Friday, August 31, 2007

Congressmen under rocket attack in Iraq

By Libby

One might assume these bullets were not part of the planned power point show the Pentagon has been entertaining the visiting Congressional delegations with.

A military cargo plane carrying four members of Congress took evasive action and dispatched flares to avoid ground fire Thursday night after taking off from Baghdad.

The lawmakers said three rocket-propelled grenades were fired at their plane, a C-130, over the course of several minutes as they left for Jordan.

On board were Sens. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Rep. Robert E. "Bud" Cramer (D-Ala.).
Despite the scare, Shelby, Martinez and Cramer said they believed the recent troop buildup had helped stabilize parts of the country.

Sure. All you need to be safe there is an company of heavily armed men, a few hovering Blackhawks and the latest in body armor. Too bad the resident Iraqis outside of the "surge zones" don't enjoy the same protection, especially in light of the fact that an independent commission established by Congress has judged Iraq's 26,000-member national police force to be a dismal failure because of infiltration and corruption and will recommend disbanding the whole organization and starting over from scratch. In other words, we spent billions of tax dollars and lost thousands of troops for nothing, for the last three years.

Stop me if I'm wrong but wasn't the whole point of the surge to give the Iraqis time to build up this force in order to allow the government to reconcile its differences and allow us to step down in six months? Am I the only one that remembers all the Republicans and war supporters that were saying in March that this was the administration's last chance to make this work and they were going to back an orderly withdrawal if the surge strategy didn't show marked improvement in that time frame? Instead we're seeing the same straw men arguments and grasping at straws to justify yet another FU. It's not that I expected it to turn out differently but I continue to be amazed at my fellow Americans' capacity to fool themselves.

I mean if this is supposed to be signs of success, please don't tell me what failure looks like. [h/t Jules Siegel]