In April, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) made a heavily-publicized trip to Baghdad as part of an effort to prove that Americans were “not getting the full picture” of what was going on Iraq. During the trip, McCain was escorted through a Baghdad market with 100 soldiers, 3 Blackhawk helicopters, and 2 Apache gunships.
On NBC’s Chris Matthews Show this morning, Time magazine columnist Joe Klein described his own recent trip to the same market.
“I took the John McCain Shorga market walk in Baghdad three or four days ago,” said Klein. “And I talked to the shop keepers, and you know what? All the shopkeepers there are supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr.” Watch it:
Al-Sadr, whose role in Iraq McCain has misunderstood in the past, has repeatedly called on Iraqis to attack American soldiers. The most recent National Intelligence Estimate for Iraq described him as one of the “very effective accelerators” of Iraq’s civil war. The fact that ordinary shopkeepers in Iraq are strongly supportive of Sadr’s efforts underscores the widespread resistance to the U.S. military presence.
McCain will be in Iraq again on Monday, though his shopping plans are unknown.