September 3rd, 2007
09:33 AM ET
13 years ago

Bush visits Iraq

President Bush made an unannounced visit to Iraq on Labor Day and was greeted by Gen. David Petraeus, left, and Adm. William Fallon, right

BAGHDAD (CNN) - President Bush arrived Monday at a U.S. military base in Iraq's Anbar province on an unannounced visit, less than two weeks before his administration is scheduled to report to Congress on progress in Iraq.

Among those accompanying Bush Monday were Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

It is Bush's third visit to Iraq, and the first time he landed outside the Iraqi capital.

Bush chose to land at Al Asad Air Base in Anbar because the administration believes the Sunni province west of Baghdad is symbolic of what can be done elsewhere in Iraq.

Bush has repeatedly hailed the U.S. military's alliance with Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar as the reason that fighting against al Qaeda militants has lessened there.

White House advisers said Bush also came to Al Asad to gauge firsthand the challenges faced by the 7,000 Marines and 3,000 soldiers stationed at the base between Baghdad and the Syrian border, prior to the release of the White House's report on Iraq

Full story: Bush makes surprise visit to Iraq

Filed under: Iraq • President Bush
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. David, Salinas, CA

    There have been military successes in small regions of Iraq like al Anbar, but most of the country is still mired in civil war. Most of the casualties of U.S. forces have nothing to do with al Qaeda. They are the result of attacks by local militias who resent our continued occupation. President Bush’s visit is just another sound-bite opportunity to declare “mission accomplished” without acknowledging the real military and political situation.

    The principal Republican candidates for the Presidency, (Giuliani, Romney, Thompson & McCain) all seem to view the Iraq war through the President’s rose-colored glasses. We need a President willing to face hard facts. We don’t have one now. And the Republicans aren’t offering one in 2008.

    September 3, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. cary lowell in

    now that the New York Times has shocked the world by publishing an article stating that the US is having great success with Gen. Petreaus' plan, it truly is a new day!

    September 3, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. RB

    Hopefully, a moving van and the rest of his belongings will follow shortly, since he thinks it's so great over there.

    September 3, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. John from America

    Good for you George – now why don't you stay there and get the job done like the true "leader" you are! After all, you being the "great decider" can help you confused Iraq leadership get over their hurdles better than anybody since your on Gods mission!

    September 3, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. xtina chicago IL

    God Bless our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coasties. Thank you for being great Americans, and for your dedication to serving our country.

    September 3, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. John Lee Saint Petersburg, FL

    Bush is a great leader. This trip will allow him to better understand the report on Iraq being delivered next week. I wish him safe travels.

    September 3, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Bring on the photo ops, President Shrub, and prepare for the excrement to hit the ventilator when Congress takes up your Surge Supplemental in a few weeks. This is your last shot for a fatally flawed policy, to use one of your Brain's recent phrases.

    September 3, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Justin, Ada Oklahoma

    President Bush is a true leader: doing what is right despite the criticism of those who covet his position.

    September 3, 2007 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. Pete, T.S. FL

    White House advisers said Bush also came to Al Asad to gauge firsthand the challenges faced by the 7,000 Marines and 3,000 soldiers............

    Maybe he should have gotten into an unarmed humvee and driven the local streets for a while rather than hide on a secured air base! Can you say photo-op.........

    September 3, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. S. Levy, San Francisco, CA

    Indeed, symbolism (Style over substance) is the hallmark of Bush's administration. So here he is at the second largest airbase NOT in Baghdad (as many newscasters today have titled his photo op as), but 180 kilometers north of Baghdad surrounded by a 21 km secure perimeter, and if that's not enough, 7,000 US marines, 3,000 US soldiers and God knows how many armed to the teeth secret service personnel. For a six hour photo op. As a child in the 50s, I've always recalled an apt turn of phrase, "believe non of what you hear and half of what you see." Still fits.

    September 3, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. VanReuter NY NY

    Why doesn't the media finally admit that the reason why all visits of administration, and American officials, MUST be unannounced, "surprise", visits, is because it is so dangerous there that they're afraid of getting killed?
    Your headline should read;

    Bush sneaks into Iraq. President afraid of getting killed in lawless hell-hole of his design.


    September 3, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. Ian

    Does anyone really think there is any chance AT ALL of anyone saying anything but "Everything's going great! You're a genius!" no matter what they know the truth to be? Any chance at all? Me, neither

    September 3, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  13. NY,NY

    if he thinks this place is all the great he should bring his family for a vacation or put his daughters in uniform so they have all the fun as we do

    September 3, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  14. fedupwithourgov't

    It's so safe he had to make a SURPRISE visit!

    September 4, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  15. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    "Surprise" visit .. complete with impromptu movie cameras to record the photo op.

    Did he bring a plastic turkey this time?

    Maybe on the way back, he can do something he's NEVER done and attend a funeral for one of the under-armored kids he had killed in Iraq for those WMDs we never found?

    Then again, maybe not.

    September 4, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. Jenny, Rio Vista CA

    Now he can say that he has personally seen the progress and just needs more time and money. Duh!! We know this already. he was also there to put the squeeze on Patreus. This guy is such a piece of work. And for those of you that think he is so great......what good has he done? I can't think of one single thing. NADA!!!

    September 4, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Another last ditch effort for Bush to try to save face before the door slams behind him in the White House.

    This man is totally nauseating. Every single movement he makes is designed and prioritized solely on what might improve his image. All a waste of time and effort of course as his image couldn't be improved even with the best plastic surgeon in America!

    Bush has been all about Bush since he entered the White House.

    And what is Gen. Petraeus and Adm. William Fallon smiling about? I guess they must think Bush is laughable too!

    TO: Justin, Ada Oklahoma, John Lee Saint Petersburg, FL. How can you possibly make these statements as Americans! Do you think putting them in print might make them factual? I'm sorry to dissapoint you both but your statements are just as factless in print as they were when you conceived them.

    September 5, 2007 09:21 am at 9:21 am |