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The American people back home will SWALLOW ANYTHING, right Bulgy? :rolleyes:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/03/world/mi...t/03mccain.html

McCain Wrong on Iraq Security, Merchants Say

Sgt. Matthew Roe/10th Public Affairs Operations Center, via Reuters

Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, in baseball cap, visited the Shorja market in Baghdad on Sunday with Gen. David H. Petraeus, left, the commander of the American forces in Iraq, accompanied by military escorts. Mr. McCain led a Congressional delegation on the visit.

By KIRK SEMPLE

Published: April 3, 2007

BAGHDAD, April 2 — A day after members of an American Congressional delegation led by Senator John McCain pointed to their brief visit to Baghdad’s central market as evidence that the new security plan for the city was working, the merchants there were incredulous about the Americans’ conclusions.

Representative Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican, said the Shorja market was “like a normal outdoor market in Indiana.”

“What are they talking about?” Ali Jassim Faiyad, the owner of an electrical appliances shop in the market, said Monday. “The security procedures were abnormal!”

The delegation arrived at the market, which is called Shorja, on Sunday with more than 100 soldiers in armored Humvees — the equivalent of an entire company — and attack helicopters circled overhead, a senior American military official in Baghdad said. The soldiers redirected traffic from the area and restricted access to the Americans, witnesses said, and sharpshooters were posted on the roofs. The congressmen wore bulletproof vests throughout their hourlong visit.

“They paralyzed the market when they came,” Mr. Faiyad said during an interview in his shop on Monday. “This was only for the media.”

He added, “This will not change anything.”

At a news conference shortly after their outing, Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican, and his three Congressional colleagues described Shorja as a safe, bustling place full of hopeful and warmly welcoming Iraqis — “like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime,” offered Representative Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican who was a member of the delegation.

But the market that the congressmen said they saw is fundamentally different from the market Iraqis know.

Merchants and customers say that a campaign by insurgents to attack Baghdad’s markets has put many shop owners out of business and forced radical changes in the way people shop. Shorja, the city’s oldest and largest market, set in a sprawling labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways, has been bombed at least a half-dozen times since last summer.

At least 61 people were killed and many more wounded in a three-pronged attack there on Feb. 12 involving two vehicle bombs and a roadside bomb.

American and Iraqi security forces have tried to protect Shorja and other markets against car bombs by restricting vehicular traffic in some shopping areas and erecting blast walls around the markets’ perimeters. But those measures, while making the markets safer, have not made them safe.

In the latest large-scale attack on a Baghdad market, at least 60 people, most of them women and children, were killed last Thursday when a man wrapped in an explosives belt walked around such barriers into a crowded street market in the Shaab neighborhood and blew himself up.

In recent weeks, snipers hidden in Shorja’s bazaar have killed several people, merchants and the police say, and gunfights have erupted between militants and the Iraqi security forces in the area.

During their visit on Sunday, the Americans were buttonholed by merchants and customers who wanted to talk about how unsafe they felt and the urgent need for more security in the markets and throughout the city, witnesses said.

“They asked about our conditions, and we told them the situation was bad,” said Aboud Sharif Kadhoury, 63, who peddles prayer rugs at a sidewalk stand. He said he sold a small prayer rug worth less than $1 to a member of the Congressional delegation. (The official paid $20 and told Mr. Kadhoury to keep the change, the vendor said.)

Mr. Kadhoury said he lost more than $2,000 worth of merchandise in the triple bombing in February. “I was hit in the head and back with shrapnel,” he recalled.

Ali Youssef, 39, who sells glassware from a sidewalk stand down the block from Mr. Kadhoury, recalled: “Everybody complained to them. We told them we were harmed.”

He and other merchants used to keep their shops open until dusk, but with the dropoff in customers as a result of the attacks, and a nightly curfew, most shop owners close their businesses in the early afternoon.

“This area here is very dangerous,” continued Mr. Youssef, who lost his shop in the February attack. “They cannot secure it.”

But those conversations were not reflected in the congressmen’s comments at the news conference on Sunday.

Instead, the politicians spoke of strolling through the marketplace, haggling with merchants and drinking tea. “The most deeply moving thing for me was to mix and mingle unfettered,” Mr. Pence said.

Mr. McCain was asked about a comment he made on a radio program in which he said that he could walk freely through certain areas of Baghdad.

“I just came from one,” he replied sharply. “Things are better and there are encouraging signs.”

He added, “Never have I been able to go out into the city as I was today.”

Told about Mr. McCain’s assessment of the market, Abu Samer, a kitchenware and clothing wholesaler, scoffed: “He is just using this visit for publicity. He is just using it for himself. They’ll just take a photo of him at our market and they will just show it in the United States. He will win in America and we will have nothing.”

