Today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) spoke to the National Urban League, a group "devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream." When an audience member asked him how he planned to reduce urban crime, McCain praised Mayor Rudy Giuliani's efforts in New York Cirty before invoking the military's tactics in Iraq as the model for crime-fighting:
MCCAIN: And some of those tactics - you mention the war in Iraq - are like that we use in the military. You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control. And you provide them with a stable environment and then they cooperate with law enforcement, etc, etc.
But long before the American military's community policing in Baghdad became a model for Baltimore, John McCain (along with many other Republicans) seemed to suggest that Sadr City was as safe as San Diego.
Dating back to 2002, McCain repeatedly downplayed the dangers U.S. troops would face in Iraq, all in the name of helping to sell the coming war against Saddam. But in extolling the progress of the surge over the past 18 months, McCain's cheerleading has at times taken on almost comic extremes.
One of his more surreal moments came on April 1, 2007 (literally April Fool's Day - you can't make this stuff up). Wearing a bulletproof vest and guarded by "100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead," McCain briefly toured a Baghdad market to demonstrate that the American people were "not getting the full picture."