Congressman Kline In Iraq

Our friend John Kline has been visiting Iraq as part of a Congressional delegation; the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on a telephone interview with him. John is a retired Marine colonel with considerable combat experience, so his observations are of more value than most. Here are some excerpts:
About yesterday’s car bombing in Baghdad: “There’s a part of the story that’s good: The attack was stopped, in large part, by Iraqis.”
On the reception his group received at an Iraqi elementary school: “It was just heart-warming. They were waving, they wanted their pictures taken with us and have us sit with them, and they gave us the thumbs-up sign.” The ever-alert Strib reporter noted that the kids might have been coached by their teachers. Put aside for a moment the fact that it is a good thing if Iraq’s teachers are pro-American; it’s funny how the Strib never suspects that Cuban children who turn out to demonstrate in support of Fidel Castro are anything but fervent patriots. In any event, as John pointed out to the reporter, it isn’t too hard to tell when first and second graders are being sincere.
John’s principal impression: “One thing we came away with was that they really want to make sure we’re in there for the long haul. Not that they want us to stay as an occupation force, but they want to make sure we’re not going to turn around and walk out before things are in better shape than they are.”


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