Saturday, October 07, 2006

Just another day in the life and death of Iraq XV

By Michael J.W. Stickings

While in Baghdad on Thursday, according to the NYT, Condi Rice claimed that Iraqis are "making progress". Of course, she was "[w]earing a helmet and a flak jacket and flanked by machine-gun-toting bodyguards to defend against insurgents," and "the military transport plane that brought her to Baghdad was forced to circle the city for about 40 minutes because of what a State Department spokesman later said was either mortar fire or rockets at the airport," and "[d]uring her meeting with President Jalal Talabani, the lights went out,... a reminder of the city’s erratic -- and sometimes nonexistent -- electrical service," but, well, whatever. Right? I'm sure there's progress being made somewhere. Surely Condi wouldn't lie about a thing like that. Surely we shouldn't read too much into "[t]he extraordinary security precautions" taken throughout her visit. There's progress, dammit!

Only, the reality on the ground continues to suggest otherwise: "She arrived in the midst of an especially bloody few days for American troops. At least 21 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq since Saturday, most in Baghdad. Two car bombings in the city on Thursday left at least four Iraqi civilians dead."

Juan Cole has more here. And he links to this horrific report from Reuters on Thursday's killed and wounded throughout Iraq. And these are just the reported killings and woundings. What else happened on Thursday that went unreported?

Still, I'm sure there's progress there somewhere. Surely Condi can see Iraq clearly through her helmet, flak jacket, bodyguards, and military escort. Surely she and her boss in the Oval Office know what's really going on in Iraq. Surely delusion hasn't yet gotten the better of them.

Yeah, right.

(For more, see The Carpetbagger Report, Shakespeare's Sister, Daily Kos, Taylor Marsh, Liberty Street, The Heretik, the MoJo Blog, and Wonkette.)

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