Will an obscure paragraph dispatched to the London Times by reporter

Paragraph 2

"The latest massacre of Iraqi children came as 21 Shia market workers were ambushed, bound and shot dead north of the capital. The victims came from the Baghdad market visited the previous day by John McCain, the US presidential candidate, who said that an American security plan in the capital was starting to show signs of progress. "

McCain Campaign Losing Momentum?

McCain and the Straight Talk Express was the media darling of the 2000 presidential campaign. Sometime before the 2004 election McCain seems to have made a deal. Who can forget the sight of John McCain and President Bush arm and arm aboard Air Force One during the 2004 presidential election? His courting of religious leaders who slammed him in 2000 is a real mystery. Did he really believe that all the folks had forgotten the Bush campaign push polls accusing McCain of fathering a black baby or his wife's supposed drug problem?

While I believe he was right that there were not enough troops committed to the invasion for mop up and security,that he's pushing for more troops in Iraq after the fact is puzzling. His embrace of the sending of a few thousand more troops in a surge is just weird. While he may firmly believe it the best course of action, I can only question his judgment.

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John McCain's presidential bid seems on the ropes.  His endorsement of the Iraq surge has just further tied him to the Bush policies. And his recent third place finish in the campaign contribution race only support that McCain may be through.

McCain and Graham Photo Shoot A Shame 

Reeling from a McCain outrageous assertion on CNN that Americans could stroll through Baghdad unmolested and that General David Petraeus often went outside the Green Zone without armor, Senators McCain and Graham's recent visit to the Baghdad market can best be described only as a political stunt. Rather than undoing the damage, it has turned pitiful. As ex-military officers they know better. And if the 21 shop owner's deaths prove to be a reprisal for the visit then then the photo-op is inexcusable.

It is one thing for President Bush to visit the troops, though he is openly and frequently criticized for using them as a backdrop for a photo shoot. While we may never know Bush's real motive, he is the commander of the military and it is his job regardless of the motive. It's another thing for senators and congressmen to go to Iraq. The only way they can know what's really going on is to hop in the back of a humvee and we can not afford that exposure. They need to stay home and deal with this "BIG Shop of Horrors".

A Motive For the Report 

The motive for the reporting by

"Mr McCain said that the situation was showing signs of improvement and blamed waning support in the United States for the war on the media, which were portraying an overly negative image of the crisis."

Curious though is the way the total report was written, as if to slip through the editors. But, it is hard to criticize reporters in Baghdad who are focused on the violence rather than the quiet zones when you consider local news violence reports here in Orlando. I can't bring myself to watch local television news or read the local paper. Blaming the press in Baghdad seems like a losing strategy for McCain.

Story Deserves Wider Reporting 

Regardless, this is a big story and deserves further coverage. CBS's 60 Minutes is said to be preparing a report on the senator's visit to the Baghdad market. If this story is true, will 60 Minutes have the fortitude to report the full story on the market killings after the Dan Rather firing after the Bush National Guard story?

Read the full report here.

Related Stories

Baghdad merchants dispute McCain on security International Herald Tribune
McCain Wrong on Iraq Security, Merchants Say - New York Times

About the Author

jenningsRobert Jennings is co-publisher of InnerSelf.com with his wife Marie T Russell. He attended the University of Florida, Southern Technical Institute, and the University of Central Florida with studies in real estate, urban development, finance, architectural engineering, and elementary education. He was a member of the US Marine Corps and The US Army having commanded a field artillery battery in Germany. He worked in real estate finance, construction and development for 25 years before starting InnerSelf.com in 1996.

InnerSelf is dedicated to sharing information that allows people to make educated and insightful choices in their personal life, for the good of the commons, and for the well-being of the planet. InnerSelf Magazine is in its 30+year of publication in either print (1984-1995) or online as InnerSelf.com. Please support our work.

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