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France’s AFP Mocks Bush For Not Going To Iraq

Mind you, this is not an editorial.

This is presented by the French terrorist cheerleaders at AFP as news:

President George W. Bush poses for photos with U.S. and Coalition troops Wednesday, March 1, 2006, during a stopover at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, prior to his visit to India and Pakistan.

President George W. Bush poses for photos with U.S. and Coalition troops Wednesday, March 1, 2006, during a stopover at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, prior to his visit to India and Pakistan.

After Afghanistan trip, Bush unlikely to see US troops in Iraq

Thu Mar 2, 11:59 AM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President George W. Bush regularly reminds Americans that he is the "commander in chief", but nobody expects to see him with US troops in Iraq any time soon.

Despite his high profile trip to Afghanistan this week, Bush knows he has little to gain by going to Iraq, experts said.

"Go to Iraq, for what?" asked Judith Kipper, an expert on the Middle East at the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank in Washington.

During his surprise visit to Afghanistan, Bush sought to revive the image of a general on the frontline.

In comments to about 500 troops at a US base, he said: "I want you to email or call your friends, and more important your families, and tell them the old commander-in-chief showed up … with a message of appreciation."

Bush has only been to Iraq once, for a Thanksgiving dinner with American troops in November 2003. Kipper says there is no reason to return as it would do nothing for his ratings.

"As of today this president has 34 percent approval rating; a visit to Iraq is not gonna change it.

"Once the American people turn againt [sic] a war, you don’t turn them back and we have many examples of that, the most recent being Vietnam," Kipper said.

The political analyst said diplomatic and political duties explained Bush’s first visit to Afghanistan since he ordered the overthrow of the Taliban regime in 2001.

Bush is also visiting neighbouring India and Pakistan, "and we have a commitment of forces in Afghanistan, and obviously its very important to (Bush) to show solidarity with (Afghani President Hamid) Karzai, and to have a presidential visit is very important for the Afghans," the analyst said.

Brookings Institution analyst Peter Singer said Bush’s trip to Afghanistan also serves to "highlight some foreign policy success at a time that violence has escalated in Iraq."

The Washington Post noted that the Bush’s visit to Afghanistan may have had the opposite effect.

"It wasn’t exactly a victory tour. His hurried, heavily armored five hours there may have primarily served to call attention to the increasingly poor security situation there — and to the fact that Osama bin Laden is still alive and on the loose," the newspaper commented.

A visit to Iraq could entail an even greater risk, said Singer. "Security is certainly issue number one. Issue number two is how the visit is going to play inside Iraq and back in the United States. The timing has to be right, who you meet has to be right.

"He could have gone there after the December 15 elections to try and take advantage of the success, but to meet with whom? They haven’t formed a governement [sic] yet and you can’t have that visit when have sectarian violence escalating in the country.

"I don’t see such a visit taking place in the next months," he added.

"This kind of visit is oversold; you would not have a shift in the public opinion. It’s a one day story," Singer added.

"I don’t know how his presence would change the fact that we are going to win the war on terror," deputy White House spokesman Trent Duffy told AFP.

Amadee Braxton, spokesman for the 220-member Iraq Veterans Against the War, also said a Bush visit to the troops in Iraq would change nothing, but for a different reason.

"He basically uses the troops as a scenery, as a backdrop to put out his message of continuing his occupation in both Iraq and Afghanistan – many of the troops who are ordered to sit there, probably disagree with what they’re doing over there."

I didn’t realize that the country had turned against the war.

Those French reporters might not know how to spell. But they sure have their fingers on the pulse of America.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, March 2nd, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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