Although Bush has touted the substantial political and security progress made in Anbar province, he was not scheduled to leave the security of the base to see those changes first hand.
"He is on a tight timeline," said Gen. Doug Lute, a deputy national security adviser, who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "We didn't really approach it like he is going to leave the base."
it does invite mockery
Of course, the PR spin will highlight "progress". Sayeth the shrub:
President Bush, after hearing from top U.S. and Iraqi leaders, said Monday that some U.S. troops could be sent home if security conditions across Iraq continue to improve as they have in this former hotbed of Sunni insurgency.
But the president, flanked by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, did not say how many troops could be withdrawn or how soon.
Bush spoke after hearing from Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and U.S. ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker, who are testifying to Congress next week assessing the president's troop buildup.
"Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker tell me if the kind of success we're now seeing continues, it will be possible to maintain the same level of security with fewer American forces," Bush said.
Does anybody believe this shit anymore?