Over the weekend, the president made his last “surprise” visit to Iraq, in what was supposed to be something of a victory lap, showing off how much better conditions in Iraq are now than before. When Muntadar al-Zaidi threw his shoes, and became a cause celebre, the victory lap apparently took a detour.

But it’s nevertheless hard to miss the public-relations offensive — presumably as an extension of the Bush Legacy Project — in which prominent administration officials and/or Bush allies push the notion that the war in Iraq really was a great idea, reality notwithstanding.

Just over the last few days:

* Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice inexplicably told the AP yesterday that no “American money” was lost to corruption in Iraq.

* Far-right commentator Frank Gaffney insisted on MSNBC yesterday that Saddam Hussein was a “mortal threat” to the United States and while it was “regrettable” that U.S. troops had to die, they “did have to die.”


* Several conservative media personalities have condemned Iraqis as “ingrates” this week, for failing to thank the U.S. for our efforts.

* Vice President Dick Cheney, for reasons that defy comprehension, argued on Monday that Saddam Hussein “still had the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction” prior to the U.S. invasion.

* Bush, when confronted with the fact that al Qaeda wasn’t in Iraq until after the U.S. invasion, said the development was irrelevant, asking, “So what?