Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Bush: Surprise visit to Baghdad. This is Iraq Week. What do you think of the secret visit? (And as long as we're at it, Rove getting cleared!) UPDATE at end of post


President Bush made a surprise visit to Baghdad today. It's part of ``Iraq Week,'' where the GOP White House and Congress want to bolster U.S. support for the languishing war and give a boost to the new Iraq government. The secret visit came as the official schedule said Bush would be at Camp David with his War Cabinet.

On Thursday, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) is expected to kick off a day of debate over a resolution reaffirming support for the Bush Iraq War policies. Democrats are edgy over being forced to take a roll call vote for a measure designed to ``embarrass'' as Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the Dem House political boss put it. A showdown over the wording is expected in the House rules committee today. If the past holds, the GOP House leaders who control the Rules Committee will rebuff Dem attempt to rewrite the resolution.

Anyway...this is the cover story the White House put out the throw people off..
``Today, President Bush will participate in a teleconference discussion with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki and members of his cabinet. The leaders will continue to discuss how to achieve the goal of an Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself. In the afternoon, the President will participate in a press availability at the White House.''

this from the White House

President Bush: "I'm Convinced You Will Succeed"

Remarks By The President

Baghdad, Iraq

June 13, 2006

THE PRESIDENT: "The decisions you and your cabinet make will be
determinate as to whether or not a country succeeds that can govern
itself, sustain itself, and defend itself.

"I'm impressed by the cabinet that you've assembled. You've assembled
people from all parts of your country, representing different religions
and different histories, and traditions. And yet the cabinet here
represents the entire Iraqi people, and I appreciate your commitment to
representing the people of Iraq.

"I'm impressed by the strength of your character and your desire to
succeed. And I'm impressed by your strategy. We've discussed - I
discussed earlier with the Prime Minister and here with his cabinet and
with members of my cabinet - the strategy necessary to have a country
that is capable of answering to the needs of the people. We discussed
the security strategy. We discussed a economic strategy, a
reconstruction strategy, and all of it makes sense to me.

"And so I've come to not only look you in the eye; I've also come to
tell you that when America gives its word, it will keep its word - that
it's in our interest that Iraq succeed. It's not only in the interests
of the Iraqi people, it's in the interest of the American people and for
people who love freedom.

"Iraq is a part of the War on Terror. Iraq is an essential front on
that war, and when Iraq succeeds in having a government ... of and by
and for the people of Iraq, you will have dealt a serious blow to those
who have a vision of darkness, who don't believe in liberty, who are
willing to kill the innocent in order to achieve a political objective.

"And so Mr. Prime Minister, I want to thank you for giving me and my
cabinet a chance to hear from you personally and a chance to meet the
members of this team you've assembled. It's an impressive group of men
and women, and if given the right help I'm convinced you will succeed
and so will the world."


If President Bush cured cancer tomorrow, the left-wing partisans would come out against it! Let's see: economy booming, full employment statistics, 30 million Afgans liberated, farsighted proposals on Social Security, immigration, taxation, etc. etc. Not a bad legacy. History will be kind to George Bush. Iraq liberation is worthworking for.

Way to be Stanley, To you like to eat your government cheese with crackers and I agree with you we need higher taxes, what kind of commie are you, you people are seriously goofy. Do you read what you write. He is there supporting the troops. We are winning a war. Defeatest.

I think its great. it will booster the new goverment's moral as well as our troops. its signigicant that the trip was reported, as the last one was reported on his way home. good job, Mr. Presidnt!!

Did he actually visit Iraq, or the Green Zone?


This is a very smart idea by the President. He has, for far too long sat by and let his decent/good handling of the war in Iraq take hits by the liberal media. I have to give them (Media) credit though, they are winning this battle but i Love the way the president to this day believes in something and sticks with it no matter what! We can only hope our next president does the same.

Cheap political stunt. Send some members of the Bush family over there to fight for "democracy and freedom." And the families of Cheney and Hastert and the other "sunshine patriots."

The Truth about this so called Resolution that Hastert is bring to the floor is that its a wedge issue to put the Democrats on the record for the 2006 run.Bush going to Iraq is all part of the Republican Plan to change the subject.

The Truth about this so called Resolution that Hastert is bring to the floor is that its a wedge issue to put the Democrats on the record for the 2006 run.Bush going to Iraq is all part of the Republican Plan to change the subject.

A pathetic trip by a pathetic man.Come on 2008, go Obama.

The trip is a joke and Rove was let off because he could bring down the house of Bush

They're awfully good at making secret plans and cover stories, aren't they?

Bush is an idiot. This war is going to last 5 or more years and for what? As soon as we leave there is going to be a civil war. Cheney knew that back in 91.

