Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Iraq War: Everything's fine, don't worry, be happy

Freedom is on the march.

So, to paraphrase the Wizard of Oz, pay no attention to those doubters behind the curtain.

California's Senator Barbara Boxer recently visited Iraq along with some of her Senate colleagues: Boxer wants deadline for leaving Iraq by John Wildermuth San Francisco Chronicle 03/30/05.  They were in for some surprises:

Boxer spent eight days in Iraq, Kuwait and a handful of other countries as part of a seven-member Senate delegation. She returned to the Bay Area Sunday.

It was a relief to be driving in a car that wasn't armored, she said.

The pervasive security that surrounded not only the Senate delegation, but also the entire U.S. zone, was the biggest shock for Boxer.

The senators flew from Kuwait to Iraq in an Air Force C-130 that took evasive maneuvers on takeoff and landing. In Iraq, they weren't allowed to drive from the airport. Instead, the senators wore helmets and flak jackets as they flew by military helicopter from the Baghdad airport into the U.S. zone, with door gunners on constant alert for an attack by insurgents.

Even on the ground at U.S. headquarters, the senators were surrounded by armed guards and traveled by armored car. Embassy employees and other Americans aren't even free to travel through the supposedly secure Green Zone, but spend most of their time inside the embassy compound, Boxer said.

When the senators went to visit the Iraqi Parliament building in a tightly guarded part of Baghdad, security officers were checking under staircases and in empty rooms as the delegation moved through. When Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, went to the bathroom, she was joined by a female guard, toting a machine gun, Boxer said.

In the Bush administration, they call this "success."

But it sounds like the Iraqi tourist industry may still be slow for awhile, though.


purcellneil said...

The Iranians are quivering in their sandals....

At least our failure in Iraq has the benefit of reducing the incentives for North Korea and Iran to build nuclear weapons -- we hardly seem like much of a threat anymore.  Maybe they can afford to go slow?

The Republican cheerleading squad have been busy proclaiming the success of Bush's grand campaign to bring democracy to the Middle East -- as if the death of Arafat and leadership of Sharon were not driving events in Palestine, and the assassination of Hariri driving events in Lebanon (which seems just as firmly under Syria's thumb as ever, thanks to Hizbullah).

Meanwhile, the main event is still a farce in which insurgents launch 60 attacks a day and Sunni's openly support the resistance.

"Catastrophic success" seems to be the watchword for this bumbling administration.  Even Karen Hughs cannot paper over this disaster.


purcellneil said...

Just thought of a solution to the difficulties the Iraqi's are having deciding who should run the country, aside from Saddam or Bremer who are thankfully both out of the way...

Why not same James Baker in?  Maybe supported by Chief Justice Rehnquist....

Those guys know how to fix an election -- I mean settle parliamentary disputes.


purcellneil said...

send... not same.

Can't type, or think.

bmiller224 said...

Well, if the Iraq situation gets to looking too grim, we can always follow Jerry Falwell's advice:  It goes pretty well if you watch it on FOX.

Unfortunately, the "coalition" soldiers and the Iraqis don't have the luxury of pretending that the country is the sucess story that it is in FoxWorld and in OxyContin radio land. - Bruce

sanforized6 said...

Guess they better dredge up a few more "Schiavo" stories, so all the "good" people will be kept  busy doing "good" right here in the good ole US of A., and not reading newspapers or any "real" news! rich