Patrick Cockburn writing for The Independent today says "I used to think that all these official visits did little harm, even if they did no good." Then this part:
"Visiting US politicians during the presidential election sought determinedly to manicure what American television viewers would see. Diplomats at the US embassy complained that staffers of Republican candidate Senator John McCain had asked them not to wear helmets and body armour when standing next to him in case these protective measures might appear to contradict his claim that the US military was close to military victory. For similar reasons staffers of the Vice President Dick Cheney demanded that the siren giving a seven or eight second warning of incoming rockets or mortar rounds to people in the Green Zone be turned off during his visits." "I used to comfort myself with the thought that these official visits did little harm even if they did no good."Continue reading "Keep out... a message for foreign leaders."