Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bush's Unannounced Visit to Baghdad

I was very busy yesterday, so I couldn't comment on the surprise visit by President Bush to Iraq. Here are my observations:

The media said Iraqi prime minister Al-Maliki was given five-minutes notice before meeting the president. The first thought in my mind when I saw him shake hands with President Bush was, "What if he was at the toilet at the time? Did he have the time to wash his hands before he ran to meet the President?"

At least we know he was still at work after 4 p.m. That's a good sign.

Next, I realized he had to meet the President at the American embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone. Does this mean the Americans think the Iraqi government can't provide security for the American President at Al-Maliki's office? I thought this is somewhat of an insult. No wait, THIS IS AN INSULT when Iraq is considered an independent country.

This brings the next question to my mind, is it OK for Blair, Howard, Queen Elizabeth or The Pope to pay a surprise visit to the United States and ask the President to meet them at their embassy in Washington?

If anything this visit proves what Iraqis have said for the last three years. Iraq is NOT safe. So, thank you Mr. President for the unannounced visit. You proved Iraqis right.



UPDATE I
William M. Arkin wrote in the Washigton Post what I feel about the visit:

No doubt the Iraqi leader was let in on the plan earlier than anyone else was and knew what to expect in the American lock-down, but it is hardly a picture of an independent and sovereign nation able to defend itself or guarantee security, even for a few hours.
[...]
Maybe meeting the President of the United States is a bigger deal than I am willing to admit, but the best outcome from American from this whirlwind would be for al-Maliki to be furious, and to make it clear to America that in the future, this is his country and if the President of the United States once again makes a surprise visit, he will do so under Iraqi control, with Iraqi security, and visit the Iraqi leader at his home or office.

Read more...

The rest of the article is even better.

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