Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Spotty laughed, too

The right-wing blogosphere is has been pouting and harrumpfing over CNN reporter Michael Ware's reaction to John and Lindsey's Excellent Adventure in Baghdad. After being stung by reaction to his comments that there were neighborhoods in Baghdad where, golly, it was safe to go for a stroll, John McCain set out to prove that he was right! Jeez, even Dave recognized that McCain's comments were off-base.

So John and Lindsey and Rep. Mike Pence jetted off to Baghdad to do some shopping and show that Michael Ware! Apparently, Lindsey was able to score some really good bargains for a little redecoration back home:
"I brought five rugs for five bucks. People were engaging and just a
few weeks ago, hundreds of people, dozens of people were killed in this
same place," said Graham.
It apparently didn't occur to the senator that he may have gotten such a good deal because there weren't any other buyers around: they were dead, too afraid to shop, or shooed away by the US military in advance of the VIP visit. And Spotty bets, Senator, that if you amortize the cost of the trip to the taxpayers over those five rugs, they were more than a buck apiece!

As it turns out, the senators and their entourage did have some company: five helicopters and about a hundred soldiers. And of course, they traveled in armed humvees under heavy guard. The press conference where Lindsey describing scoring the rugs was in the Green Zone.

But what did the locals really think? Well, they were skeptical:

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.

Spot wonders if the McCain campaign paid for any of this boondoggle. He doubts it.

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