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ROSENBERG Bold Move, Tight Security, Big Story
by Joel Rosenberg
[novelist] 6/14/06

President Bush made a surprise visit to Baghdad yesterday to meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and to get a face-to-face assessment of how the U.S. can help the new Iraqi government improve security and stand on its own. It was a bold move under tight security and it's a big story. It shows the President's determination to build momentum after the stunning success of U.S. forces hunting down and killing Zarqawi. The future of Iraq and the future of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East is on the line.

Bush spent about five hours on the ground. Maliki learned of his visit about five minutes before he met with Bush. Most U.S. Cabinet members didn't even know.

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Joel C. Rosenberg is the New York Times best-selling author of THE LAST JIHAD (2002), THE LAST DAYS (2003), and THE EZEKIEL OPTION (2005), with more than one million copies in print. He previously served as a senior advisor to several U.S. and Israeli leaders, including Steve Forbes, Rush Limbaugh, former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky, and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He has been interviewed on more than 300 radio and TV shows, including ABC's "Nightline," CBN's 700 Club, CNN Headline News, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, the Michael Reagan Show, the Rush Limbaugh Show and the Sean Hannity Show.. Website - [go to Rosenberg Index]

The Ezekiel Option

The Last Days

The Last Jihad


According to the press pool report: "Presidential counselor Dan Bartlett told reporters aboard Air Force One that the trip was planned over the past month by a small group of six White House he described as a 'very, very close circle of people.' He said that Mr. Bush had wanted to come to Iraq as soon as the final positions in Mr. Maliki's government -- the ministers of Defense and Interior - were chosen....Apart from Vice President Cheney, the only cabinet members notified in advance that the president would be visiting Baghdad were Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld....Mr. Bartlett said that the president left Camp David Monday evening after excusing himself from an after-dinner discussion....at approximately 7:45 PM, Mr. Bush told the officials that he was 'losing altitude' and wanted to go to bed to read a bit before falling asleep. The meeting adjourned around 8 PM, but the president had by that point already quietly left for Andrews. Mr. Bartlett declined to specify how the president snuck away without the other officials noticing his absence, but said that the helicopter Mr. Bush flew to Andrews was not the green and white helicopter normally used as Marine One."

Also from the press pool report: "Mr. Bartlett said the main point of the trip was to enable Mr. Bush to meet Mr. Maliki face-to-face and get a clearer sense of the Iraqi premier's priorities and the specific ways the U.S. government could help him succeed....'When you're dealing with issues of enormous consequence, the security of our country, the security of the Middle East and the world, and you're making such monumental decisions, its critically important that you're able to meet with the new leader, confer with the leader, who you're going to be making those decisions with,' he said. 'We are committed to the success of the new government and the Maliki plan that he is outlining.'"

copyright 2006 Joel C. Rosenberg





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