Thursday, August 30, 2007

A small taste of reality for a plane load of potentates

A C-130 leaving Baghdad with a clutch of potentates aboard came under fire shortly after takeoff, and had to take evasive maneuvers and fire flares to get away unscathed.

Sens. Mel Martinez (R-FL), Richard Shelby (R-AL) and James Inhofe (R-OK), and Rep. Bud Cramer (D-AL) were leaving the country after popping in for a quick peek and to take in a (Dog-and-Pony) show.

"It was a scary moment," said Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., who said he had just taken off his body armor when he saw a bright flash outside the window. "Our pilots were terrific. ... They banked in one direction and then banked the other direction, and they set off the flares."

"We were jostled around pretty good," said Cramer, who estimated the plane had ascended to about 6,000 feet. "There were a few minutes there where I wondered: 'Have we been hit? Are we OK?'"
Close call be damned, the predictable potentates aboard were quick to add that they still fully support the troop buildup (ridiculously marketed to a gullible public as "Teh Surge™") and that they believe in the reality that was presented, not the one that lit up the sky outside their plane as they trundled off toward home.