Sunday, April 8, 2007

Has McCain finally severed his last tie with reality?

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 Baghdad have faced devastating terrorist attacks. A car bombing at Shorja in February, for example, killed 137 people. Today the market still faces occasional sniper attacks, but it is safer than it used to be.

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?”

Sounds like the Iraqi’s saw if differently than the potentates, doesn’t it?

Extremist Shiite militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr is in hiding, his followers are not contesting American forces, sectarian violence has dropped in Baghdad and we are working with the Shiite mayor of Sadr City.

Really Senator? Then what was this all about?

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.

Again, really Senator? Then why all the need to call in airstrikes in recent weeks as those insurgents adapt tactics and learn to fight more effectively?

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 Iraq because they refuse to tell the good news? That boys and girls is known in polite company as merde of Moo Cow. This disgusting and disgraceful lie has been repeated ad nauseum by the Bush Administration and its Republican hacks--John McCain to name one. There are, unfortunately, some in the media as well who insist that the media is just not telling us the good news. A friend of mine, Joel Mowbray, takes a whack at this topic in today's Washington Times (and please, no hateful comments for Joel, he is still willing to give the Bushies the benefit of the doubt and is not an evil soul) by arguing that Iraqis by and large say they are better off today than under Saddam Hussein.

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.

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