April 03, 2007
|Iraqis Unimpressed By McCain Visit||Iraq Politics|
Baghdad residents were unimpressed with Senator McCain's Baghdad photo op. AP:
Iraqis in the capital said Tuesday that Sen. John McCain's account of a heavily guarded visit to a central market did not represent the current reality in Baghdad, with one calling it "propaganda."
Jaafar Moussa Thamir, a 42-year-old who sells electrical appliances at the Shorja market that the Republican congressmen visited on Sunday, said the delegation greeted some fellow vendors with Arabic phrases but he was not impressed.
"They were just making fun of us and paid this visit just for their own interests," he said. "Do they think that when they come and speak few Arabic words in a very bad manner it will make us love them? This country and its society have been destroyed because of them and I hope that they realized that during this visit."
Thamir said "about 150 U.S. soldiers and 20 humvees" accompanied the McCain delegation. [...]
"I didn't care about him, I even turned my eyes away," Thamir said. "We are being killed by the dozens everyday because of them. What were they trying to tell us? They are just pretenders."
Karim Abdullah, a 37-year-old textile merchant, said the congressmen were kept under tight security and accompanied by dozens of U.S. troops.
"They were laughing and talking to people as if there was nothing going on in this country or at least they were pretending that they were tourists and were visiting the city's old market and buying souvenirs," he said. "To achieve this, they sealed off the area, put themselves in flak jackets and walked in the middle of tens of armed American soldiers." [Emphasis added]
Fly in, use the war as a backdrop for campaign visuals, smile for the camera, tell the folks at home that up is down and black is white, fly out again. Can it get any more grotesque?