Friday, March 30, 2007

The bitter truth about Iraq

By Michael J.W. Stickings

This is Part L (50) of our "Just another day in the life and death of Iraq" series. Here are a few separate reports:

Tall Afar

A day after twin truck bombings laid waste to predominantly Shiite neighborhoods in the northern Iraqi city of Tall Afar, marauding Shiite gunmen and police executed dozens of Sunnis in retaliatory attacks that many Iraqis feared might precipitate a resurgence of open sectarian warfare.

The killings took place in a city once cited by President Bush as a sign of the U.S. military's success in pacifying the insurgency. Bush said in a speech almost exactly a year ago that the "example of Tall Afar gives me confidence in our strategy."

Mission accomplished, eh?

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Baghdad/Khalis

Bombs tore through crowds of after-work shoppers in Baghdad and a town north of the capital on Thursday in an onslaught of violence that killed more than 100 people, according to Iraqi government and hospital officials.

Both areas -- a bazaar in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of Shaab and the farming town of Khalis in Diyala province -- are populated predominantly by Shiites, and Iraqi government officials quickly blamed the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq.

But the surge has been a huge success, right?

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Baghdad (Green Zone)

Iraqi insurgents are increasingly hitting Baghdad's fortresslike Green Zone with rockets and mortar shells, officials said Wednesday.

Insurgents have struck inside the Green Zone, which includes the U.S. Embassy, on six of the past seven days, once with deadly consequences. A U.S. soldier and a U.S. government contractor were killed Tuesday night by a rocket attack that also seriously wounded a civilian, military and embassy officials said. One soldier and at least three other civilians received minor injuries...

A State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, also said, "There are increasing attacks on the embassy."

So the war can still be won, huh?

I'm afraid "courage" and "resolve," as Bush put it recently, won't be enough to turn around this disastrous war. It must be so hard to make out the bitter truth through the fog of self-righteous faith.

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