Senator McCaskill heads home from a long weekend in Iraq and Kuwait after several hours of talks to Missouri troops, army leaders, and an Iraqi diplomat.
McCaskill says she has met with hundreds of Missouri soldiers, eaten in their mess halls, and talked one-on-one with many of them. She says morale is a "mixed bag," and it’s lower among those who go back for additional tours of duty. She says some of the troops think some progress is being made; others say it’s time to get out, now, because what they’re doing won’t make a difference.
McCaskill’s fellow senator, Christopher Bond, blasted the media from the Senate Floor last week for negative reporting on the war, agreeing with a young man who thinks the American media are "a megaphone for Al Qaeda." McCaskill respects Bond for having an opinion. She says some progress is being made in some places, but the soldiers still face "incredible struggles" in Baghdad and surrounding areas.
She says Bond understands, as most Senators do, that the media reports on conflict and negatives. "There are not many front page stories about how great the weather was yesterday," she said. But she said it cannot be denied that there are difficult and negative things going on in Iraq, and anybody who goes there sees it.
McCaskill says it’s difficult to go to Iraq for a few days and come home without questions.