The President's trip clearly shows his support for the new government of Iraq. In the constant face of negative press, his bold visit only shows his commitment to what he believes in and not acting by way of polls. And, of course the trip has to be a secret - 2 reasons, first, safety/security and second, you cannot trust the press corp as they'd love to 'tell secrets' no matter how much damage it may cause to our nation's leaders and nation as a whole.

As for Rove being cleared, there was no real evidence in the investigation, just leaps made by the media and liberal press blogs - his being a target was a sad commentary on the entire process.


At this point, they can repackage it any way they like -- the public isn't buying it anymore. It's over. And everybody knows about Rove. He may not be officially convicted of anything, but in the court of public opinion, he's a goner.

What was the point of travelling to Iraq when a videoconference would've accomplished the same thing? Regarding Rove, I'd like to see the text of the letter from Fitzgerald to Rove before commenting. The letter might well say "Rove will not be indicted...", but what if the next part of the letter read "in return for your testimony as to the role of both President Bush and Vice President Cheney in the coverup."

Bull-Why aren't his daughters in the military? He believes so strongly in freedom for Iraq-why not support your father.

One would think that with "Mission Accomplished" and the death of Al Zarqawi (the alleged mastermind of all bad things that have happened in Iraq), that Bush would be able to now publicize his Iraq visits in advance. Bush's secret flights to Iraq are about as phoney as the stage prop turkey he once "served" to the soldiers -- it may look real, but it's hard to swallow. When you have to sneak into and out of a country, it sounds more like "Mission Impossible" to me.

Embarassed? Now? The Dems should be embarassed for having supported Bush by voting as they did in the first place.

Bush and the GOPs have not a clue, and the Dems have not a voice. God Bless America!

The trip is just a diversion meant to distract everyone from George Bush's incompetence and lies about the war in Iraq

This is what the GOP is best at - aligning their operatives for massive public relations efforts. It's too bad we can't have a real discussion about the future of Iraq because of fears over the midterm elections. Will Americans ever tire of this?

The only way this would have been news to me, is if his plane had engine trouble, but he landed safely and had to depend on the good faith of the people who's lives he has devastated.

I would agree that it would have been good news if the plane had engine trouble, but disagree with everything else the previous writer stated beginning with the phrase, "but he landed safely ..."

I think Bush is looking for support any where he can get it. But I think he is talking to the wrong people. It is a big public relation ploy, and if you look at the numbers no one is buying it, HIS SHIP IS SINKING or has SUNK. You be the judge. This whole mess is based on lies, lies, and more lies. Maybe he is using his sucess from Israel!! What do you think??

I think Bush is looking for support any where he can get it. But I think he is talking to the wrong people. It is a big public relation ploy, and if you look at the numbers no one is buying it, HIS SHIP IS SINKING or has SUNK. You be the judge. This whole mess is based on lies, lies, and more lies. Maybe he is using his sucess from Israel!! What do you think??

I am so tired of hearing about the women and men injured and killed in IRAQ! There is no draft!!!! These people signed up on there own accord. I too am a soldier and I enrolled to fight for this country, this war is not useless these people are evil and we are stopping them. All of you liberal hippies out there crying about us soldiers need to pipe down with your thoughts cause you are way off! America the beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The extreme secrecy surrounding the Bush trip to Iraq is an admission by the administration that they acknowledge Bush is hated to the point they have to keep his moves under wraps even here. I wonder if Bush looked out of the window of the copter at the smoldering ruins he helped create in Iraq. Maybe his flight over Katrina-damaged LA was a rehearsal for today's jaunt.

Gas is $3 a gallon; Health Insurance goes up again; The Southern Coast isn't ready for hurricaine season; wages haven't raised in 5 years (and stop saying we're at full employment...the Bushies stopped counting those who's benefits expired years ago); NSA secret spying; on and on...any wonder now why George, I'm a moron, Bush created a photo opp in Iraq. Wake up Republicans. Your party has been hijacked by a retard!

I agree with you David P. all of this is straight bull nothing but bull. Why don't the president lushes for daughters join the military?

I hope Mr. Bush went over to tell the troops to pack it up you're coming home.

Rham Emoronuel need no help getting embarrassed he can only operate in a controlled environment (a.k.a Chicago machine) , outside of that this guys a clown. That Cunningham vacancy had a right wing 3rd party minuteman candidate who got 7% of the vote take him out and his girl loses by 12 points. That district is less Republican than Duckworths and about as Republican as Beans. This guy is a moronic stooge who cant win unless the odds are way in his favor ( a heavily Democratic district) , if he doesn't win the house back in the middle of this presidents term with his approval numbers in the 20's RHAM SHOULD RESIGN, and apoligize to Nancy Kaczak for stealing her seat with Tomczak and Daley's help. RHAM IS SUPERMAN! HEE HEE

Liberals are morons. Like David said, Bush could cure cancer and the liberals would complain. Lowest un-employment ever, best economy in years, every economic indicator up and Bush gets no credit. If this was Clinton the headlines would read, "CLINTON SAVES THE WORLD!" Pathetic little people liberals are. I say we use the liberal strategy, sit back and wait for the next attack in America. After all, that's what Clinton did, and look at how effective that policy was. Finally, a president with balls! Unlike Carter and Clinton. Hillary has Clintons balls in a safe.

