Say what you like, President Bush' surprise visit to Iraq was very cool.
With the president out of sight, L. Paul Bremer, the chief U.S. civilian administrator, told the soldiers it was time to read the president's Thanksgiving proclamation and that it was a task for the most senior official present.
"Is there anybody back there more senior than us?" he asked. That was the cue for Bush, who promptly stepped forward from behind a curtain, setting off pandemonium among the troops.
First lady Laura Bush, preparing a Thanksgiving Day dinner, was not told until Tuesday or Wednesday. Bush's parents, former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, were invited to his ranch for the holiday but were not informed.