Friday, March 30, 2007

Violence Returns to Baghdad

After initially abating in the face of increased American troop presence, the bloodletting resumed in Baghdad on Thursday. Twenty-five bodies were found in the streets, in an indication that militia / death squad activity was ticking back upwards. A particularly bloody day in Baghdad ended with a coordinated bombing attack in a crowded Shi’ite marketplace.

Another Shi’ite neighborhood was the target of bombings in the city of Khalis in the explosive Diyala province.

In both instances, attacks were coordinated to inflict maximum civilian casualties. In the Baghdad marketplace, the bombers positioned themselves at either end of a maze of shopping stalls and blew them selves up. Over a hundred were wounded, and hospital officials estimated, based on a crude tally of body parts, that eighty perished.

The attack in Khalis followed the same attack strategy. Fifty-two were killed and eighty more were wounded. The local health center was quickly overwhelmed and ran out of basic supplies.

In both attacks, the bombers struck around 6:00 p.m. on Thursday evening, in crowded marketplaces, as Muslim families hurried to purchase provisions before Friday, the Muslim holy day.

In Tal Afar, after three days of particularly vicious sectarian fighting, the city remained under curfew, patrolled by American forces to keep the sides separated long enough for the currently enflamed passions to cool.

The initial success of the troop build-up was short lived, and we are right back where we started, but now more heavily invested. It is time to accept reality. All the wishful thinking in the world is not going to salvage a hash-mark in the “Win” column for the United States in Iraq’s civil war, and to even pretend its possible is folly pure and simple.

1 comment:

Apollo 13 said...

Sickening... this whole clusterfuck of a Bush-Cheney ill-conceived invasion is... criminal. If the SOB vetoes the Iraq funding bill, I hope Congress pushes back even harder... and then harder... and then ITMFA.