Some of your responses:
Yes, This was just another show of leadership based on principle. If only we had something close to this leadership in the previous eight years and not completely politically driven decisions, our history may have been different.
N. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
As a liberal college student, this is one move of the President's that I feel was done for the right reasons. I know a few people my age who are overseas, or who were in Afghanistan, and in my eyes and theirs, it was nothing but an encouraging surprise.
Los Angeles, Calif.
From the point of view of Mr. Bush's loyal Republican voters, who were getting weary of the war toll, yes. For upstaging Mrs. Clinton's appearance, and making her look bad, yes. For making it up to the soldiers, for whom he has passed up 441 chances to pay his respect for their giving their lives to our country, no.
Definitly yes, for the troops, as well as the public at large. It may have been a stunt, yet we needed a refresher, and the stunt humanized the efforts being made in Iraq and also to counter the spread of terrorism. Well done, Mr. President ... but don't do it again soon!
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I am no fan of the President's, but I think his risking his life to go to Baghdad was inexcusable. I did not vote for him, and I CERTAINLY did not vote for Cheney, who we would have if anything happened to the President. I'm sure the troops appreciated the visit, but I believe he did it for the photo opportunity, not for the troops.
San Diego, Calif.
Worth it to whom? The sitting-duck soldiers have to sit there while the President boasts about his intention to "turn this baby around and come home" at the slightest hint of danger. Why can't more people see the cowardice, the conniving stage-managed manipulation, the delusions of grandeur being indulged in by this idiot-king?
An absolute YES!!! This President shows he has the guts and heart in taking on risks. America is blessed to have such a stand-up man as Commander-in-Chief. What better way to show our troops that he stands shoulder to shoulder with them than a surprise visit that is of such high risk to himself. As for those who complain that it is a photo-op show; why don't they pose the same question to the NY Senator? Talking about being biased, this really shows it.
George Bush has not shown one bit of heart for the military men and women and this escapade did nothing to erase his ideas to reduce enlisted soldier's pay, combat pay, separation allowance and veteran's benefits. We will be paying for this war for a long time. The amount of money spent on this campaign photo op was a waste.
Personally I think it was all political. He knew that if he succeeded in that attempt to capture attention from the U.S. he would get a lot more of the support he wanted. It was more of a selfish motive behind the reason he went.
Ft. Bragg, N.C.
Yes! The risks were evaluated and necessary precautions were taken. What President Bush (unlike his predecessor Bill Clinton) demonstrated is the difference between "authority" and "leadership." Clearly, President Bush is a leader.
Having served four tours in Vietnam, I know the President's willingness to sacrifice Thanksgiving Day with his family to spend it with our troops touched their hearts as I know it did mine. What a thoughtful gesture to thank all of those who are there serving our country. Praise God for George Bush!
Philip B. Evans
Bush's two hour photo-op visit to Iraq was meant to upstage Hillary Clinton's much-publicized intention to visit Iraq. She made that announcement long before the spinmeisters in the White House wet themselves trying to figure out a way to take the wind out of Hillary's sails. Their answer: let's arrange a quick and secret visit to Iraq by the Clown-in-Chief.
Worth it? Probably for the effort to elect the formerly unelected "president." Flag-wavers who have not lost loved ones in Bush's adventure in empire will salivate over the military deserter's platitudes and photo-ops, but geniune Americans see through his criminal cowardice. Better you should ask if 440 lost American lives (and thousands of innocent Iraqis) are "worth" the colonial PNAC [Project for the New American Century] experiment.
I think the President's visit to our troops for Thanksgiving was worth the risk. I spent two tours in South Korea and any visit from our leadership in the U.S. was a welcome reminder of why I served. Despite the spin the media will make of the visit, I think it showed a side of the Presidency we need to see more of true support for the men and women in our armed services.
Birch Bay, Wash.
How can we talk about security risk after the event has passed? It was a "risk" but nothing happened to him. It only goes to show our President does not fear evil.
Las Vegas, Nev.
Yes! Any criticism of motives is absolutely insignificant in comparison to the fact that the President was able to personally thank these men and women in Iraq who are giving up lives and limbs in our behalf.
Definitely no. The potential loss of America's stature if anything had happened to the President was not balanced by the morale boost for the troops. This was an irresponsible decision by the President ... again.
Shaker Heights, Ohio
Besides morale boost and support: If it's worth the risk of our thousands of troops' lives, then the president should be willing to risk his own to show us that. It also sends an important message to our enemy, "We will not go away and hide in fear".
San Antonio, Texas
The modest and transient military morale-boost from Mr. Bush's trip was worth neither the risk of lives nor the cost to the taxpayers of several hundred thousand dollars to operate Air Force One. The effect on Iraqi morale was apparently negative.
Edward B. Mohns
La Jolla, Calif.
A resounding yes! President Bush has a heart for our military men and women and this was a wonderful way for him to show it. I just finished reading a published e-mail sent home by one of the soldiers that he spoke with while he was in Baghdad. His presence was the best morale booster that they could have.
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