A Senate spokeswoman for Mr. McCain said he left Iraq on Monday and was unavailable for comment because he was traveling.

Several merchants said Monday that the Americans’ visit might have only made the market a more inviting target for insurgents.

“Every time the government announces anything — that the electricity is good or the water supply is good — the insurgents come to attack it immediately,” said Abu Samer, 49, who would give only his nickname out of concern for his safety.

But even though he was fearful of a revenge attack, he said, he could not afford to stay away from the market. This was his livelihood. “We can never anticipate when they will attack,” he said, his voice heavy with gloomy resignation. “This is not a new worry.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

McCain Strolls Through Baghdad Market, Accompanied By 100 Soldiers, 3 Blackhawks, 2 Apache Gunships»

Sen. John McCain strolled briefly through an open-air market in Baghdad today in an effort to prove that Americans are “not getting the full picture” of what’s going on in Iraq.

NBC’s Nightly News provided further details about McCain’s one-hour guided tour. He was accompanied by “100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead.” Still photographs provided by the military to NBC News seemed to show McCain wearing a bulletproof vest during his visit. Watch it:

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/04/01/mccain-iraq-stroll/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/04/10/438/

Published on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 by The Rocky Mountain News (Colorado)

An Orwellian PR Stunt

by Paul Campos

Last week, Sen. John McCain staged a truly Orwellian publicity stunt in a Baghdad market. In a desperate attempt to give some sliver of credence to claims that the dreaded “liberal media” are failing to report on all the wonderful things happening in Iraq, McCain took a brief walk outside the American-maintained fortress that is Baghdad’s green zone.Afterward, McCain declared his walk through the Shurja market was a sign that security had improved significantly in the Iraqi capital, and the administration’s current troop escalation is working. What he didn’t mention was that, during his short stroll, he was accompanied by dozens of heavily armed U.S. troops and several armored vehicles, while a couple of attack helicopters hovered overhead.

McCain’s photo op (which included the spectacle of the elderly senator wearing a flak jacket) was ludicrous on so many levels that even the normally docile national press, which has always treated McCain with kid gloves, pointed out he was making a fool of himself. Chastened, McCain issued a half-hearted apology a few days later, saying he “mis- spoke” when he pointed to his little walk under the protection of several platoons from the world’s most powerful military as evidence of Baghdad’s excellent shopping opportunities.

The most interesting question raised by McCain’s pathetic stunt is why this genuine war hero - who after all knows far better than most politicians the difference between real courage and the made-for-TV kind - thought he could get away with it.

The answer can be found by taking a random stroll through the archives of the very media McCain was trying to manipulate. From the first days of the Iraq war, it has been an article of dogmatic faith among the movement conservatives McCain is trying to woo that the liberal media have given Americans a far too bleak picture of what’s happening in Iraq.

Here are just a few examples out of literally hundreds: In September of 2003, former Clinton adviser-turned-right-wing media pundit Dick Morris declared that the “incredibly biased” liberal media were claiming “that Iraq is a ‘quagmire’ and that there ‘aren’t any weapons of mass destruction,’ and that ‘Bush lied’ - and all the while, thanks to Fox News are seeing with their own eyes how much this is crazy spin.”

A year later syndicated columnist and Bush administration stenographer Mark Steyn announced that the “liberal media” were doing their best to hide the fact that “the glass in Iraq is about two-thirds full. The bulk of the violence is confined to one province and parts of Baghdad . . . There is no ‘civil war.’ “

And last April, President Bush himself took the media to task: “The kind of progress that we and the Iraqi people are making in places like Tal Afar is not easy to capture in a short clip on the evening news,” he said. “Footage of children playing, or shops opening, and people resuming their normal lives will never be as dramatic as the footage of an IED explosion, or the destruction of a mosque, or soldiers and civilians being killed or injured.” (Two weeks ago, almost exactly a year to the day after Bush uttered these words, Tal Afar was the site of a particularly horrible massacre, in which 70 men and boys were lynched. Some of the murderers were members of the town’s police force.)

Over the past four years it’s become clear that, when it comes to Iraq, perhaps a quarter of Americans are equipped with skulls that can successfully deflect almost all unpleasant facts. These people will account for the majority of the votes cast in next year’s Republican primaries - hence McCain’s extraordinarily well-armed stroll.

Here’s another unpleasant fact: The day after McCain’s photo op, 21 people from that same market were kidnapped, taken north of the city, and murdered.

Paul Campos is a professor of law at the University of Colorado. He can be reached at paul.campos@colorado.edu.

