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Opening The Files: 09/04/07

The Commander Guy Stops By

While most Americans were off for Labor Day (sans yours truly), President Bush was making like a laborious used car salesman, making another surprise visit to Iraq to try to sell his surge strategy. Seems he's holding out hope that his successor will pick up the payments of blood and treasure on his lemon of a war.

Apparently Bush wanted to "see for himself" what was happening in Iraq, to get the skinny straight from the puppets mouth as it were. The not a photo-op photo-op took place outside of Baghdad because the security situation is still too dangerous to send a symbolic message of impatience with Iraq's leaders. So The Decider decided to "assess" the situation from the confines of a remote airbase in Anbar province surrounded by a 13 mile buffer zone and 10,000 US troops.

Now while Bush chose to forgo bringing any plastic poultry on this trip, he was still willing to serve up something equally chalky and tasteless. Namely that the success in Anbar was a result of the surge even though by all accounts, it started well before the surge was even conceived. For Bush to take credit for it is akin to a firefighter who was late to a blaze taking credit for being the one to stamp out the last remaining ember. And even then, there is still the potential for this conflagration to reignite at any time.

And despite his aforementioned admission, Bush also offered up another helping of the "we might withdraw soon if progress keeps up" casserole. Anyone care to guess what he as planned for dessert?

Georgia10 says that the only "surprise" is that anyone is actually buying the "New Way Forward" as anything but more of the same.

Fredrick Kagan, one of the authors of the surge strategy, says that this trip by Bush could be seen as "the Gettysburg of the war". Judging from the reviews, however, I doubt anyone outside of the most ardent sycophants would agree that this trip is on par with an oration from Honest Abe.

Andy Borowitz reports on a stop the President made on his way to Mesopotamia. Unfortunately, he didn't stay for very long.

Jill posted a snapshot from Dubya's trip. My only question is: who needs the warning more?

Suin reminds us of another place that is also heralded for its "peace and quiet".

And remember what I said about those "cordoned off markets filled with smiling Iraqi patrons straight out of central casting"? Sudarsan Raghavan has more on these Potemkin Villages.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

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