Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Baghdad merchants scoff at McCain safety claims

By Libby Spencer

John McCain and his entourage's encouraging words may be comforting to those of us who are thousands of miles away, but if you really want to know what's going on in the marketplaces of Iraq - ask an Iraqi. Apparently the Congressional delegation forgot to pass out the rose colored glasses and the merchants are not only refuting McCain's claims but are insulted to be used as props for what was clearly, even to them, a self-serving photo op.

Further, it's hard to read this and conclude anything other than McCain and his fellow travelers deliberately lied during the press conference.
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.)
I'm glad to see the delegation took my advice on that last part but beyond the disturbing attempt to deceive Americans with this presser, even more troublesome is that it likely endangered the merchants even more.
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.
Seems to me that's undermining our military's current mission much more so than any protest against the surge raised here in America. Shame on McCain and his cohorts for using the Iraqis simply to further their own political agendas.

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