27 Nov 2003 by Jason Fried
Secret, bold, and successful. Is there a better winning combination?
Bush’s surprise visit to Iraq to visit the troops on Thanksgiving was one of the shrewdest political moves in recent memory. This one is going to resonate. It scores big points in various ways:
- Big morale boost for US troops. ‘Nuff said.
- Reinforcing the emotional connection between the Commander in Chief and his troops. Plenty of Americans will feel pride while watching this.
- Psychological blow to Al Queda and Saddam. It says “Our guy can come over to your neck of the woods, show his face, have a meal, greet his warriors, and leave peacefully. Your guys can’t even show their faces in their own backyard.” Note: Expect to see some Saddam and Bin Laden tapes in the coming days/weeks. They’ll have to show their faces.
- A positive change of heart for those on the fence.
- Needed boost in approval ratings and goodwill at home. Just watch.
- The first visit by a US President to Iraq. Ever.
- Boost for the Iraqi people. Bush invited and embraced members of the Iraqi Ruling Council at the surprise meeting/dinner. Including a woman. This is strong symbolism. These pictures and videos will tug at the humanity of the Arab world. Note: Look for a big PR push from the other side shortly - pictures of dead civilians, children, emotional/cultural imagery, etc.
Students of politics and strategy will remember this moment for a long time. This could be a tipping point (tipping towards the positive). We’ll see. Thoughts?