Sunday, August 26, 2007

Congress Gets Wined and Dined In Baghdad

The New York Times reports this morning, “On a Sunday morning in early August, just hours after Congress had recessed for the summer, Representative Jan Schakowsky and five of her colleagues boarded a military jet at Andrews Air Force Base. Three flights and a Black Hawk helicopter ride later, they were lunching on asparagus soup and lobster tortellini at the home of Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker in Baghdad. “’It was a lovely lunch, a nice-napkin lunch,’ said Ms. Schakowsky, a liberal Democrat and ardent war critic from Chicago.” Like any PR event anywhere, it was a dandy little vacation for these members of Congress. And like any PR event, it didn’t cost the Congresspersons a dime since it was billed to American taxpayers. And also, like any other PR event, the purpose of the trip was to twist the arms of influential people so that they would support a venture, a group, or an idea. These trips for Congressional delegations are highly choreographed affairs known as codels, the NYT says. They are “an annual rite of summer for lawmakers...Roughly 50 lawmakers have tromped through Iraq this summer, and their impressions are having a profound effect on the debate.” Apparently the PR blitz is working. After hearing featured guest Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American military commander in Iraq give his spiel Representative Brian Baird of Washington, an early opponent of the war, has changed his mind. He now supports the war. And it’s good practice for Petraeus who will deliver another bullshit spiel to Americans in September telling us that we’re making progress in Iraq and that we have to stay there forever. The NYT article is titled: “Hear a General, Hug a Sheik: Congress Visits Iraq”. The whole idea of the Bush administration promoting its unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq as though it were a C-list movie is so ugly and crass it would be unbelievable if these trips were not promotion events sponsored by the Bush administration. American soldiers being killed in Iraq is just background noise from a bunch of extras as far as General Petraeus and the Bush administration is concerned. The main point is that the biggest mistake ever made in United States history needs to be promoted or Republicans are out of their jobs. And that is what Ambassador Crocker, the Bush administration and warmongering generals are going to do...whatever it takes. And whatever it takes includes “nice-napkin” lunches in Baghdad while our guys die. There are no words to describe how offensive, ugly, corrupt, distasteful and ghastly these PR trips to Baghdad are. HAVE THESE MEN NO SHAME?

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