Archive for Wednesday, March 21, 2012

46 killed in attacks across Iraq

March 21, 2012


— Insurgents plotting to derail next week’s Arab League meeting in Baghdad unleashed bloody attacks across Iraq on Tuesday, killing 46 people. The government vowed not to be scared off from hosting the summit — the first in the country in a generation and a chance to prove it is moving toward normalcy after years of war.

Bombs struck Shiite pilgrims in the holy city of Karbala, set cars on fire in Kirkuk and targeted security forces and government officials in Baghdad and surrounding cities. Iraqis out shopping or eating at restaurants on the bright, spring day fell victim to the onslaught: More than 200 people were wounded in fewer than six hours.

“Dozens of cars were on fire,” said a panicked Saman Majid, who had just arrived at his job at a police station in Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad, when a car in the parking lot exploded.

Thirteen people, most of them police officers, were killed and 59 injured in that attack alone, said Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir.

The attacks were not entirely unexpected: Government and security officials have warned for weeks that al-Qaida and Sunni sympathizers would try to thwart the League summit by sowing fear about Baghdad’s stability. Plans for the capital to host the meeting last year were postponed, in part because of concerns about security.

Despite numerous roadblocks, checkpoints and other security measures ringing Baghdad, Tuesday’s violence showed how easily the militants penetrated the sensitive heart of the capital. A bomb exploded near the Foreign Ministry and offices for security directors overseeing the summit. Another blew up outside the Green Zone shortly after dawn, its blast shaking windows in buildings across the Tigris River.

The Iraqi wing of al-Qaida said it was behind the bombing outside the Foreign Ministry.

The Shiite-led government staunchly stood by its $400 million plans to host the summit, which leaders have called a crucial step for Iraq to showcase its improved stability following the sectarian fighting a few years ago that almost pulled the country into civil war.


Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 1 month ago

This really sickens me, and makes me wonder if there is any hope for the human race.

Long term, I guess there isn't.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 1 month ago

Ron: I am more optimistic than you on this count, but clearly GW Bush was right when he ran in 2000 and warned us against "nation-building." I just wish he'd taken his own advice. The "surge" worked for awhile when we shipped pallets of money to Iraq and handed it out to the folks who were shooting at us. They quit as long as they were paid. It's time for this sad country to rule itself, no matter where it takes them. We are not going to turn them into a Jeffersonian model with money and blood.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 1 month ago

My opinion, and many historians agree, is that it's a totally different culture in the Middle East, and tribal and religious affiliations are what is most important to the citizens, and nationality is second place to those.

After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, the borders of the present day Middle Eastern nations were determined by the victors of World War One, and their decisions were not what was in the best interest of the people that lived there.

It is likely that the Middle East would be a somewhat more peaceful place if the nations there had been carved out more along the lines of religious and tribal affiliations, rather than on borders that were decided upon based upon the best interests of the colonial powers.

For example, what happened to Kurdistan? We hear about Palestine all the time, but Kurdistan seems to be forgotten. And where did Jordan come from?

Until a national identity becomes more important than tribal or religious affiliations, the nations there are simply never going to follow our example, where we all, for the most part anyway, first consider ourselves to be Americans, and secondly Agnostics, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Protestants, Roman Catholics, or ethnic Africans, Asians, or Europeans, for examples.

And, it is almost impossible to force an unwanted national identity on a citizenry, even though they lost a war.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 1 month ago

Although, one might look at the Roman Empire for a good example. The Roman Empire expanded by conquest, essentially swallowing up the land and peoples as it grew.

Of course, obviously at first the Romans were regarded as enemies. Then, the Romans built infrastructure, such as public water works and roads, and considered the territory to be part of the Roman Empire.

After a while, the population became accustomed to the advantages of being a citizen of the most powerful Empire in the Western World at the time, and then considered themselves to be Romans.

But it took about 100 years, or almost 5 generations, for that change in attitude to take place.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 1 month ago

Maybe you could go visit Syria and see for yourself what some parts of the Middle East are like.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 1 month ago

Or, you could read up on what happened to thousands of Kurds when Saddam Hussein was still in power.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 1 month ago

Lies were the order of the day for Bush Co.

Study: Bush, aides made 935 false statements in run-up to war.

BTW, yesterday was the 9-year anniversary of the start of Bush Co.'s Iraq War. Bush Co. gave 'em the "shocker" and they were awed...

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 1 month ago

Read and remember this: I don't support either democan or republicrat. I'm an independent American...not a partisan jack off. I can think critically for myself and require no blowhard to explain to me or tell me what to think. You should try it some time.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 1 month ago

The Center for Public Integrity equals liberals...integrity is based in fact, which has a well known liberal bias.

"President Bush and his top aides publicly made 935 false statements about the security risk posed by Iraq in the two years following September 11, 2001, according to a study released Tuesday by two nonprofit journalism groups.

"In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003," reads an overview of the examination, conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism."

Civil War:

tbaker 6 years, 1 month ago

Iraq is 65%+ Shia and 15%-20% ethnic Kurdish, Turkoman, or Assyrian, yet a small minority of brutal Sunni Arabs have ran the country for generations backed up by all the other Sunni Arab dictatorships in the region. Whats going on in Iraq is a balancing between the various ethnic and political groups that has to happen. It was and is inevitable. Things have been out of balance a very long time. The fact the Iraqis choose violence to accomplish this is how it is done all over the 3rd world. Societies who lack established and respected judicial and legislative systems to resolve their differences have no other option. What we now argue about on the floor of congress and in the courts used to be resolved by clan feuds, duals to the death, and civil war. The Iraqis will eventually get there.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 1 month ago

I certainly hope they get there sooner, rather than eventually. Baghdad has a very long heritage to be very proud of that predates the United States by many centuries.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 1 month ago

Happy 9-year anniversary, Iraq! March 20, 2003, began the Shock and Awe campaign based on Bush Co. lies implicating Iraq in 9/11, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. And the tax dollars flowed to the MICC. Profits, profits, profits!

Study: Bush, aides made 935 false statements in run-up to war.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 1 month ago

Everyone supported it because they were, get this, lied to repeatedly. Simple really, but you wouldn't know about reality.

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