You can bet this is just the thing the Presidential Handlers wanted to do -- a surprise visit to watch the Iraqi Soccer Team in action just as the Republican convention gets under way in New York, site of 9/11! But first of all the Iraqi Soccer Team has already told him not to come. And second of all this internet story may have scuddled it all for 'security' reasons anyway. Certain shows the creative use, and potential power, of Internet publishing...
Meanwhile, good old Secretary of State Colin Powell -- remember his dastardly performance at the U.N. Security Council now -- will be going to the Olympics...but 'moderate' that he is he won't be going to New York for the convention and once elected the second Bush II regime won't be needing his services any more anyway, and he knows it.
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX SUN AUG 22, 2004 16:35:43 ET XXXXX
NBC: BUSH 'NOT WELCOME' SIGHT FOR OLYMPIC SECURITY PLANNERS
ON-AIR REPORT DURING OLYMPIC COVERAGE ABOUT POSSIBLE BUSH TRIP
NBC's Jim Lampley on Bush's possible visit for Iraqi soccer game:
NBC, 4:30pm ET
"Within the last 24 hours, the online newsletter the Drudge report published a story indicating that president George W. Bush may attend an Iraqi soccer game here in Greece. As you can imagine, the trip was being planned in secret. The Iraqi soccer story has become one of great interest as the team, unheralded just ten days, has stunningly played its way into the Olympic semi-finals. According to "drudge," president bush would arrive in time for the gold medal game here in Athens next Saturday, should the Iraqis make it that far. However, Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman, appearing on Meet the Press this morning, told Tim Russert that he knew of no plans by the president to go to the Olympics.
Two things we can add to a possible U.S. presidential visit: Given the already tightly-stretched security situation here in Athens, his presence would probably not be a welcome sight for those entrusted with the complex security operation already in place here. Despite their warm feelings for the American people, polls in Greece show a wide majority of the Greek population do not approve of president Bush, his administration and its policies. Probably meaning, added and extraordinary security measures would be needed.
Second, and perhaps more pointedly, the Iraqi soccer players, the supposed focus of this surprise visit, have been outspoken in calling on president Bush to stop using them as election-related fodder. Said one Iraqi mid fielder, "Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign. He can find another way to advertise himself." The Bush campaign has run ads in which the flags of both Iraq and Afghanistan appear and the narration mentions that two more free nations are participating at these Olympics. Later today, the State Department announced that secretary of state Colin Powell will represent the United states at the closing ceremony next Sunday."