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Presidential visit to Iraq first shot in September political war
Posted by: McQ on Monday, September 03, 2007

Guess who has found his way to Iraq? Like him or not, this is just smart politics:
President Bush arrived at an air base west of Baghdad Monday on an unannounced visit, the White House said.

He plans to meet face-to-face with top military commanders, the U.S. ambassador, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and provincial tribal leaders. It is the president's third trip to Iraq.

Air Force One touched down under the blazing sun at 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.

The president stopped in Iraq en route to an economic summit in Australia and ahead of a briefing in Washington September 15 by the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker.
This, of course, is part of the September PR war that will be waged concerning Iraq. As you know the circus returns to town (that would be Congress and DC) tomorrow and so this is an attempt to steal a little air from that as well as the GAO report, while setting a positive air for Gen Petraeus and Amb. Crocker's testimony.

It is also, I think, a chance to smooth some ruffled al Maliki feathers while at the same time delivering the message that political process is both necessary and expected.

We'll see how the other side responds. We'll also see if Katie Couric can land and "exclusive" while he's there.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Well, he did this on Labor day, so it’ll not get the kind of attention and coverage it might have if it wasn’t a holiday. It may be smart politically, but I suspect you over-estimate its importance.
Written By: Scott Erb

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