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Mar 17, 2008

MacFear (Or, More Accurately, MacLame PR)


This was one of the two Air-Force produced publicity photos that the military released Sunday depicting McCain's surprise visit to Iraq.

In reality, it's one of those momentary shots that can be easily taken out of context.  At face value though, it shows McCain seeming to cower as his helicopter prepares to lift off from the Sather Air Base. The effect is heightened when you see McCain's clutching his arms and his baseball cap in juxtaposition to the cyborg-like soldier sporting what appears like a bad-ass Skull insignia on his or her helmet.

The other shot -- the one the NYT ran -- does more justice.  But then, there is another juxtaposition to contend with.  With McCain continuously reminding the electorate how safe Iraq is becoming, it's funny to compare Mac in his protective vest with shots of Cheney arriving twenty-four hours later stepping off the plane in his business suit with his wife.

It's not that Cheney is more macho so much as McCain (traveling with a Congressional group, having left his campaign people behind) seems out of his league when it comes to PR.  As we focus more closely on McCain in the coming weeks and months, we will see a lot more examples of a man who constitutionally has to step off his own way, most of the time to his own detriment.

He's the Republican nominee for president, after all.  If McCain had more sense, he would have either coordinated with (or, counter-programmed) the White House so Cheney didn't show him up sans safety get up, with Petraeus for a welcoming party and a secreted band of eager-to-please corporate media in tow.

Cheney lands in Baghdad -- AFP story + photos

(image: Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Allen,US Air Force via AP.  Sather Air Base, Iraq , March 16, 2008. via YahooNews.  linked image: Gerald Herbert / AP.  March 12, 2008. People help U.S. Sen. John McCain off of a baggage carousel after speaking to members of the military who are being deployed and veterans at Portsmouth International Airport in Portsmouth, N.H. via


If people see it as McCain cowering then it might just be the 2008 version of the late Tracy Baker's shot of Michael Dukakis' tank ride at a General Dynamics plant in Warren, Michigan.

Geez I'm getting old. The former tank plant is marked only by a street sign. Dukakis is mostly forgotten. But Bakers friends still raise an occasional toast to him.

The second shot of McCain with vest may just be the fact that like him or not he IS military and the gear is pretty natural (even after all these years) for him. My father served in WWII and if you brought him in theater and gave him protective gear I doubt he would have a second thought about wearing it.

Maybe it says more about what fools Dick and Lynne are than whatever it might say about St John.

It seemed justified for the US military in conquered Germany to force German civilians to walk thorough concentration camps. How ironic, for 5 years now the infamous visitors from the country that occupies Iraq, come and "visit" Iraq, the same way as we can see Nazis in photographs have done in the lands they had occupied.
How can the citizens of US be made to feel the "occupation pains?"

My initial impression was that he was not only terrified, but also handcuffed; the band around his left wrist appears at first glance to be a restraint.

ref : “ terrified . . . handcuffed . . .

. . !

Mr. McCain : “ forever Prisoner of War forever, indeed.

brilliant read/insight, imho, AY.

"...If McCain had more sense, he would have either coordinated with (or, counter-programmed) the White House ..."

That's only the beginning. The ever-present Lieberman had to remind McCain who was fighting and from whence they came.

Or could it be that the Great Darth could not resist toying with his little mouse?

As to the photos (both of them):
Price of flying to the green zone: $100,000
Price of clearing flotsam and jetsam from view: $1,500,000
Publicity photo in full command of two helicopters and an evacuated Baghdad airport: Priceless.
Helicopter ride back to civilization: Terrifying.
Maybe all is not golden outside the green zone???

Cactus &
The ever-present Lieberman had to remind McCain who was fighting and from whence they came.

Joe coaching John @


I'm no expert (nor am i a mcain lover), but i think he is buckling the helmet that was handed to him upon entering the bird (or unbuckling it before exiting), not "coweering" And yeah, He probably did not want to loose his hat.

none of you seem to have any helicopter experience. no one is cowering in this image. one clutches anything capable of being swept up in the vortex created by the blades of the helicopter, and the first thing you do upon embarking is to adjust your damn microphone.

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