President Bush and Thanksgiving in Iraq

Several years ago, I became fascinated with presidential proclamations, from President Washington in 1789, President Lincoln during the Civil War, and President Reagan in 1988.

So let's remember one president who spent Thanksgiving in a very unique way.

We've had some talk lately about President Bush and the decision to take out Saddam Hussein.  I continue to support the action. 

North Korea is what happens when you leave people in power who have or look to have weapons of mass destruction.  The Middle East would look different today if Iraq were conducting nuclear tests or threatening to hit Israel or others.

Back in 2003, President Bush showed up in Iraq for Thanksgiving.  It was a great story and must have been quite a treat for the soldiers enjoying some turkey: 

Mr. Bush sneaked out of Crawford on Wednesday in an unmarked car, then flew to Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, where a few advisers and a small number of reporters sworn to secrecy joined him. They then flew on to Baghdad International Airport, arriving around dusk.

He spent 2 hours 32 minutes in the country, dining with the chief United States administrator there, L. Paul Bremer III, and sharing Thanksgiving wishes with about 600 troops at an airport hangar. Mr. Bush actually helped serve dinner to the troops, who had been told they would be dining with Mr. Bremer and with Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of coalition forces in Iraq.

He also met with four members of the Iraqi Governing Council.

The trip must have raised enormous concerns for the president's security team. A DHL cargo plane using the same airport Saturday was struck in the wing by a shoulder-fired missile, forcing it to make an emergency landing. Such missiles, reliant on visual contact with their targets, are considered ineffective after dark, however.

For security reasons, the president's trip was such a secret that even First Lady Laura Bush and his parents were not told about it.  It must have been quite a surprise when plans changed from Crawford to Iraq.

Fourteen years later, I say thanks that President Bush took out Saddam Hussein and prevented Iraq from turning into North Korea.

My guess is that Iraq's neighbors share my sentiments.

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