I tacked on 90 seconds at the beginning of Bush’s remarks to the media, the salient point of which was the promise that America won’t abandon the Iraqi people. Congress will have something to say about that, I imagine. He also pushes the idea of “bottom-up reconciliation,” which, again, is premised on the idea of giving the leaders of the Anbar awakening some say in the national government. Maliki’s not going to go for that, whatever he might have told Bush today. Note also the opening Bush leaves himself to draw down troops if the security situation continues to improve. He’ll have no choice but to draw them down starting next summer, so expect the situation to improve rhetorically, if not in fact, by then.
He was well received by the troops, though. It’s a comfort to know that morale remains high.