A Republican Congressional delegation led by Senator John McCain stopped by the Shorja market in Baghdad to haggle over prices and have a little tea on Sunday. Probably due to security reasons, this was an unannounced trip. The Senators made some good deals and chatted with the locals. McCain found a nice rug for 60$, but Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, found the bargain of the day telling reporters, â€œI bought five carpets for five bucks.â€ After shopping the Senators held a press conference, where McCain told the reporters, “The American people are not getting the picture of all that is happening here.” McCain in typical testy fashion went on to say, “Things are better and there are encouraging signs. I’ve been here … many times over the years. Never have I been able to drive from the airport, never have I been able go out into the city as I was today.” McCain also said, “I’m not saying ‘mission accomplished,’ ‘last throes,’ ‘dead-enders’ or any of that,” he said. “I believe that the signs are encouraging, but please don’t interpret one comment of mine in any way to indicate that this isn’t a long, difficult struggle.” The other Senators also had encouraging things to say about their visit. Despite McCain’s claim that the violence has dropped due to the surge, a report from an Iraqi official states that there has been more deaths in March than February. According to their tally, 2,078 civilians, cops and soldiers were killed last month, 272 more fatalities than in February. I understand when they say that it is safer in Bagdad, than in some U.S. cities, they can only mean American deaths, because I know of no city in the U.S. that has over 2,000 deaths per month due to violence. John McCain also didn’t mention how protected they really were on their visit. NBC says they were accompanied by, “100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead.â€ Of course after they left the snipers returned. Was this a fact finding mission, or just another campaign stop for McCain? Shorja market merchant Abu Samir, 31, said McCain bought an Egyptian rug from him and told him through an interpreter: “I want to run for president. And, don’t worry, because I’ll handle the war better than Bush.”
John McCain is right, we don’t get the whole picture on Iraq, and we didn’t get much from their little political parade through the market. We have been lied to from the get go on this war. Because, as Jack Nicholson once said, we “Can’t handle the truth.” If we knew the real reason’s, the huge profits from the war, then we would be less likely to support it. It’s true though, the bigger the mess gets in Iraq, the bigger the profits are for war profiteers. If we saw real pictures from the front, the dead, the injured, the destruction, we would be less likely to support this mess. But, we didn’t get the whole picture John McCain.
Check out this CNN report about the visit,