At this point al Qaeda must be doing a collective Yosemite Sam.
Talk of “turning points” is always more hopeful than objective, but a stretch that saw Zarqawi dispatched, the key Iraqi cabinet posts filled, and the president in Baghdad is a very good week indeed.
Mr. Bush departed Andrews Air Force Base shortly after 9 p.m. Monday after secretly traveling by helicopter from Camp David, where he was in the middle of a two-day Iraq summit with members of his cabinet and senior military officials. He was accompanied by senior aides like National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, White House counselor Dan Bartlett, Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagan and White House spokesman Tony Snow.
It landed at Baghdad International Airport at 4:08 p.m. Baghdad time this afternoon.
Mr. Bartlett told reporters aboard Air Force One that the trip was planned over the past month by a small group of six White House aides 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.
Had those posts been filled sooner, Mr. Bush would have made the trip several months earlier, Mr. Bartlett said