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Friday, March 23, 2007

Iraq is like Detroit or Chicago, says US Rep.

By Circles Robinson

Tim Walberg, a Republican legislator from Michigan, stated this week that most of war-torn Iraq is about as dangerous as some neighborhoods in Detroit or Chicago.

The first term Congressman who grew up in Chicago made the comment to support the Bush administration’s claim that progress is being made in a war the President says can be won.

"Well, in fact, in many places Iraq is as safe and cared for as Detroit or Harvey, Ill., or some other places that have trouble with armed violence that takes place on occasion," Walberg told the press.

"People are walking around communities [in Iraq] as safe as they are walking around - at the very least - in Detroit and Chicago and other places," he said. "As in any major city, there are hot zones, as in the country of Iraq...”

Walberg’s spokesperson Matt Lahr furthered the comparison with Iraq. "Soldiers have expressed optimism to the Congressman about the safety and security of the majority of Iraq."

Ban Ki Moon Experiences Iraq Safety

The day after Walberg made his comparison the new UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon got his first taste of the urban USA in Iraq. Explosions ripped Baghdad while he was giving a press conference.

The Green Zone, which Walberg would perhaps compare to “safe” suburbs like Grosse Point Park in metro Detroit or Chicago’s North Shore, came under mortar fire that visibly startled Ban Ki-Moon and made him rush for cover.

"A mortar landed and went off 100 meters away in an open field outside the compound where the press conference was being held," said U.N. spokeswoman Marie Okabe.

Ban Ki-Moon had arrived in the Iraqi capital Thursday morning on an unannounced visit, his first to the embattled country since taking the UN Secretary General post in January.

He probably won’t be visiting Walberg’s Detroit or Chicago in the near future.

The UN chief praised the United Nations efforts “to help the Iraqi people through various means including humanitarian, economic and political facilitation.”

However, the South Korean admitted that UN activities have been limited, “largely because of the situation on the ground.” He did not say if a similar aid effort would be made in the urban United States slums.


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