DESERT AIR BASE, somewhere in Iraq, maybe - President Bush and his national security team made a first-hand assessment of the sand in the desert in Iraq and prospects for political reconciliation between the grains Monday before a showdown with Congress over his surge folly.
The president secretly flew 12 hours to this safe and dusty air base in a remote part of Anbar province where he knew there would be no one to shoot at him, unlike the troops on the ground.
He did the same thing in Vietnam.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived ahead of Bush and conferred with senior U.S. officials, including Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, before a session with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
President Jalal Talabani, and other top Iraqi officials from Baghdad said they did not like being driven into the desert by Bin Laden and his gang but if “Bush was a coward then so be it.”