June 13, 2006

Bush's Latest "Trick Play"

Oh, "trick play" isn't the way I would describe Bush's surprise trip to Iraq. I'm not so good with the sports analogies.

But it is the way a Republican -- not some crazed, demented leftist loon who hates America, cute puppies, etc., ad nauseam, but a Republican -- describes it:
President Bush's surprise visit Tuesday to war-scarred Baghdad is part of what his supporters hope will be a political and military turnaround there and at home.

Polls and news events have been turning Bush's way over the last week.

Despite ongoing violence in Iraq — which continued Tuesday — the killing of renowned terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi last week was the first piece of good news the administration has gotten out of Iraq in months. The White House also learned Tuesday that Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, will not be charged in connection with the leaking of a former CIA agent's identity.

"If you use the football analogy, every once in awhile you have to shake things up with a trick play," Keith Appell, a Republican consultant said of Bush's visit to Baghdad.
I'm certain our conscientious media will point out the obvious significance of the grave necessity involved in keeping this visit top secret, given how dangerous Iraq is -- and that they will also emphasize what it means that even the capital city is a place where people often cannot walk safely across the street.

But gee whiz. Lots of people continue to die every single day in the pointless, illegitimate occupation of Iraq, others commit suicide in one of our detestable, unconstitutional prisons, and disastrous consequences flow out in every direction -- and it's just the time for a "trick play"! I'm very glad to see that the deep thinkers are still consulted about Republican strategy.

With regard to the ongoing carnage in Iraq, the New York Times reports:
Insurgents unleashed a volley of bombings across the northern city of Kirkuk today, killing more than two dozen Iraqis in morning rush-hour attacks that targeted top police officials and security patrols. The attacks came after what local authorities described as the capture and elimination several days ago of a major terrorist cell.

While Kirkuk has seen a heavy number of assassinations and other violence, the seven bombings today represented an attack of unusual coordination that local security officials suggested may have been retaliation for the arrest of the cell or intended as a signal that the insurgency in the city remains strong.

Or they said it may also have been a response to the killing six days earlier of the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq, whose presumed successor, Abu Hamza al-Mujahir, issued a statement through a jihadist Web site on today pledging to continue attacks against "crusaders and Shiites." Mr. Zarqawi died on June 7 after American warplanes dropped a pair of 500-pound bombs on his safehouse near Baquba.

"The terrorists want to send a message that they are staying active despite the fact that Zarqawi was killed," Rizgar Ali, head of Kirkuk's governing council, told the Reuters news agency.

All of the attacks happened in a space of just over one hour as people headed for work, the local authorities said. By the time they were over the bombers had killed at least 25 people and wounded 46 more, said Dr. Mohammed Abdullah, a physician at the Kirkuk hospital. Dozens of people lined up at the hospital to donate blood to help those injured.
And about the secrecy surrounding this latest "trick play": Bush didn't even tell the Iraqi government that he was coming! Al-Maliki didn't know about Bush's arrival until five minutes before he met with him. Well, it's not like Iraq is a sovereign nation or anything. Think more along the lines of the imperial governor visiting the far-flung provinces.

Nifty. And so American, too! I'm sure the founders are immensely pleased.