Monday, April 2, 2007

Iraq and McCain

I rarely join in the "blog topic of the day", but I read Juan Cole's comments and felt they should be highlighted.
McCain put on the "things are better" show with 100 soldiers and a group of helicopters guarding him. Yeah, I guess that's safe.
This grandstanding trip that John McCain took to Baghdad on Sunday is another
occasion for propaganda to shore up his falling poll numbers in his presidential
campaign. He said, "Things are better and there are encouraging signs. I've been here . . . many times over the years. Never have I been able to drive from the airport, never have I been able go out into the city as I was today."

He said that only three days after the US embassy issued an order that personnel are to wear 'personal protective equipment' when moving between buildings inside the Green Zone! He said it the day two suicide belt bombs were found inside the
Green Zone. So he could ride in an armored car in from the airport. That's the
big achievement? What about when he gets to the Green Zone? Then he has to put
on PPE to go to the cafeteria.

Look, I lived in the midst of a civil war in the late 1970s in Beirut. I know exactly what it looks and smells like. The inexperienced often assume that when a guerrilla war or a civil war is going on, life grinds to a standstill. Not so. People go shopping for food. They drive where they need to go as long as they don't hear that there is a firefight in that area. They go to work if they still have work. Life goes on. It is just
that, unexpectedly, a mortar shell might land near you. Or the person ahead of
you in line outside the bakery might fall dead, victim of a sniper's bullet. The bazaars are bustling some days (all the moreso because it is good to stock up on supplies the days when the violence isn't so bad). So nothing that John McCain saw in Baghdad on Sunday meant a damn thing. Not a goddamn thing.

It makes my blood boil.

Mr. Cole is THE source to go to for accurate reporting on Iraq. Iraq is not getting better, people.


profmarcus said...

ok, i'm visiting, and i like what i see... i'm gathering you live somewhere in arizona, and, from the looks of it, perhaps in the n.e. part of the state, possibly in or around the navajo reservation...? i worked for a while for outward bound (which you're probably familiar with - now THERE'S a dysfunctional organization!), and have a number of river rat friends... living here in buenos aires part-time as i do now, i've lost touch with most of them...

i'm curious about the etiology of your blog name - pygalgia... enlighten me at

thanks for adding me to your blogroll... i'll reciprocate...

pygalgia said...

Thanks. email on the way.