Friday, August 31, 2007

Despite having their plane shot at, Republicans think the surge is working

This is pretty funny:

A U.S. military plane carrying a U.S. congressional delegation came under fire this week while taking off from Baghdad airport, forcing the crew to take evasive action, the military said on Friday.

No one on board the C-130 aircraft was hurt during the "surface-to-air" attack on Thursday, it said.

"The aircrew dispensed flares as a defensive countermeasure and conducted standard evasive maneuvers," the military said in a statement, adding the plane completed its flight.

The statement did not say who was among the congressional delegation nor specify the type of surface-to-air fire.

OK, the fact that people are getting shot at isn't funny. What's funny is that the Republicans are already trying to put a positive spin on this:

Sen. James M. Inhofe [R-Oklahoma] says terrorists' attempt to shoot down the C-130 military transport plane carrying him and other lawmakers in Iraq demonstrated the progress of the U.S. military campaign.

"Al Qaeda's unsuccessful attempt to shoot down this C-130 aircraft was a futile effort to influence its losing fight in Iraq, and served to underscore the reality that terrorism is still a threat and that there is still work to be done," the Oklahoma Republican said. "The crew[']s impeccable training and flawless performance ensured the safety of the aircraft and all personnel on board."

Mr. Inhofe was aboard the aircraft with Republican Sens. Richard C. Shelby of Alabama and Mel Martinez of Florida and Rep. Robert E. "Bud" Cramer, Alabama Democrat, departing Baghdad en route to Amman, Jordan when they came under fire.

Emphasis added. Wow. Think of how much progress we'd be making if the terrorists had actually shot the plane down! This is loony talk. To say nothing of the fact that how desperate or not desperate Al Qaeda in Iraq is has very little to do with whether the Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq can come to some kind of national reconciliation. Which was the whole point of this slight increase in troop strength (AKA "the surge") in the first place. And how the hell does Inhofe know this was Al Qaeda shooting at the plane? Did Osama bin Laden release a taped message claiming responsibility? It could have been any number of different groups, some of which are ostensibly on our "side", if that term can still have any coherent meaning after all of our alliance shifting. Al Qaeda in Iraq is only one small faction among many. The level of unreality heard in Republican statements these days is mind-boggling.


Blogger grishnash said...

This may require an Urban Legend Alert.

I'd refer to this thread on the Snopes message board. It's not proof of anything, but I would tend to believe the skepticism expressed by the board members posting who are serving/have served in Iraq.

It sounds like the "Al-Qaeda shooting at them" may have been just routine military operations and/or weapons fire in the general vicinity of, but not aimed at, the plane, which was then misinterpreted by the passengers and/or crew.

7:58 AM, September 01, 2007  

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