In the Washington Post today, Senator and Republican presidential contender John McCain takes to the Op-Ed pages and spins an alternate version of reality in an attempt to bolster support for Bush's war. It is a desperate attempt to restore his own relevance, but it is too late.
He is still insisting that the Shorja market is now a safe place!
I observed that our delegation "stopped at a local market, where we spent well over an hour, shopping and talking with the local people, getting their views and ideas about different issues of the day." Markets in
Unbelievable! Everyone knows by now that the marketplace had been cleared of all shoppers before the visit, only the merchants remained, and the area was sealed off. A full company of soldiers, three Blackhawks, two Apache gunships, and snipers on the rooftops made it *safe* for the congresscritters to visit the market - they still wore body armor.
The very next day, 21 of the merchants were rounded up and executed, retaliation for being seen as cooperating with the Americans. And snipers once again were back to picking off civilians.
From Think Progress:
“The crack of shots fired by unseen snipers echoed on Monday through Baghdad’s wholesale Shorja market, a day after U.S. Senator John McCain held up his visit there as one sign of improving security in Baghdad.”
“They were just making fun of us and paid this visit just for their own interests,” said Jaafar Moussa Thamir, a merchant in the Shorja market visited by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) congressional delegation. “Do they think that when they come and speak few Arabic words in a very bad manner it will make us love them?”
Extremist Shiite militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr is in hiding, his followers are not contesting American forces, sectarian violence has dropped in
Iraqi army and police forces are increasingly fighting on their own and with American forces, and their size and capability are growing. Iraqi army and police casualties have increased because they are fighting more.
And true to conservative form – there was a blame-the-media backbeat to the tune he was singing:
I am not saying that bad news should not be reported or that horrific terrorist attacks are not newsworthy. But news coverage should also include evidence of progress.
Ah hell – now I’m all pissed off and I need a drink and it isn’t even 3:00 p.m.…So I’ll let Larry Johnson have the last word.
So, the media is losing us the war in
I would argue that objective facts point to a society that is drastically and dramatically worse off:
· Iraqi doctors and dentists have fled the country in droves
· Iraqi society has become more segregated
· Electricity production lags far behind the norm achieved under Saddam
· Public safety is a joke
· Religious extremism is more widespread and women in several areas of the country are subjected to Sharia law in a way never experienced under Saddam
The Senator seems to have slipped the last of his moorings to reality. Speaking as someone who never supported him but who used to respect him, I find this very sad indeed.
A once noble man, reduced to a laughing stock. And still a prisoner of war if you really get right down to it.