A curious sideshow played out in an Baghdad market this week. Senator John McCain along with three other congressfolks visited the Shorja Market to show how well the new security plan was working. As Mike Pence, an Indiana Representative said, the market was "like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime."
What McCain and Pence didn't bother to mention is the entire COMPANY of soldiers (100+) deployed in armored Humvees, the snipers on the rooftops and attack helicopters in the air. The soldiers redirected traffic from the market and let our elected officials wander around buying rugs.
Yup, that sounds like a market in Indiana to me. Or Iowa, for that matter.
The merchants weren't having it and, according to reporters, let McCain and company know that life is NOT better for them. (See the NY Times article.) They know a publicity stunt when they see one and are bitter when they are used as "backdrop".
Perhaps the security plan is working, but not in this market. They've been bombed six times since summer. For McCain and buddies to tie up all those resources (which could be used to secure the peace) for what amounts to as a campaign photo-op is obscene.
Follow-up to the above courtesy of IraqSlogger blog: "What the American public did not know is that McCain's primary purpose is to get location and interview footage for a 60 Minutes segment with Scott Pelley to be broadcast this Sunday."
You just had to know it....