Under heavy guard and in armored vehicles, presidential candidate John McCain traveled with U.S. commander General David Petraeus to Baghdad's largest marketplace. Afterward, John McCain criticized the American media for not portraying Iraq's successes accurately citing that the security crackdown was working and claiming the American people did not have the "full picture". He also reminded people that execution style killings have dropped in Iraq and that Sunni tribes were fighting against al-Qaida in the Anbar province.
Now, to give all you Americans the "full picture": John McCain's trip cannot be considered consistent with everyday life in Iraq seeing as he spent little time there and traveled under very heavy guard on a scheduled visit. I doubt the security in the marketplace was ever as high as when an American presidential candidate traveled there with the U.S. top commander. In addition, that same day six American soldiers were killed in roadside bombings outside of Baghdad.
Which brings us to our next point. While Baghdad is becoming slightly more safe (remembering that despite security checkpoints last week was the bloodiest since the war began) the rest of Iraq is seeing an increase in violence as the insurgents are merely pushed elsewhere. And wow, "execution-style sectarian killings"(Florida Today) are dropping? Recently nearly 70 people were executed in the streets by a shot in the back of the head by off-duty Iraqi policemen and others were kidnapped.
And if I have to hear about John McCain being a prisoner of war in Vietnam one more time I am going to vomit. For Christ's sake, give the man a medal and move on. Nobody likes a bleeding heart. Being a prisoner of war is not such a great accomplishment and while it is great that he survived, it is a shame for him to work it to death getting him votes. And how can anyone in his position still be loyal to an administration that was responsible for the torture scandals at Abu Ghraib? Why would a former prisoner of war support war? And Rudy Giuliani, don't dig too deeply into the 9/11 trench either.
Great obstacles have been overcome but new ones face us just ahead. John McCain needs to stop pretending that this war is working and focus on what needs to change for Iraqi success. Maybe if he had gone on a non-scheduled visit to the marketplace and been out from his bullet-proof armor and guards he might have seen the real Iraq and not the Bush Iraq. To see the full picture, Mr. McCain, you need to open your eyes.