Today, President Bush held the Anbar province up as an example of his escalation’s success and justification for why the troop buildup should not be cut short:
In Anbar you’re seeing firsthand the dramatic differences that can come when the Iraqis are more secure. … You see Sunnis who once fought side by side with al-Qaida against coalition troops now fighting side by side with coalition troops against al-Qaida.
But as the AP points out, “In truth, the progress in Anbar was initiated by the Iraqis themselves, a point Gates himself made, saying the Sunni tribes decided to fight and retake control from al-Qaida many months before Bush decided to send an extra 4,000 Marines to Anbar as part of his troop buildup.”
UPDATE: “Though Mr. Bush never left the confines of the air base on his six-hour visit, he declared: ‘I have come here today to see with our own eyes the remarkable changes that are taking place in Anbar Province.’”