Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yesterday's Baghdad bombings and today's

A synchronized triple-bombing in northern Baghdad killed 28 people early Monday, an Interior Ministry official said, which would make it the deadliest attack in Baghdad since June, when a car bombing killed 51.
[. . .]
The bombings, along with a suicide attack in Baquba on Monday, seem to be part of an rise in violence after a relatively quiet few weeks here. On Sunday, at least 12 Iraqis were killed in a spate of attacks, many of them in provinces outside of Baghdad where Iraqi-led security operations had recently taken place. On Saturday, at least 11 people were killed in attacks in Baghdad and Anbar Province.
The Associated Press counted at least 19 bombings in Baghdad this month as of Sunday, compared with 28 for all of October and 22 in September. At least 44 people were killed in Baghdad bombings from Nov. 1 to this past Sunday, compared with 95 for October and 96 in September, The A.P. found.

The above is from Anwar J. Ali and Katherine Zoepf's "Triple Blasts Kill 28 in Northern Baghdad" in this morning's New York Times on yesterday's Baghdad bombings. And Baghdad is again the scene of bombings this morning as the BBC reports:

At least three people have been killed in a double bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraqi police say.
The two bombs exploded in quick succession in mainly Shia eastern Baghdad during the morning rush hour.
The target appeared to be newspaper distribution; the first blast hit a delivery lorry and the second a row of vendors waiting to collect newspapers.

On today's Baghdad bombings, AFP adds, "Three day labourers were killed and another 14 wounded when a bomb went off in an empty lot where they were waiting for work near Palestine street, one of the main thoroughfares of Baghdad. Another person was killed and five others were wounded when two mortar rounds aimed at a police station in northern Baghdad struck near a housing construction site where they were working." Back to yesterday's bombing, Mary Beth Sheridan and Qais Mizher's "Bombing Shows Fragility of Iraq's Security Gains" (Washington Post) sketches out the events of Monday's multiple bombings:

Walls define much of this historic city -- slabs of concrete erected by U.S. soldiers or residents that have turned neighborhoods into mazes aimed at frustrating attackers. Only recently, as security improved, did someone wedge open the barriers by Karim's Abu Wael restaurant. No one noticed when someone drove a white Volkswagen Passat through the opening and parked.
At about 8 a.m. Monday, explosives in the Passat's trunk detonated, just as a minibus packed with 20 people passed by on the busy road on the other side of the barriers, witnesses and U.S. officials said. The minibus was engulfed in flames. Minutes later, two roadside bombs exploded near the mangled Passat, showering the occupants of Abu Wael and another nearby restaurant with shards of glass and blowing in their corrugated-metal roofs, according to witnesses.
At least 28 people died and more than 50 were injured, according to Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Askari, a Defense Ministry spokesman, speaking on the al-Arabiya satellite network. The U.S. military put the toll far lower, at five dead.
"There is no security," Karim said glumly as he stood in front of his restaurant amid twisted metal window grates and gray rubble. "We only hear about security from the TV stations."

More details come via Hussein Kadhim and Leila Fadel's "Baghdad street sweepers clear bodies after bombings" (McClatchy Newspapers):

It was unclear whether three or four explosions ripped through the Adhamiyah shopping district, where professionals, laborers and students were eating breakfast before heading to work. Witnesses said they saw two car bombs followed by two roadside bombs, while police blamed a suicide bomber and two roadside bombs for the fatalities.
The blasts, which lasted 15 minutes, were timed to coincide with the breakfast rush at Abu Wael's restaurant. Policemen, laborers, merchants and students were eating eggs, meat and potato patties and drinking tea to start their day. