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Thread: Bush makes surprise Iraq visit to close out tenure, inspires everyone

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Bush makes surprise Iraq visit to close out tenure, inspires everyone

    Bush makes surprise Iraq visit to close out tenure - Yahoo! News

    BAGHDAD President George W. Bush on Sunday made a farewell visit to Iraq, a place that defines his presidency for better or worse, just 37 days before he hands the war off to a successor who has pledged to end it.
    Air Force One, the president's distinctive powder blue-and-white jetliner, landed at Baghdad International Airport in the afternoon local time, after a secretive Saturday night departure from Washington and an 11-hour flight. In a sign of modest security gains in this war zone, Bush was welcomed with a formal arrival ceremony a flourish that was not part of his previous three trips to Iraq.
    But in many ways this was a victory lap without a victory: Nearly 150,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq fighting a war that is remarkably unpopular in the United States and across the globe. More than 4,209 members of the U.S. military have been killed in a war that has cost U.S. taxpayers $576 billion since it began five years and nine months ago.
    While violence has slowed in Iraq, attacks continue, especially in the north. At least 55 people were killed Thursday in a suicide bombing in a restaurant near Kirkuk.
    Bush planned a rapid-fire series of meetings with top Iraqi leaders, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The two were marking the recent U.S.-Iraq security agreement, which sets a deadline of Dec. 31, 2011, for the withdrawal of all American troops.
    Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, said the agreement was "a remarkable document unique in the Arab world because it was publicly debated, discussed and adopted by an elected parliament."
    Hadley said the trip "shows that we are moving into a different relationship ... with Iraqis rightfully exercising greater sovereignty, we in an increasingly subordinate role."
    It was Bush's last trip to the war zone before President-elect Barack Obama takes office Jan. 20. Bush's most recent Iraq stop was over 15 months ago, in September 2007.
    For Bush, the war is the issue around which both he and the country defined his two terms in office. He saw the invasion and continuing fight even after weapons of mass destruction, the initial justification for invading Iraq, were not found as a necessary action to protect Americans and fight terrorism. Though his decision won support at first, the public now has largely decided that the U.S. needs to get out of Iraq.
    After a 10-hour-plus fight, Bush was met at the airport by U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and the top U.S. commander Gen. Raymond Odierno. The president then climbed aboard a helicopter for a five-minute flight to the presidential palace.
    Other Iraqi officials on Bush's agenda were Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, the country's two vice presidents, the speaker of the Council of Representatives and the head of the Kurdistan Regional Government Massoud Barzani.
    The trip was conducted under heavy security and a strict cloak of secrecy. People traveling with the president agreed to tell almost no one about the plans, and the White House released false schedules detailing activities planned for Bush in Washington on Sunday.
    Bush's visit came after Defense Secretary Robert Gates' unannounced stop in Iraq on Saturday, at a sprawling military base in the central part of the country. Gates will be the lone Republican holdover from the Bush Cabinet in the Obama administration.
    Obama has promised he will bring all U.S. combat troops back home from Iraq a little over a year after taking office, as long as commanders agree a withdrawal would not endanger American personnel or Iraq's security. Obama has said that on his first day as president, he will summon the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the White House and give them a new mission: responsibly ending the war.
    Obama has said the drawdown in Iraq would allow him to shift troops and bolster the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Commanders there want at least 20,000 more forces, but cannot get them unless some leave Iraq.
    The new U.S.-Iraqi security pact goes into effect next month. It replaces a U.N. mandate that gives the U.S.-led coalition broad powers to conduct military operations and detain people without charge if they were believed to pose a security threat. The bilateral agreement changes some of those terms and calls for all American troops to be withdrawn by the end of 2011, in two stages.
    The first stage begins next year, when U.S. troops pull back from Baghdad and other Iraqi cities by the end of June.

    Odierno said Saturday that even after that summer deadline, some U.S. troops will remain in Iraqi cities. They will serve in local security stations as training and mentoring teams, and so will not violate the mandate for American combat forces to leave urban areas, he said.
    Iraq's Defense Ministry said Sunday that U.S. commanders would have to get Baghdad's permission for keep the troops there.
    Odierno said the continuing U.S. presence is important in light of the elections being held in Iraq throughout next year.
    The agreement has received its final blessing within Iraqi's government, but Iraqi voters will have the final say in a referendum by the end of July. Provincial elections also are to be held after the first of the year Bush credits last year's military buildup with the security gains in Iraq. Last month, attacks fell to the lowest monthly level since the war began in 2003.

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    Elite Member NicoleWasHere's Avatar
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    So why the fuck didn't they blow him up, while he was there?

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    Elite Member Quazar's Avatar
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    There's still hope - maybe he hasn't left yet.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    They should hand Dubya an AK-47 and tell him to fight his own damn war.

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    damn. snipers all over the place, but they couldnt find one while Bush was there? i bet even an American would do it!
    Basic rule of Gossip Rocks: Don't be a dick.Tati
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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    ^^ Zackly. Now, THAT would be "Mission Accomplished".

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    Elite Member B.C.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    They should hand Dubya an AK-47 and tell him to fight his own damn war.
    LOL! He's pussy, didn't he get out of going to Nam joining the NG?

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.C. View Post
    LOL! He's pussy, didn't he get out of going to Nam joining the NG?
    Yeah. And then he turned around and sent National Guard troops to fight a war.

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    Yes, but I read that an Iraqi reporter threw his shoe at Bush. Is that some middle-eastern code for something, or did he just throw a shoe because it was ready to hand, I wonder?

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    Elite Member Belinda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBDSP View Post
    Yes, but I read that an Iraqi reporter threw his shoe at Bush. Is that some middle-eastern code for something, or did he just throw a shoe because it was ready to hand, I wonder?
    From what I've read, it's supposed to be an insult in Muslim cultures.


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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBDSP View Post
    Yes, but I read that an Iraqi reporter threw his shoe at Bush. Is that some middle-eastern code for something, or did he just throw a shoe because it was ready to hand, I wonder?

    In news articles of this incident, apparently the foot and anything to do with it is considered one of the 'unclean' and 'lower' parts of the human body in their culture, and that includes shoes. Perhaps this reporter just took what was available to him and threw it, and it was coincidence, but article does mention that Iraqis also took off their shoes and used it to beat the statue of Saddam Hussein when it was famously toppled over in 2003.

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    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
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    His reflexes are not bad.
    "Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck." - Joss Whedon

    "The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance." -Benjamin Franklin

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aella View Post


    His reflexes are not bad.


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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Yeah, it "almost" looks rehearsed.

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    Elite Member Mr. Authority's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aella View Post


    His reflexes are not bad.
    Of course his reflexes are good, Eight years of ducking responsibility for his actions have served him well.

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