Sunday, March 16, 2008

McCain Souks

By Cernig

Remember the marketplace in Baghdad that John McCain and others famously visited last year, which led McCain to proclaim that Americans were "not getting the full picture" and lead one of his companions to compare it favorably to an Indiana flea-market? The one where McCain and entourage "walked freely", albeit clad in flak-jackets, surrounded by 100 US troops and with helicopter gunships overhead?

Not so much.

Think Progress writes that CNN reporters tried to visit the Shorja market today, but it was too unsafe and they were unable to go:
We got close to that marketplace today, Jim, but our own security advisers here in Iraq did not want us to go there. They didn’t believe it was safe for an American to be in that area. We were in a thriving marketplace nearby.

But when you show up, the local Iraqis, while it is clear security is better on the street — it is clear there are more markets open, just the traffic jams alone tell you that things are better on the streets of Baghdad — it’s also a very sensitive potential neighborhoods.

That one marketplace, as a matter of fact, you do see Iraqi police, you do see the Iraqi army, but in truth, that area is controlled by the radical cleric Moqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi army.
Cracks in the facade, I tell you. And here are some more of them.

(Hat tip to Kat. Post Title shamelessly stolen from one of TP's commenters.)

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