When you go to Iraq, 90% of your time is spent in The Green Zone, where your experience is controlled by the US military. You can't get a feel for how the Iraqis live by hiding in the Green Zone. Unless of course you're John McCain and you exclaim how fun and normal it is to go to the market in a flack jacket and helmet and with a full escort that includes helicopter cover.
According to a ThinkProgess article:
Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA), who recently returned from Iraq as well, said his experience led him to believe the escalation should be sustained until next year. Asked to address Baird’s comments, Tauscher suggested he had become a victim of the “green zone fog”:Death by PowerPoint. I bet there are some people in Iraq who wish they could die at the hands of a PowerPoint presentation versus what they face every day.
I will tell you that when you get in the Green Zone, there is a physiological phenomenon I think called Green Zone fog. … It’s death by powerpoint. … It’s always that their argument is winning.
She added later, “It’s very, very easy to be influenced, from their point of view, that things are better.” She said they will “shape” facts to show gains being made. Meanwhile, the reality in Iraq is that there is a lot of sectarianism in the government, particularly at the Ministry of Interior. “The MOI is basically this sleeper cell organization of Shiite death squads,” she said.