Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wong's got all the gossip, just not the dead man's name

In Baghdad on Tuesday, insurgents set off two car bombs in a parking lot opposite the Iranian Embassy, wounding four people. The Iraqi Army and the police sealed off the roads around the embassy, snarling traffic for miles.
A friend of the son of the Iraqi electricity minister was killed when a bomb exploded in the son's locker in Baghdad University, an Interior Ministry official said. The son, Fadi Kareem Waheed, was wounded, along with two colleagues. Two concealed bombs exploded on Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad, killing at least two people and wounding at least nine others.
Sunni insurgents blew up a Shiite mosque in the Jihad neighborhood, but no one was injured.
In the town of Jaara, south of Baghdad, gunmen killed seven members of a Shiite family, four of them children, a police official said. At least seven Iraqis were killed in violence or discovered dead on Tuesday in Diyala Province.
The American military said a marine was killed Monday in combat in Anbar Province.

The above is from Edward Wong's article in this morning's New York Times that focuses on claims made online about the bombings that killed 9 US service members (noted yesterday, also see below). And the thing that stands out is: "A friend of the son of the . . ." If you can get that, you can get the deceased's name. And if you can't, maybe you spent a little too much time chasing down an online post (which was covered yesterday evening by other outlets and this is just a rehash) and not enough time doing what needed to be done.

Everyone who dies has a name. Despite that, some remain unknown. When you can tell us who the frined was and who the father of the friend was, you can provide the victim with a name.

Martha notes Sudarsan Raghavan and Thomas E. Ricks' "Outpost Attack Highlights Troop Vulnerabilities" (Washington Post) -- both of whom have covered Iraq:

As U.S. soldiers fired a hail of bullets, the first suicide bomber sped toward their patrol base. Reaching the checkpoint, the truck exploded, blasting open a path for the second bomber to barrel through and ram his truck into the concrete barrier about 90 feet from the base. The second explosion crumbled walls and parts of a school building, killing nine American troops and injuring 20.
Mourning his fallen comrades Tuesday, Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly took comfort in a single detail: The bombers did not detonate their payloads inside the base, located in Sadah, a village 40 miles northeast of Baghdad near Baqubah, the Diyala provincial capital.

"It certainly could have been worse," said Donnelly, a U.S. military spokesman, describing Monday's bombing, one of the deadliest ground attacks against U.S. forces since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
U.S. forces are increasingly exposed to danger and death as they step up their presence in Baghdad and volatile areas such as Anbar and Diyala provinces. Once housed in vast, highly secured bases, many now live in hostile neighborhoods inside isolated combat outposts, the linchpin of a counterinsurgency plan designed to wrest control of the capital and other hot spots from Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.
Military tactical experts say such combat outposts, where soldiers are expected to interact with area residents and gather intelligence about potential enemies, are the most effective way of preventing car bombings and other attacks in the long term. Paradoxically, this approach is making U.S. soldiers more vulnerable as they rely more than ever on the Iraqi police and army -- and the support of the local population -- for their safety.

Covered Iraq? As opposed to miscovered, as opposed to Dexy who crawls out from under his rock and across the pages of this morning's New York Times supposedly writing about a passing but really just trying to shine some glory on himself. Give it up Dexy, you are the liar who didn't tell the truth about Falluja. You are the go-to-go-go-boy for the US military when they wanted to plant stories, you are the one who cancelled a story because the US military raised an eyebrow. You are all those things and so much more and none of it (including your laughable prize) makes you today or tomorrow a reporter and the Times assigning that piece to you was the ultimate insult to someone's memory.

Yara Bayoumy (Reuters) reports:

The United Nations criticised Iraq's government on Wednesday for not disclosing politically sensitive civilian casualty figures and said the humanitarian crisis there was rapidly worsening.
Violence continued as a suicide attacker walked into the police station in the volatile Diyala province and detonated a bomb, killing nine and wounding 16, police said.
The military toll has also risen, with a British soldier who was killed in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Monday marking the deadliest month for British forces since March 2003, when U.S.-led forces invaded to topple Saddam Hussein.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government had withheld data on civilian deaths amid spiralling sectarian violence between majority Shi'ites and once dominant Sunnis.

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