|Thursday, November 27, 2003
00:19 - Now there's an undisclosed location
Via Instapundit-- you just gotta love this...
In a stunning mission conducted under enormous secrecy, President Bush flew into Baghdad today aboard Air Force One to have dinner with United States officials and a group of astonished American troops.
His trip _ the first ever to Iraq by an American president _ had been kept a matter of absolute secrecy by the White House, which had said that he would be spending the Thanksgiving weekend at his ranch outside Crawford, Tex. . . .
The presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, appearing on CNN, called it ``a perfectly executed plan'' that would be ``one of the major moments in his biography.'' It would have provided ``an incredible thrill'' for the American.
Mr. Bush sneaked out of Crawford on Wednesday in an unmarked car, then flew to Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, where a few advisers and a small number of reporters sworn to secrecy joined him. They then flew on to Baghdad International Airport, arriving around dusk.
"We did not charge hundreds of miles into the heart of Iraq, pay a bitter cost of casualties, defeat a ruthless dictator and liberate 25 million people only to retreat before a band of thugs and assassins," the president said, prompting a standing ovation and cheers.
He also had a message for the people of Iraq: "The regime of Saddam Hussein is gone forever," he said, and pledged the help of the United States and its coalition partners, saying "we will stay until the job is done. I'm confident we will succeed."
Wearing an exercise jacket with a 1st Armored Division patch, Bush stood in a chow line and dished out sweet potatoes and corn for Thanksgiving dinner and posed with a platter of fresh-baked turkey.
It reads like a parody. If this were early April, I'd certainly be doing a double-take. But no, this is just the way it's done these days.
First he does a tailhook landing on a carrier to show the flyboys that he's willing to undergo the same dangers that they do every day. Now he's following the flight-path of the DHL jet that got RPG'd on its approach a few days ago.
One would have thought he'd tone down these stunts, under pressure from the Agent Smiths surrounding him. But noooo. I wonder if even Democratic Underground hates Bush as much as whatever hapless schmoe is responsible for directing this man's security does.
But I'm sure it's all just an empty gesture, that all the soldiers see through to its hollow, shallow roots. Just politicking; just grandstanding, just baby-kissing.
Whatever. You know what? These are epic times. Not just terrible, fearful times-- epic times. And I'm not complaining one bit that there's a guy in office who's willing to put some good things into this chapter of future history books to go along with the bad ones.