Politics

Tourist’s guide to the Green Zone.

CREDIT:

Noah Shachtman has found a “Visitors Guide” to Baghdad’s Green Zone on website of the U.S. military’s Multi-National Security Transition Command. The 2006 guide purports to “written by tourists for the tourist.” But as Shachtman points out, the two authors are more than just “tourists”:

One of the writers, a “Richard H. Houghton III,” was the acting country director in Iraq of the International Republican Institute. That’s an unofficial arm of the Republican party, chaired by John McCain, which focuses on democracy-promotion abroad. “A former U.S. Marine Colonel, Mr. Houghton, when not making the world safe for democracy, enjoys rodeo and weightlifting,” the Guide says. The other author, Patrick J. McDonald, “completed a one year tour of duty with the 448th Civil Affairs Battalion… He is Assistant to the Secretary of State for the State of Washington and is a confirmed war tourist.”

Capt. Matt Tompkins, currently on his second tour of duty in Iraq, calls such military tourism one of his “biggest pet peeves.”