President Bush left for Baghdad on an unannounced five-hour trip designed to boost the government of new Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and allow the two leaders to get to know each other face-to-face.
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"The POTUS is on board!" Mr. Bush, wearing a navy blue baseball cap, dark pants and blue button down shirt, yelled to reporters as he climbed the rear steps of the plane. Air Force One - piloted by the same colonel who had flown Mr. Bush to Iraq on his first trip to Iraq in November 2003 -- was wheels-up at 9:07 PM Washington time Monday night. It landed at Baghdad International Airport at 4:08 PM Baghdad time Tuesday afternoon.
My favorite CINC quote from ABC News:
"I've come to not only look you in the eye," Bush told al-Maliki. "I also come to tell you that when America gives its word, it keeps its word."
Nothing but good news lately - Zarqawi dead, Iraq cabinet posts filled, Haditha "massacre" story unraveling, Iraqi PM al-Maliki cracking down in Baghdad, Rove walks, and now another bold move by our CINC.
Things are looking up.
In this morning's paper, a new USA TODAY/Gallup poll of Americans "found that 48% believe the United States probably or definitely will win the war, up from 39% in April. It also found that 47% believe things are going well in Iraq, up from 38% in March."