Republican congressman Gil Gutknecht from Minnesota visited and Iraq and apparently the scales fell from his eyes.
“The condition there is worse than I expected,” he said. “… I have to be perfectly candid: Baghdad is a serious problem.”
In fact, he thinks that withdrawal of troops should begin:
he believes removing some American troops is necessary to send the Iraqi government a message that it can’t rely so heavily on the American military much longer.
Finally, a bit of realism from a Republican junketer:
Gutknecht was in Iraq from Saturday morning until late Sunday afternoon. His time in the country’s capital city was spent almost exclusively within the Green Zone, an area of central Baghdad that is heavily fortified and where all access is controlled by check-points.
“We learned it’s not safe to go anywhere outside of the Green Zone any part of the day,” he said.
The Mankato Free Press comments on the Republican echochamber:
Gutknecht’s sobering report contrasts with many of his fellow conservative supporters of the war. The Republican National Committee sends out weekly e-mails to the media called “Iraq Facts” that paint a picture of steady progress toward stability and Iraqi self-governance. And conservative commentators have consistently said that the American people are being provided an overly dire picture of the Iraq war by the mainstream media.
Increasingly, Republicans realize that they have to run against Bush and his war.
Meanwhile, Bushco continues its merry spinning of the facts:
The American energy secretary, Samuel W. Bodman, who met with Iraq’s oil and electricity ministers in Baghdad, had a rosy view of progress here since his last visit in 2003. “The situation seems far more stable than when I was here two or three years ago,” he said in an interview in the fortified Green Zone. “The security seems better, people are more relaxed. There is an optimism, at least among the people I talked to.”
Will they ever run out of Kool-aid?