable for the fact that it occurred outdoors at night. If there was a desire for insurgents to take a shot at the leader of the free world, their job was made much easier by the cover provided by the darkness and the handy targeting assistance provided by the bright lighting for the president’s speech. It was a riskier-than necessary setting for a presidential address.
Indeed the entire visit was marked with over-the-line symbolism by the president. First, there was the landing, in Anbar Province, once a vast no go zone for the US Military. Then there was the high powered delegation. Three cabinet level officials and the top military advisor to the president. Top that off with the outdoor nighttime speech and it is clear that the images designed to emerge from this surprise visit are designed to stress the improvement in security.
Now that that surge has been nearly universally acknowledged as a success, President Bush made sure to drive home the point by flying into the former heartland of the Sunni insurgency, and speaking out in the open with a cadre of his top advisors by his side. Make no mistake, nothing happened in Anbar today that could not have happened in the Green Zone of Baghdad. The fact that it was in Anbar is as much news, if not more, than the fact of the meeting itself.
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