Lindsey Graham Purchases Iraqi Rugs: Thriving Market or Fire Sale?

Kim Gamel reports on a couple of Senators visiting the Middle East:

McCain, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, was combative during a press conference in the military’s media center in the heavily guarded Green Zone, and responded testily to a question about remarks he had made in the United States last week that it was safe to walk some Baghdad streets. “The American people are not getting the full picture of what’s happening here. They’re not getting the full picture of the drop in murders, the establishment of security outposts throughout the city, the situation in Anbar province, the deployment of additional Iraqi brigades which are performing well, and other signs of progress having been made,” said McCain, of Arizona. He said the Republican congressional delegation he led to Iraq drove from Baghdad’s airport to the center of the city, citing that as proof that security was improving in the capital. Prominent visitors normally make the trip by helicopter. The delegation was accompanied by heavily armed U.S. troops when they were not in the Green Zone, site of the U.S. Embassy and Iraqi government. They traveled in armored military vehicles under heavy guard. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, criticized congressional Democrats who passed spending legislation that would set deadlines for pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq. He said President Bush would veto the measures and should … The delegation, which also included Rep. Mike Pence, a Republican from Indiana, and Rep. Rick Renzi, an Arizona Republican, spoke glowingly of an hour they spent in the Bab al-Sharqi market which was hit by a suicide bomber on Jan. 22. At least 88 people died in the attack.

This doesn’t sound like a safe place to me. But here we have an all GOP delegation visiting the Middle East with no criticism from the White House, while Pelosi’s bipartisan delegation is getting her labeled supporting our enemies. As we noted here:

I guess Republicans visiting the Middle East is supporting the troops, while Democrats doing the same are supporting the enemy. How incredibly stupid!

On that trip to Bab al-Sharqi market, Amanda notes that Lindsey Graham bragged:

We went to the market and were just really warmly welcomed. I bought five rugs, like those bear rugs for sale, for five bucks.

I guess cheap rugs are a sign of a thriving market to Senator Graham but a dollar a rug is really cheap. I’m assuming that the Senator wouldn’t put something you’d find in the neighbor’s trash into his home so it sounds more like a “fire sale” to me – with fire sale here defined as the sale of goods at extremely low prices, typically when the seller faces bankruptcy or other impending distress. In a thriving market, an increase in the number of potential buyers would have likely resulted in a much higher price for those rugs.