While the Bush war machine plays chicken with Democrats over the Iraq funding bill's timetable for withdrawal, elsewhere a familiar refrain can be heard: America, the media won't tell you the good news from Iraq.
So here's John McCain Sunday in Baghdad, proclaiming that the city is safer than ever. He and a congressional delegation that included Senator Lindsay Graham went to a market that just weeks ago had been the scene of a bloody suicide bombing. Today, it was peaceful...except for the noise of the US helicopters circling overhead. And despite McCain's claim last week that General Petraeus can now tool around Baghdad in an unarmored Humvee (which McCain had to retract when it was immediately disproved) Petraeus and the congressmen went to market in a heavily armored convoy. The congressmen were wearing body armor. Senator Graham says he bought rugs.
But McCain said the media aren't giving the American people "the full picture."
All right, then. Here's some more of that picture, from the weekend.
Six Americans were killed by roadside bombs southwest of Baghdad. Four of them were killed responding to the bomb that killed the first two. Another American was killed in Anbar in a non-combat incident.
A British soldier was killed Sunday in Basra.
Twenty Iraqi bodies were found, executed, mostly in Baghdad.
A suicide truck bomber attacked an Iraqi Army building in Mosul, killing two people and injuring more than a dozen soldiers.
In the last week, more than 600 Iraqis have been killed in sectarian violence. More than 18 hundred Iraqi civilians died in the month of March.
And two unexploded suicide vests were found inside the supposedly secure Green Zone this weekend in Baghdad.
Unfortunately, there's more.
If you need more, that is.
The "surge" is scattering the violence, not ending it. It's amazing that at this late date, the war hawks are trying, yet again, to blame the media. The new/old Republican talking point, repeated again and again over the last week, that "the surge is working but we're not hearing about it" is just the same old lie, repackaged to justify the opposition to setting a deadline for withdrawal. Even worse, I suspect the goal is also to tee up the war machine's argument to prolong the escalation next fall, when the patience of all but the staunchest Bushies runs out.
Don't bother. We've already got the full picture.