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Saturday, March 15, 2008

John McCain returns to Baghdad

You remember his last trip to the market...declaring everything safe and calm...with helicopters overhead and hundreds of soldiers surrounding him. This was the same trip where Rep. Mike Pence likened it to an Midwestern farm fair or flea market. He didn't mention the blast walls or the merchants killed there in the recent past. But Sen. Lindsay Graham bragged about the swell price he got on some rugs....Here's my Huff Post posting on it:
But the most revealing and chilling episode featured Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.). He was widely quoted in the initial accounts declaring that he found the Shorja bazaar “like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime.” Pence later described one rug merchant who kept patting his heart and refused to take his money: “His eyes, like so many others, radiated with affection and appreciation.” Pence said he was “deeply moved” by this.

Well, a National Public Radio reporter returned and found that grateful merchant—and uncovered a quite different story. The carpet seller, Ahmed al-Kurdi, recalled for NPR: “I didn’t accept the money. I said to myself, ‘they must be guests, so I must give them a good impression of Iraqis.’ After all, we are occuped by these Americans — and they are accompanied by a lot of U.S. security.”

Al-Kurdi then said that actually he favored the insurgents: “We are not against the resistance. We are with them.

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