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Bush Makes Surprise Farewell Visit To Iraq

From those defenders of the faith at Reuters:

Bush makes farewell visit to Iraq

Matt Spetalnick, Reuters  Published: Sunday, December 14, 2008

BAGHDAD — U.S. President George W. Bush made an unannounced farewell visit to Baghdad on Sunday, just weeks before he leaves office and bequeaths the unpopular Iraq war to President-elect Barack Obama.

Bush flew secretly to the Iraqi capital to hold talks with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and address a rally of U.S. troops.

“Bush has come to meet Iraqi leaders, thank the troops and celebrate the new security agreement,” a White House official said.

Bush arrived first by helicopter at the presidential palace for talks with President Jalal Talabani and his two vice-presidents. He planned to meet later with Maliki.

Bush’s trip – his fourth to Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion – follows approval of a security pact between Washington and Baghdad last month that paves the way for U.S. forces to withdraw by the end of 2011.

The brief visit was meant to showcase recent security gains in Iraq but was also a stark reminder of how heavily the war will weigh on the Republican president’s foreign policy legacy.

Though Iraq has slipped down the list of Americans’ concerns as the recession-hit U.S. economy has taken center stage, polls show most people think the war was a mistake.

It will now be left to Obama, a Democrat and early opponent of U.S. military involvement in Iraq, to sort out an exit strategy after he takes office on Jan. 20


Until Air Force One touched down, Bush’s trip was conducted in strictest secrecy. The presidential jet was rolled out of its giant hangar only after everyone was onboard. Journalists’ electronic devices, from cellphones to iPods, were confiscated until mid-flight…

Bush will meet Maliki for the first time since the Iraqi government won a key concession – Washington’s agreement on a pullout timetable, something the U.S. president long opposed.

Obama pledged during the campaign to withdraw U.S. combat troops in 16 months, which will now have to be reconciled with the timetable set in the new security deal.

As he prepares to step down, Bush has insisted toppling Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do.

But he said in a recent ABC interview that the ‘biggest regret’ of his presidency was flawed intelligence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. He used that intelligence as a key justification for going to war. No such weapons were found.

Bush leaves the White House with public approval ratings near record lows, partly due to Iraq. The war has also damaged U.S. credibility abroad.

Mind you, Reuters is presenting this as a news article, not as an editorial.

Mr. Bush’s heroic stand against Muslim terrorism will be fondly remembered by history when Reuters is a deservedly forgotten footnote.

In fact, both eventualities may come sooner than most think.


From a now delighted Reuters:

Iraqi reporter throws shoes at Bush and calls him dog

Sun 14 Dec 2008

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – An Iraqi reporter called visiting U.S. President George W. Bush a “dog” in Arabic on Sunday and threw his shoes at him during a news conference in Baghdad.

Iraqi security officers and U.S. secret service agents leapt at the man and dragged him struggling and screaming out of the room where Bush was giving a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

The shoes missed their target about 15 feet (4.5 metres) away. One sailed over Bush’s head as he stood next to Maliki and smacked into the wall behind him. Bush smiled uncomfortably and Maliki looked strained.

“It doesn’t bother me,” Bush said, urging everyone to calm down as a ruckus broke out in the conference room.

When asked about the incident shortly after, Bush made light of it. “I didn’t feel the least threatened by it,” he said.

Other Iraqi journalists apologised on behalf of their colleague, a television journalist.

Bush arrived in Baghdad earlier on Sunday on a farewell visit before he leaves office in January. The U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein triggered years of sectarian bloodshed and insurgency in Iraq, killing tens of thousands.

In fact, it probably was a Reuters reporter.

Unless MSNBC was also there.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, December 14th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

22 Responses to “Bush Makes Surprise Farewell Visit To Iraq”

  1. Chinnubie says:

    Don’t be surprised, when we leave Iraq and continue to fight in Afgahnistan as Obamy said he would, that the Russians will start to arm the Mujahadeen to kick our ass just like we did to them. Once Obamy gains office I’m sure the thorns in our side will start to push the thorns in further. What are we going to do if China decides it wants Taiwan back? What are we going to do when Russia decides it wants that oil pipeline in the Ukraine? These are just a couple of things that “Hope & Change” will be able to do nothing about and the leaders of those other countries know it. It is going to be a ROCKING 4 years!!!!

  2. U NO HOO says:

    “The shoes missed their target about 15 feet (4.5 metres) away. One sailed over Bush’s head as he stood next to Maliki and smacked into the wall behind him.”

    Sounds as if KO will have a worsterest thrower for tomorrow’s show.

  3. U NO HOO says:

    Seriously, it looks like (attempted) assault.

    Remember Krushchev at the U N?

  4. U NO HOO says:

    Oooooooooooo, were is Helen Thomas?

