In this morning's New York Times, Sam Dagher's "Spate of Attacks Leaves 12 Dead Across Iraq" covers some of yesterday's violence
The attack in Khalis on Sunday took place in a part of town where security had been relaxed after a major Iraqi-led security operation across Diyala in July.
A roadside bomb killed one person in Baquba, the provincial security official said.
Saja Qadouri, a member of the Diyala provincial council, blamed laxity and infiltration in the ranks of local security forces for the attack. She said there was little effort to follow through and consolidate the security gains made over the summer.
A similar dynamic appears to be at play in Nineveh Province, according to several Iraqi and American officials interviewed last month. In the provincial capital, Mosul, on Monday, three Iraqi soldiers were killed and four were wounded when their convoy hit a roadside bomb, according to an Iraqi Army official.
The Washington Post's Ernesto Londono covers yesterday's violence in "Suicide Blast in Emergency Room Near Fallujah Kills 3:"
The woman apparently targeted armed guards who were being treated for wounds suffered Sunday during another bombing, said Capt. Mohammed al-Dulaimy, a spokesman for the Fallujah police department. Two physicians, Harith al-Ani and his wife, Salwa al-Dulaimy, were among three people killed in the attack at Amriyah Hospital, south of Fallujah, Capt. Dulaimy said.
A day earlier, a suicide bomber killed five people and wounded nine at a checkpoint near Ramadi manned by police officers and female guards hired to search women, an official at Ramadi Hospital said.
Both attacks took place in Anbar province. The U.S. military turned over primary responsibility for security in Anbar to provincial officials two months ago. Security in the province, once among the most volatile in Iraq, has improved markedly in recent months, prompting U.S. Marines to downscale their presence there.
That's yesterday. AP reports two Baghdad bombings today have claimed at least 22 lives with forty-two more wounded: "The bombs struck during morning rush hour in the northern part of the city. The first struck a passenger bus. The other blast occurred about 50 yards away as people rushed to help the wounded, authorities said." Reuters explains it was not a double bombing but a triple bombing and lists the death toll at 28 with the number wounded at sixty-eight.
Jonah e-mails that he reads Paul Krugman "these days with an airsick bag" and asks that we note John Pilger again. (Krugman's embarrassing himself playing Groupie-In-Chief.) This is from John Pilger's "The Diplomacy Of Lying" (Information Clearing House) written before election day last week (and noted here before):
When you bear this in mind, the US presidential race becomes surreal. The beatification of President Barack Obama is already under way; for it is he who "challenges America to rise up [and] summon 'the better angels of our nature'", says Rolling Stone magazine, reminiscent of the mating calls of Guardian writers to the "mystical" Blair. As ever, the Orwell Inversion Test is necessary. Obama claims that his vast campaign wealth comes from small individual donors, yet he has also received funds from some of the most notorious looters on Wall Street. Moreover, the "dove" and "candidate of change" has voted repeatedly to fund George W Bush's rapacious wars, and now demands more war in Afghanistan while he threatens to bomb Pakistan.
Dismissing the popular democracies in Latin America as a "vacuum" to be filled by the United States, he has endorsed Colombia's "right to strike terrorists who seek safe havens across its borders". Translated, this means the "right" of the criminal regime in that country to invade its neighbours, notably uppity Venezuela, on Washington's behalf. The British human rights group Justice for Colombia has just published a study concerning Anglo-American backing for the Colombian regime of Álvaro Uribe, which is responsible for more than 90 per cent of all cases of torture. The principal torturers, the "security forces", are trained by the Americans and the British. The Foreign Office replies that it is "improving the human rights record of the military and combating drug trafficking". The study finds not a shred of evidence to support this. Colombian officers with barbaric records, such as those implicated in the murder of a trade union leader, are welcomed to Britain for "seminars".
As in many parts of the world, the British role is that of subcontractor to Washington. The bloody "Plan Colombia" was the design of Bill Clinton, the last Democratic president and inspiration for Blair's and Brown's new Labour. Clinton's administration was at least as violent as Bush's – see Unicef's report that 500,000 Iraqi children died as a result of the Anglo-American blockade in the 1990s.
The lesson learned is that no presidential candidate, least of all a Democrat awash with money from America's "banksters", as Franklin Roosevelt called them, can or will challenge a militarised system that controls and rewards him. Obama's job is to present a benign, even progressive face that will revive America's democratic pretensions, internationally and domestically, while ensuring nothing of substance changes.
Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Bitchy Tina Fey" went up yesterday. The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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