© 2007 The Rocky Mountain News

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Guest Rip Van Winkle
The American people back home will SWALLOW ANYTHING, right Bulgy? :rolleyes:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/03/world/mi...t/03mccain.html

McCain Wrong on Iraq Security, Merchants Say

Sgt. Matthew Roe/10th Public Affairs Operations Center, via Reuters

Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, in baseball cap, visited the Shorja market in Baghdad on Sunday with Gen. David H. Petraeus, left, the commander of the American forces in Iraq, accompanied by military escorts. Mr. McCain led a Congressional delegation on the visit.

By KIRK SEMPLE

Published: April 3, 2007

BAGHDAD, April 2 — A day after members of an American Congressional delegation led by Senator John McCain pointed to their brief visit to Baghdad’s central market as evidence that the new security plan for the city was working, the merchants there were incredulous about the Americans’ conclusions.

Representative Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican, said the Shorja market was “like a normal outdoor market in Indiana.”

“What are they talking about?” Ali Jassim Faiyad, the owner of an electrical appliances shop in the market, said Monday. “The security procedures were abnormal!”

The delegation arrived at the market, which is called Shorja, on Sunday with more than 100 soldiers in armored Humvees — the equivalent of an entire company — and attack helicopters circled overhead, a senior American military official in Baghdad said. The soldiers redirected traffic from the area and restricted access to the Americans, witnesses said, and sharpshooters were posted on the roofs. The congressmen wore bulletproof vests throughout their hourlong visit.

“They paralyzed the market when they came,” Mr. Faiyad said during an interview in his shop on Monday. “This was only for the media.”

He added, “This will not change anything.”

At a news conference shortly after their outing, Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican, and his three Congressional colleagues described Shorja as a safe, bustling place full of hopeful and warmly welcoming Iraqis — “like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime,” offered Representative Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican who was a member of the delegation.

But the market that the congressmen said they saw is fundamentally different from the market Iraqis know.

Merchants and customers say that a campaign by insurgents to attack Baghdad’s markets has put many shop owners out of business and forced radical changes in the way people shop. Shorja, the city’s oldest and largest market, set in a sprawling labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways, has been bombed at least a half-dozen times since last summer.

At least 61 people were killed and many more wounded in a three-pronged attack there on Feb. 12 involving two vehicle bombs and a roadside bomb.

American and Iraqi security forces have tried to protect Shorja and other markets against car bombs by restricting vehicular traffic in some shopping areas and erecting blast walls around the markets’ perimeters. But those measures, while making the markets safer, have not made them safe.

In the latest large-scale attack on a Baghdad market, at least 60 people, most of them women and children, were killed last Thursday when a man wrapped in an explosives belt walked around such barriers into a crowded street market in the Shaab neighborhood and blew himself up.

In recent weeks, snipers hidden in Shorja’s bazaar have killed several people, merchants and the police say, and gunfights have erupted between militants and the Iraqi security forces in the area.

During their visit on Sunday, the Americans were buttonholed by merchants and customers who wanted to talk about how unsafe they felt and the urgent need for more security in the markets and throughout the city, witnesses said.

“They asked about our conditions, and we told them the situation was bad,” said Aboud Sharif Kadhoury, 63, who peddles prayer rugs at a sidewalk stand. He said he sold a small prayer rug worth less than $1 to a member of the Congressional delegation. (The official paid $20 and told Mr. Kadhoury to keep the change, the vendor said.)

Mr. Kadhoury said he lost more than $2,000 worth of merchandise in the triple bombing in February. “I was hit in the head and back with shrapnel,” he recalled.

Ali Youssef, 39, who sells glassware from a sidewalk stand down the block from Mr. Kadhoury, recalled: “Everybody complained to them. We told them we were harmed.”

He and other merchants used to keep their shops open until dusk, but with the dropoff in customers as a result of the attacks, and a nightly curfew, most shop owners close their businesses in the early afternoon.

“This area here is very dangerous,” continued Mr. Youssef, who lost his shop in the February attack. “They cannot secure it.”

But those conversations were not reflected in the congressmen’s comments at the news conference on Sunday.

Instead, the politicians spoke of strolling through the marketplace, haggling with merchants and drinking tea. “The most deeply moving thing for me was to mix and mingle unfettered,” Mr. Pence said.

Mr. McCain was asked about a comment he made on a radio program in which he said that he could walk freely through certain areas of Baghdad.

“I just came from one,” he replied sharply. “Things are better and there are encouraging signs.”

He added, “Never have I been able to go out into the city as I was today.”

Told about Mr. McCain’s assessment of the market, Abu Samer, a kitchenware and clothing wholesaler, scoffed: “He is just using this visit for publicity. He is just using it for himself. They’ll just take a photo of him at our market and they will just show it in the United States. He will win in America and we will have nothing.”

