Monday, July 07, 2008

The violence continues

A wave of attacks in Baghdad and areas north of the capital Sunday shattered a relative lull in violence, killing 16 people and injuring 15 a day after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared that Iraq's government had defeated terrorism.
[The attacks continued on Monday, wire services reported, when a suicide bomber blew herself up near a market in the city of Baquba, killing as many as 9 people and wounding a dozen others.]

The above, noted by Lloyd, is from Zaid Sabah's "Relative Calm in Iraq Ends as Attacks Take 16 Lives" (Washington Post). While the Post explores reality, the New York Times offers "Iraq City Has Brittle Clam and War Scars." Minus Damien Cave, Alissa J. Rubin again ventures outside Baghdad ("But in late June, a New York Times reporter and photographer traveled to the provincial capital," of Diyala Province "driving in old Iraqi cars with an interpreter to see how much had changed.") It's an improvement over December 23, 2007's "In a Force for Iraqi Calm, Seeds of Conflict." She quotes Ghanem al-Khoreishi, a police chief, who speaks of having "lost 1,585 policemen and had 1,650 wounded." It would be interesting to know the timeline for those figures. (That's not questioning those figures.) Had al-Khoreishi (whose home has been bombed and had to remain at the police headquarters for four months straight due to safety concerns) been bumped up earlier in the article, it would be stronger. It would also provide the contrast (early on) the article needs between the descriptions Rubin offers (nothing wrong with the descriptions other than they set the stage for a story that never comes) and what you arrive at if you read to the final third.

In the Los Angeles Times, Doug Smith's "United Arab Emirates to forgive Iraq's $4-billion debt" focuses on the debt forgiven (which may actually be seven billion dollars) and notes the following violence:

A roadside bomb targeting a leader of a minor Kurdish political party killed seven people in a part of northern Diyala province that Kurds want to incorporate into their semiautonomous region. Mohammed Ramadhan Esa of the National Kurdistan Party was injured, but the explosion killed his wife, three of his children, his sister-in-law and two guards, police said. Three other people were wounded.
A car bomb went off near the entrance of Shaab neighborhood in north Baghdad, killing six people and injuring 14, including three police officers.
In Iskandariya, about 25 miles south of Baghdad, a leader of the concerned citizens group, the U.S.-funded neighborhood security force, was killed in a bombing.
An area north of Sadr City was sealed off Sunday after gunfire erupted Saturday night. Witnesses said a joint U.S.-Iraqi force conducting an operation in the area, once a stronghold of anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada Sadr, exchanged fire with several gunmen.

On the political front, Briana Neslter writes into the Capitol Times noting her support for Ralph Nader's presidential campaign and to ask some questions:

I now have two questions for people who want me to vote for Obama.
One from Nader: "What is your breaking point -- the point at which your party has finally gone too far in violating your values?"
The other: "Who have you voted for in the last 20 years who has been more progressive after being elected than he or she was during their campaign?"

Miguel asks that this campaign video be noted again.

The e-mail address for this site is