I really like how people throw out terms like 'liberal' and 'conservative' like it matters. I generally have conservative views but still think this is the worst administration ever. Our government created this war (Quite illegally I might add) with extremely poor planning and we are now paying the price.

Mr. don't take advice from liberal/socialists. Good for you! You're your own man.


Where's this wonderful economy that Bush's supporters keep on talking about in their posts. Tell that to my friends who are still looking for work. Sure, there are jobs at the Burger Biggies for minimun wage, but that doesn't go very far when you've got a family or kids in college. Do you think that repeating a lie enough makes it true?

hMr Lawrence ... "secret" visit? That everyone now knows about? And complete with impomptu movie cameras?

It WASNT a secret ... it was a photo op! Too bad U.S. soldiers havent gotten as much security as his entourage did during this "surprise" visit.

Mr McCracken ... "Lowest un-employment ever"? Yeah .. thanks to the president fudging the numbers as usual (convieniently NOT adjusting his numbers for inflation for example) and importing part-time fast food industry numbers to help boost his job statistics. "Best economy in years"? For who?
The poor, who work for a minimum wage that is the lowest since 1955 when adjusted for inflation? For the struugling middle class who needs TWO incomes just to get by?

According to the Federal Reserve's triennial Survey of Consumer Finances released Thursday, February 23, 2006, median wages actually FELL 6.2 percent when adjusted for inflation and the share of families with debt rose 1.3 percentage points, to 76.4 percent. So seven though families spent more of their incomes paying off their debt, their debt still rose - despite lower interest rates between 2001 and 2004! This is what happens when you combine declining wages with increases in the cost of health care, gasoline, college tuition, and prescription drugs - the 9 to 14 percent of the tax cuts that actually makes it down to the bottom 60 percent of all americans, to those who could actually use the money, is quickly wiped out.

And Pdawg, your govt-paid-for patriotism will NEVER be a substitute for critical thinking and common sense. And its about time that, judging from Bush's sub-freezing approval numbers, others are starting to agree!

Bush wont cure cancer because he IS a cancer - he'd be commiting suicide.

Bush has done so much damage that his trip to Iraq means nothing. Too many US soldiers dead and injured.....too many Iraqi citizens dead and suffering....nothing Bush says or does means anything. Let's rid ourselves of this colossal embarrassment.

So,Iraq's elected government
has to respond people!

What about our government
responding to us?

So,Iraq's elected government
has to respond people!

What about our government
responding to us?

Good morning,
May I paraphrase bush's entire false presidency? "9/11,9/11,activist judges,9/11,war on Terra,9/11,war on Terra,activist judges,9/11,9/11" Repetitive words,no actions,everything false - any questions? Don't ask bush because he doesn't have any answers. Thank you, Karen Spain

Typical liberals want freedom and don't want to pay for it. Want to be free and says stupid stuff ,but dont want to pay the price of freedeom! If the terrorist come here because we are not or were not fighting them there, would you be happy? If the terrorist win, women would wear berqua's never get a chance to vote or go to school. Homosexuals would be killed by the islamo-facsists. but yet all they care about is more government cheese. Think about this be thankful Joesph Kennedy didnt get his way,he wanted the UsA to side with Hitler. Yea. TYPICAL LIBERALS.

Ricky Sherman ... first off, can you even DEFINE the term "liberal"? Without stringing a bunch of mis-spelled profanities together? And second, why should the U.S. go bankrupt paying for someone ELSE'S freedom? The world's problems are not OUR financial responsibility. Unless of course, we created the problem - by supporting Saddam politically and MILITARILY in the 80's? Let's do it this way ... if YOU support Iraqi freedom, then YOU can pay for it. I say we pass a law making Iraq War supporters pay for the cost of it (which is already MANY times what this admin said it would be ... like all their other figures). We'll call it the War Fund - and those who support it financially can continue to do so, while the rest of us get our money back. That's fair isnt it? Let's see how important this Iraq war is when those who support it have to pony up 100 percent of it's cost!

