This is not exactly a bedtime story you want to tell your children about the good news coming from Iraq.
Their visit came as more violence was reported across Iraq, including a terrifying incident earlier in the week in the western city of Ramadi. On Wednesday, armed insurgents burst into the classroom of Khidhir al-Mihallawi, an English teacher at Sajariyah High School, accused him of being an agent for the CIA and Israeli intelligence and beheaded him in front of his students, according to students, fellow instructors and a physician at a local hospital.
One teacher, who spoke on the condition that he not be named because he feared retaliation from insurgents, said that most students ran from the classroom but that some stayed to watch. Many stopped coming to school after the incident, he said. Another teacher, who said he moved his mathematics class to his home to accommodate frightened students, said Mihallawi had earlier been threatened because he worked as a translator for U.S. forces in Ramadi, a hotbed of the Sunni Arab insurgency.
Mihallawi "looked at us just like he was telling us that we do not have to be scared. Even as we were running out of the door, his looks were still telling us that nothing will happen and we do not have to be scared," said a student, whose father asked that his name not be used. "I heard him screaming for a few seconds, then stop screaming."
The father said his son has had trouble sleeping since the incident. "He always has nightmares and he always wakes up screaming and shaking, talking in his dreams," he said.
At a press conference in Iraq, Russ Feingold said he believed "a large [U.S.] troop presence has a tendency to fuel the insurgency because they can make the incorrect and unfair claim that the U.S. is here to occupy the country."
"I think that it's very possible that the sectarian differences are inflamed by the fact that U.S. troops are here," he continued, adding that their long-term presence "may well be destabilizing, not stabilizing."
John McCain put in his two cents worth:
"I believe that premature troop withdrawal is not in consonance with what's going on the ground."
I am of the opinion that McCain's statement was not in consonance with reality. Americans are tiring of politicians who won't talk about the realities that everyone can clearly see. It reminds me of Bush scolding the press for reporting the truth when we all know that over 100 journalists who have wandered around sniffing for "good news" have been kidnapped, shot, or beheaded.