[star]The American Mind[star]

November 27, 2003

"The Ultimate Road Trip"

It takes a lot of guts for a President to pull off a secret mission to Baghdad. This wasn't just going anywhere in the occupied country. No, President Bush flew into the heart of the Sunni Baathist Triangle to give the troops a big thank you and some much-deserved moral support. Because of the risk, this trip makes his aircraft carrier landing look like a game of jacks.

Reuters has a great report on how Bush snuck out of his Crawford ranch onto Air Force One bound for Maryland. There he switched planes for the long flight to Baghdad. All along, Bush was willing to cancel the mission if it leaked out. On the way to Iraq, it almost happened:

The plane took off for Baghdad on Wednesday night on an 11-hour flight.

Somewhere en route, a British Airways pilot thought he spotted an unusual plane from his cockpit.

"Did I just see Air Force One?" the pilot radioed.

There was a pause. Then came the response from Air Force One: "Gulfstream 5" -- a much smaller aircraft.

Another pause. "Oh," said the BA pilot.

The troops loved it, cynics and Bush bashers nash their teeth, some reporters are ticked at not being on the flight, and the Democrats once again look dumbfounded before a bold and clever man they always underestimate.

In Afghanistan, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) celebrated Thanksgiving with the troops there. Bravo to her.

"Bush Pays Surprise Thanksgiving Visit to Troops in Iraq"

"Amid Tight Secrecy, a Tip: Bush Is Going to Baghdad"

"Guess Who's Coming to Thanksgiving Dinner?"

"How Bush was Whisked to Iraq"

[Links via Michele and Matthew Stinson.]

UPDATE: Oliver Willis tried really hard to be 100% nice about the trip, but he just couldn't stop his case of knee-jerk Bush bashing:

Wonder if he found any WMDs there? Just asking.

MEANWHILE: Senator Clinton visited the real front in the war on terror.

(Emphasis mine.)

Note that TAM made no cynical remark about Hillary in Afghanistan. I could, but I won't. She did a good deed. Nothing else needs to be said.

UPDATE II: Matthew Yglesias joins the cynical Bush bashing party by bluntly calling the trip a "little stunt."

UPDATE III: Matthew Yglesias won't renege his comment. He goes even further in this post:

That doesn't mean everything Bush does is harmful -- there's no real harm done here -- but it does mean that none of it should be taken seriously. It was a stunt -- designed to maximize partisan advantage. Hence the secrecy, etc., etc. I'm not going to give the president credit for pulling stunts, even if they are well-executed stunts.

He fits in perfectly with the TAP crowd.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in War at 09:53 PM | Comments (13)