Your "We have to fight them over there so they dont come HERE" argument is garbage! It worked real good for the British didnt it? ... until they got their subway system blown up. Yep, so much for that logic! It's already been proven wrong! It’s ironic how the Iraqi’s never had a problem with these “insurgents��?, Al Queda, or all the resulting carnage from suicide bombings until we got there isn’t it? And I’m sure they just love us “battling insurgents over there so they don’t come over here��?, in effect, using THEIR land to fight OUR war on terror. Exactly what part of this is supposed to be “for their own good��?? When did they vote on this? Must have been when they voted “Hey America! Come get rid of Saddam, but wait … DON’T GO! Stick around, make us terrorist targets as well. And while you’re at it, install a puppet government and let the American government’s politically connected companies privatize all our oil��?.

And we managed to unite how many previously seperate terrorist factions against us by being over and being exactly what we said we wouldnt be - an OCCUPYING force? Zarqawi wasnt even part of Al Queada until recently. As Marwan Abu Ubeida, one of many terrorists in training, stated in a June 26th, 2005 posted interview with a TIME reporter "We expected them to bring Saddam down and then leave," he says. "But they STAYED and STAYED." He believes there are "hundreds of others" like him, supported by the fact that al-Zarqawi's had announced that it had set up a SEPARATE BRIGADE for Iraqi suicide bombers. Lets see, several hundred bombers times a dozen or so civilians each – how many innocent people does that add up to? But you dont care right? Just as long as it's not happening over HERE (yet) right?

Let’s look at this from a domestic standpoint and make it more subjective to those who "dont care" over here. You try breaking into my house (invading my country) at gunpoint, try robbing me of my wealth (oil), tell me it’s only temporary (you’re not an “occupying��? power) three years and several PERMANENT military bases later, and tell me it’s “for my own good��?… and I guarantee you I’ll try to separate your head from your neck quicker than you ever thought possible too. And you’d do the same darn thing if there were Arab tanks driving up and down your block, stopping occasionally to invade your home, take your belongings, and make members of your family disappear for months or years at a time in secret prisons, without any legal representation. Apparently the Iraqi’s aren’t as stupid as we like to think. Hell, these “insurgents��? sound more intelligent than a majority of Americans who voted in the last election and now want their votes back.

And there’s still Americans who wonder why the Arabs hate us and the Iraqis don’t trust us? The simple answer is this: BAD policies create BAD people! Stop giving people who are, in your opinion, “who are just looking for a reason to kill you��? more and more reasons to do so. It’s a universal law … If you don’t create enemies, you wont have to worry about them.

Same goes for the government – ANY government - don’t go out of your way to put yourself in a bad situation (by meddling in other peoples' affairs) for over 30 years… and then blame everybody ELSE when bad things happen. Maybe if we would just LEAVE THE MIDDLE EAST ALONE and stop playing the Arab countries against each other like they’re all just pieces in our little game of chess, a game to be played at our convenience, they wouldn’t hate us so much?

But you don’t care what THEY think right? Well, you should care - if you’re smart. FACT: perception is often reality, especially to those that don’t know you very well. We’re not just fighting a war with Iraq … we’re fighting a much larger war of PERCEPTION with the Iraqi people and the entire Arab/Muslim population in general. And as long as they hate and mistrust us, we will never "WIN" the war on terror. Winning that war entails targeting terrorists very specifically. That means human intelligence nets and strong international law enforcement efforts designed to locate and capture small groups of people, not invading Arab land after Arab land to force our freedoms on them at gunpoint - and creating ten more “insurgents��? for every one our bullets kill. STILL don’t care? I’ll bet you’ll care when videos surface of more Americans getting abducted and beheaded as a result!

See, while intellectual responses solve problems, emotional responses generally cause them. And any policy that INCREASES the number of your enemies in the long term, just to kill a few in the short term is a BAD one. If “they only have to be right ONCE and we have to be right 100 percent of the time��?, then why would you continue to implement policies that exponentially increase the number of terrorists out there, which only makes it less and less likely that we will be able to maintain that critical “100 percent��? accuracy? Tom Keane (former chairman of the 9/11 commission) knows exactly how lethal the power of PERCEPTION can be, saying during a Sunday, December 05, 2004 interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, "We've got to talk about the kind of image we have and the things we do to create that image. If we don't, there's going to be more terrorists created than the ones we're now killing."

Think about this be thankful President Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, didn’t get his way .. he was a director of a firm (the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC)) that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany and had its assests seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy act. No wonder Bush’s neocons keep comparing the Iraq War to WWII - it runs in Dubya’s family! I guess it’s fair game for me to do the same then eh? Hey .. if the mustache fits ….

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets


Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 13, 2006 8:12 AM.

Reference Guide: The pending Iraq war resolution was the previous entry in this blog.

Al fresco: Chicago going to the dogs. Should dogs be allowed to hang with owners at outdoor cafes? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.