A Senate spokeswoman for Mr. McCain said he left Iraq on Monday and was unavailable for comment because he was traveling.

Several merchants said Monday that the Americans’ visit might have only made the market a more inviting target for insurgents.

“Every time the government announces anything — that the electricity is good or the water supply is good — the insurgents come to attack it immediately,” said Abu Samer, 49, who would give only his nickname out of concern for his safety.

But even though he was fearful of a revenge attack, he said, he could not afford to stay away from the market. This was his livelihood. “We can never anticipate when they will attack,” he said, his voice heavy with gloomy resignation. “This is not a new worry.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

McCain Strolls Through Baghdad Market, Accompanied By 100 Soldiers, 3 Blackhawks, 2 Apache Gunships»

Sen. John McCain strolled briefly through an open-air market in Baghdad today in an effort to prove that Americans are “not getting the full picture” of what’s going on in Iraq.

NBC’s Nightly News provided further details about McCain’s one-hour guided tour. He was accompanied by “100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead.” Still photographs provided by the military to NBC News seemed to show McCain wearing a bulletproof vest during his visit. Watch it:

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/04/01/mccain-iraq-stroll/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/04/10/438/

Published on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 by The Rocky Mountain News (Colorado)

An Orwellian PR Stunt

by Paul Campos

Last week, Sen. John McCain staged a truly Orwellian publicity stunt in a Baghdad market. In a desperate attempt to give some sliver of credence to claims that the dreaded “liberal media” are failing to report on all the wonderful things happening in Iraq, McCain took a brief walk outside the American-maintained fortress that is Baghdad’s green zone.Afterward, McCain declared his walk through the Shurja market was a sign that security had improved significantly in the Iraqi capital, and the administration’s current troop escalation is working. What he didn’t mention was that, during his short stroll, he was accompanied by dozens of heavily armed U.S. troops and several armored vehicles, while a couple of attack helicopters hovered overhead.

McCain’s photo op (which included the spectacle of the elderly senator wearing a flak jacket) was ludicrous on so many levels that even the normally docile national press, which has always treated McCain with kid gloves, pointed out he was making a fool of himself. Chastened, McCain issued a half-hearted apology a few days later, saying he “mis- spoke” when he pointed to his little walk under the protection of several platoons from the world’s most powerful military as evidence of Baghdad’s excellent shopping opportunities.

The most interesting question raised by McCain’s pathetic stunt is why this genuine war hero - who after all knows far better than most politicians the difference between real courage and the made-for-TV kind - thought he could get away with it.

The answer can be found by taking a random stroll through the archives of the very media McCain was trying to manipulate. From the first days of the Iraq war, it has been an article of dogmatic faith among the movement conservatives McCain is trying to woo that the liberal media have given Americans a far too bleak picture of what’s happening in Iraq.

Here are just a few examples out of literally hundreds: In September of 2003, former Clinton adviser-turned-right-wing media pundit Dick Morris declared that the “incredibly biased” liberal media were claiming “that Iraq is a ‘quagmire’ and that there ‘aren’t any weapons of mass destruction,’ and that ‘Bush lied’ - and all the while, thanks to Fox News are seeing with their own eyes how much this is crazy spin.”

A year later syndicated columnist and Bush administration stenographer Mark Steyn announced that the “liberal media” were doing their best to hide the fact that “the glass in Iraq is about two-thirds full. The bulk of the violence is confined to one province and parts of Baghdad . . . There is no ‘civil war.’ “

And last April, President Bush himself took the media to task: “The kind of progress that we and the Iraqi people are making in places like Tal Afar is not easy to capture in a short clip on the evening news,” he said. “Footage of children playing, or shops opening, and people resuming their normal lives will never be as dramatic as the footage of an IED explosion, or the destruction of a mosque, or soldiers and civilians being killed or injured.” (Two weeks ago, almost exactly a year to the day after Bush uttered these words, Tal Afar was the site of a particularly horrible massacre, in which 70 men and boys were lynched. Some of the murderers were members of the town’s police force.)

Over the past four years it’s become clear that, when it comes to Iraq, perhaps a quarter of Americans are equipped with skulls that can successfully deflect almost all unpleasant facts. These people will account for the majority of the votes cast in next year’s Republican primaries - hence McCain’s extraordinarily well-armed stroll.

Here’s another unpleasant fact: The day after McCain’s photo op, 21 people from that same market were kidnapped, taken north of the city, and murdered.

Paul Campos is a professor of law at the University of Colorado. He can be reached at paul.campos@colorado.edu.

© 2007 The Rocky Mountain News

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

That's the best sleep I've had in weeks, thanks Manscum

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ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

That's the best sleep I've had in weeks, thanks Manscum

I noticed you're being retarded.

Stop it.

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