Thursday, August 16, 2007

3700 mark passed for US service members killed in the illegal war

The blast surpassed the previous deadliest attack when 215 people were killed by mortar fire and five car bombs in Baghdad's Shia Muslim enclave of Sadr City on 23 November 2006.

The above is from Tim Butcher's "Iraq bombs: 250 die in worst terror attack" (Telegraph of London) on the rising death toll for Tuesday's bombings in northern Iraq. Reminder, yesterday the US military insisted to CBS News that the death toll was only 30. Of coures, they didn't have to insist too hard to one outlet which offered the most embarrassing reporting of any outlet, the New York Times. Yesterday that paper allegedly covered the worst bombings of the illegal war that the US wasn't responsible for by avoiding the victims. Instead it was a lot of quote officials and ignore the victims. Today, the paper runs James Glanz' "Iraq Toll at 250 in the Deadliest Attack of the War" and we'll note the following from it:

A farmer who survived one of the explosions, Hasson Dalali, 59, said in a hospital in Tal Afar, a town 40 miles northeast of the explosions, that he had lost eight members of his family. "I saw a flash in the sky; I never saw anything like this before," Mr. Dalali said.
He said that after two huge explosions threw him to the ground where he was working his fields, he rushed to his house to check on his family. "The house was completely flattened to the ground," he said. "I was looking for any survivor from my family in the rubble. I found only my 12-year-old nephew."
The nephew had broken ribs and legs and severe wounds to his head, Mr. Dalali said.

The worst attack and the New York Times spent yesterday ignoring the victims. Carol J. Williams' "Death toll in bombing of sect rises" (Los Angeles Times) notes:

As the scope of the slaughter became apparent amid the desperate rescue operations, Ziryan Othman, health minister from the neighboring Kurdistan region, said the number killed exceeded 250 and could grow higher as the collapsed houses and shops probably had entombed many inhabitants. The death toll surpassed the 215 killed in November by suicide bombings in the Sadr City area of Baghdad, the previous high-water mark of wartime horror.
Iraqi and U.S. officials immediately blamed Al Qaeda- affiliated insurgents for the devastation Tuesday near the Syrian border, saying the scale and sophistication of the coordinated detonations of gas tankers bore the hallmarks of the militant group's followers.
Survivors described scenes of panic after the blasts in Qahtaniya, Tal Uzair and Jazeera leveled the villages' warrens of crude earthen homes and shops.
"The roofs fell on our heads," said Murad Samku, a 30-year-old farmer being treated for contusions at a hospital in nearby Sinjar but desperate to get back to the disaster scene to search for his family.
"What I saw last night in the darkness was a horrible image of my beloved village. The land is deserted now. There's nothing left."

Today the US military announced: "Two Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers were killed during combat operations in an area north of the Iraqi capital Aug. 15. Six other Soldiers were wounded in the attack. ICCC's current totals are 43 US service members killed so far this month with 3701 US service members killed since the start of the illegal war. The 3700 mark has been passed. Let's see how much attention it gets (or, more likely, how little).

Meanwhile, AP reports that puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki has announced he's got a new alliance . . . with Kurds and Shi'ites. The Sunnis have been left out. Not a surprise when you consider the Baath party members or former members have still not been embraced in the political process. The announcement will give a few seconds of happy spin and the appearance that something has changed. Nothing has. al-Maliki has done what he's always done.

In a sign of how little has changed, Reuters reports at least 9 dead and at least 17 injured by a car bombing today in Baghdad. And as the media runs with the chatter that Petreaus may suggest a decrease of US forces in the September 15th report to Congress, the Congressionally mandated report, Peter Graff (Reuters) reports that, "U.S. forces launched an airborne assault on a desert compound south of Baghdad on Thursday, the first air strike in a major new offensive." As Norman Solomon has long pointed out, this tactic (reduce ground troops, increase the air assault) was used during Vietnam in an attempt to weaken the public cry for withdrawal.

Reminder, the snapshot will post later this evening.

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