  5. artpa says:

    Imagine if this now liberated reporter had done this to saddam, nuff said

  6. Liberals Demise says:

    How much you wanna bet that they got this “REPORTER” up by the thumbs with wire on his nads doing the “Electric Boogey”?
    What? No pictures? They sure are slow with this democracy thing. (wonder if he wants his shoe back)

  7. sheehanjihad says:

    if that was Saddam, he would be finding his ankles wrapped in rope and having the soles of his feet beaten with a piece of re bar. Good thing it’s only the President of the United States who gave this ungrateful chunk of ocelot vomit the freedom to act like the dick with ears he is.

  8. GuppyNblue says:

    Dubya looked pretty good dodging those shoes. I was waiting for him to break out with some kung fu praying mantis moves but he was cool and calm. lol.

  9. Reality Bytes says:

    SG: Bierbart reported the reporter was Egyptian. What ever, Bush in typical Texan ease, managed to get out a description of the weapons. He said they were a size 10.

    Oh, and sheehanjihad. If it were Saddam the reporter did that too, he would be dog food…literally…dog food.

  10. sheehanjihad says:

    I agree RB…..I remember seeing the hamburger grinders they fed people into….

  11. madmax says:

    I don’t agree with W’s latest bipartisanship, but the man has done a hell of a job keeping terrorist busy and off of our soil. He entered the presidency after a traitor did everything to make his transition a failure. A few months later, the worst attack on U.S. soil that might have been averted if the Clinton administration had done their home work. Bush did not blame the previous administration or whine. Now at the end of his term, he continues to act respectful and humble still as the press does everything it can to minimize and belittle him, and has shoes thrown at him in a S#!t-hole 3rd world country that he has helped. Still, the man is humble. The next president has already demonstrated that he has no respect for country, civility or honor. Why would other countries respect us with a Chicago thug in the Whitehouse. God bless George Bush……..God help the American people.

  12. madmax says:

    “The U.S. led invasion in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein triggered years of sectarian bloodshed and insurgency in Iraq, killing tens of thousands”.

    Yeah; like Hussein was a peacful, co-existing fun-loving kind of guy. There were no killing fields. Why, Iraq was a vacation resort before the Americans showed up.

  13. Grassy Knoll says:

    I understand there may have been a second shoe-tosser near the podium …

  14. Average American says:

    These kind of cultural “throw backs” make you realize these people almost require a dictator to control them.

    Their mindset is so antiquated from years of oppressive government, media and religious control that any real observation of democracy will be generations away.

    The question is “do we have the fortitude to keep working with Iraq in order to bring them up to a civilized level of world acceptance?”

    Not likely, especially under the incoming “cut-n-run” U.S. Administration.

    So, look for another dictator to rise to power within the next 10 years or so.

    It’s funny to watch the democrats play social engineer with the U.S. (Fair Housing Act), but get cold feet in parts of the world that actually need their meddling.

  15. take_no_prisoners says:

    I wonder what kind of screening they do of the people admitted to these press conferences? Do they screen for weapons? After all, there could have been some sort of IED in this guys shoes and then we would have had a real problem.

  16. Barbie says:

    I have to agree with Average American and add my own comments: This Irqai journalist represents the scum who live and exist in a brutal, uncivilized 7th century culture. They are happy to torture and kill for no reason and to try to introduce some modicum of freedom, democracy, and civilization to these Iraqi pigs has been, I hate to say it, a mistake. Iraqi culture consists of uncivilized, ungrateful pigs. Why did we waste our money and men and women to try to shed light on a violent hate-filled backwards country?? I know I will be yelled at for this but that’s how I feel. These people love to hate. Our President Bush, for his faults, has been heroic and brave and steadfast in trying to free a country from enslaved brutality – and this jerk off journalist represents the mindset that still exists. Block me from S&L, I feel our brave men and women have died so morons like this journalist can live…

  17. Barbie says:

    F ’em. let’s get out of that country – let it fall into civil war because that’s what these brutal, uncivilized ‘people’ like… Sorry to offend S&L readers – that’s how I feel.

  18. Barbie says:

    p.s. and for the Iraqis, Iranians and other middle easterners who live in this country and hate it and hate us- GET OUT GO HOME GET OUT OF HERE. TAKE YOUR UNCIVILIZED HATE WITH YOU WE DON’T NEED IT (and take the entertainers and ‘journalists’ with you)

  19. sheehanjihad says:

    Barbie! Dont sweat it, you arent alone in your opinion. There are Iraqis who actually really are grateful for a chance to live again, but there are the usual muslim asshats who cant seem to live without unrepentant hatred. So dont go anywhere, you speak for a lot of us.

  20. Barbie says:

    Sheehanjihad, Thank you.

  21. Liberals Demise says:

    Ditto Babs….these are people who write on toilet paper and wipe with their left hand. Go figure

  22. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    My father often said that American blood was too precious to shed on foreign soil. Too bad that in this case it was sacrificed to an ungrateful, hate filled idiot. If Saddam Hussein was still alive and this man had thrown his shoes at him you known darn well what would’ve happened to him. He would’ve been shoved shoeless first into a wood chipper.

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