Monday, April 21, 2008

Yet another unannounced visit

Well, look who snuck into Iraq like a thief in the night.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made an unannounced visit here Sunday to promote what she called the "coalescing center" of Iraqi politics around the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The visit followed a night of intense fighting in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad after radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Saturday threatened to wage a full-scale war against the U.S.-backed Iraqi government.

The fighting continued during Rice's visit. A ceremony at which she unveiled a plaque commemorating civilian deaths in the Green Zone was briefly delayed by a "duck and cover" alert, one of several during her six-hour visit to the fortified compound housing the U.S. Embassy and much of the Iraqi government.
It can’t be easy delivering an upbeat message of progress in Iraq as bombs rain down on the green zone. But it’s probably harder for those in Iraq to hear it.

If Rice believes her own sunny rhetoric, why was her visit kept secret? Because more than five years after the invasion, Iraq is still rife with violence, chaos and anarchy?

Don’t tell me how great things are there. Show me by having the guts to announce a visit in advance.

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