Monday, April 02, 2007

Juan Cole is pissed off at John McCain:

Juan Cole writes: (emp add)
This grandstanding trip that John McCain took to Baghdad on Sunday is another occasion for propaganda to shore up his falling poll numbers in his presidential campaign. He said, "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."

He said that only three days after the US embassy issued an order that personnel are to wear 'personal protective equipment' when moving between buildings inside the Green Zone! He said it the day two suicide belt bombs were found inside the Green Zone. So he could ride in an armored car in from the airport. That's the big achievement? What about when he gets to the Green Zone? Then he has to put on PPE to go to the cafeteria.

Look, I lived in the midst of a civil war in the late 1970s in Beirut. I know exactly what it looks and smells like. The inexperienced often assume that when a guerrilla war or a civil war is going on, life grinds to a standstill. Not so. People go shopping for food. They drive where they need to go as long as they don't hear that there is a firefight in that area. They go to work if they still have work. Life goes on. It is just that, unexpectedly, a mortar shell might land near you. Or the person ahead of you in line outside the bakery might fall dead, victim of a sniper's bullet. The bazaars are bustling some days (all the moreso because it is good to stock up on supplies the days when the violence isn't so bad). So nothing that John McCain saw in Baghdad on Sunday meant a damn thing. Not a goddamn thing.

It makes my blood boil.
... McCain, you see, knows exactly what I know about guerrilla wars and civil wars. Hell, people used to shop freely in Saigon in the early 1970s! And if he is saying what he is saying, it is because he is attempting to convey an overly optimistic picture with which to deceive the American public.

I don't hear ... realism, and dedication to the welfare of the troops, from McCain. I used to, when he wasn't running for president. He isn't going to be president, and the albatross of this war he has bought into is why.


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