Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Don't notice the trend, don't notice the trend, don't . . .

The police chief of Iraq's southern city of Basra escaped assassination for the second time in four days on Wednesday when a roadside bomb exploded near his convoy, a police source said.

The above is from Reuters' "Basra police chief targeted again in roadside bomb" and the article's referring to Maj.-Gen. Abdul-Jalil Khalaf (four of his bodyguards were injured). Second time in four days? From yesterday's snapshot:

We're not done with the reported deaths. This morning, Meanwhile, AP noted that there were 17 reported deaths yesterday in Iraq "including a local councilman gunned down in a neighbourhood next his own in western Baghdad." This continues the trend of assaults on officials in Iraq. Over the weekend, Lt. Gen. Mohan Hafidh and Maj. Gen. Jaleel Khalf (Basra police) survived an attack on Saturday (in Basra) as did Dr. Jabbar Yasir Al Maiyahi (Wasit University president) although he and three bodyguards were wounded; Sunday Qutaiba Badr Al Deen, of the Ministry of Finance, was shot dead Sunday in Baghdad as was Eman Hussein (a female school principal) while a second female principal was wounded and, on Saturday, a police officer's wife was kidnapped in Kut. While yesterday, a municipal manager was shot dead in Baghdad. The trend towards attacks on officials has been largely ignored (Alissa J. Rubin did cover it at the New York Times) though the AP does focus on government worker Mohammed Abdul-Wahab who found a note from a militia telling him to leave his home and he and his family quickly became part of the 2.3 million internally displaced Iraqis as they left their Baghdad home (as 60% of the internally displaced have). Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports today on an attack "of the offices of the PUK in Sadyah town northeast Baquba" on Monday that left two security guards wounded and today, in Hawija, the mayor ("of Al Manzila village") was shot dead while his son was wounded while in Basra there was an attempt to assassinate Abo Al Khaseeb ("head of the local council"). Meanwhile Reuters notes Arif Yousif was shot dead in Mosul -- he had been "a member of the governing council of Mosul." The trend of targeting officials continues.

And it continues today but let's all pretend not to notice. Or maybe we can make like the Los Angeles Times and half-notice? From Christian Berthelsen's "Deadliest year of Iraq war for U.S. troops:"

This year has become the deadliest for American troops in the Iraq war since the 2003 invasion, with the U.S. military's announcement Tuesday of the deaths of five soldiers and a sailor in roadside bombings.
The attacks brought the total number of U.S. troops killed this year to at least 854, eclipsing the previous high of 849 set in 2004, according to data compiled by, an independent website that tracks Iraq war casualties. With more than seven weeks left to go in the year, the toll was on pace to far outstrip any previous year.
At least 3,857, American troops have died since the conflict began in March 2003, according to the website.

He then goes on to repeat the talking points regarding deaths of Iraqis. He's caught up in the spin.

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