Thursday, April 05, 2007

John McCain and the Potemkin, sorry I meant Shorja Market

John McCain Potemkin 1

Potemkin Village - From Wikipedia:

Potemkin villages were, purportedly, fake settlements erected at the direction of Russian minister Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin to fool Empress Catherine II during her visit to Crimea in 1787. Conventional wisdom has it that Potemkin, who led the Crimean military campaign, had hollow facades of villages constructed along the desolate banks of the Dnieper River in order to impress the monarch and her travel party with the value of her new conquests, thus enhancing his standing in the empress's eyes.

So John McCain and Lindsay Graham took themselves a little stroll in a Baghdad sook didn't they? Get a little local flavor, some face time with the folks right? Show us all how safe things are becoming in Iraq by not wearing the old brain bucket right? And those quaint little Iraqi merchants were so friendly! Heavens! A little island of peace and love! A taste of what the future of Iraq will be!

All to be gobbled by the folks at home via the TeeVee!

Only, there's one small problem:

When you're trying to pull off as large a PR scam as this, you can't let them see the gears turning!

Lindsay, John, it's nice that you went to the market sans helmets, but you should've left your flak jackets at home as well. But that was just one of the smallest giveaways. There's more.

You see, I can't even remember the last time I went to the Farmer's Market with a couple of Blackhawks and Apache gunships flying overhead. Have to keep control of my expenses you know. After all Johnny, you did say things in Iraq are getting better now didn't you?

From Capitol Hill Blue:

Monday, 02 April 2007
According to Arizona Senator John McCain, life in Baghdad is pretty safe these days - so safe, he says, that he walked freely in an open air market without any fear for his safety.

On his "safe" walk through the Shorja market where 137 Iraqis died from a truck bomb in February, hundreds of combat-ready American soldiers surrounded McCain and his party while Blackhawk helicopters provided air cover. The Senator, and others, wore flak vests.

The market where McCain walked "freely" is also fortified with blast walls and "Jersey barriers" to restrict vehicle traffic.

Reporters weren't allowed along on McCain's "walk of safety." An Army spokesman cited "security" as a concern for limiting access by the press. Instead, the military provided photos and video afterwards. After the Senator and two Republican colleagues returned to the safety of the even-more-heavily-fortified "Green Zone," he bragged about how safe Iraq had become under the seven-week-old "troop surge."

While he spoke, roadside bombs southwest of Baghdad killed six American soldiers. They weren't surrounded by a security cordon of troops pulled off regular duty to protect visiting VIPs. No Blackhawks circled overhead to provide extra security.

It's a sad state of affairs when a photo op by an aspiring Presidential candidate warrants more protection than American men and women fighting in an out-of-control civil war.

And I'm happy that you brought along that nice Gen. Petraeus and 100 of his boys! They deserve a break! But in a new and improved more peaceful Iraq, did they really need to bring all that hardware? After all it's not like somebody was going to bomb the place! Pity that few other Americans had such luck in another part of Baghdad:


4 G.I.ís Among Dead in Iraq; McCain Cites Progress

April 2, 2007

BAGHDAD, April 1 ó Mortar attacks, suicide car bombs, roadside bombs, ambushes and gun battles killed at least two dozen people on Sunday, including four American soldiers, the authorities said.
The American military command said the soldiers were killed southwest of Baghdad just after midnight as they responded to an earlier bombing that had killed two other American soldiers. The insurgents have frequently tried to reap greater death tolls by carrying out attacks against rescue crews rushing to bomb sites.

Such a nice peaceful day! And why on such a day did you and the other Republicans feel that you needed to bring 100 soldiers with full hardware on a shopping spree? Maybe you were trying to hide something? Maybe you knew that without those G.I.s, those Apaches and Blackhawks your life wouldn't be worth a plug nickel! And maybe without that preliminary sweep, you'd've lost more than your big tow to an I.E.D as your were strolling. Maybe Dubya was so anxious to save his legacy and you were so desperate to prop up a sagging Presidential campaign that you put on an act and threw up your own Potemkin Village just to try and fool the people. All nothing but props while the media and the people float by in their barges and merely give it all a glance.

Well, guess what Senator McCain:

This time the barges decided to dock. Time for a little stroll of our own to see what's behind the props of your little Potemkin Market.

IraqSlogger Sen. John McCain Goes Shopping For Votes

No comments: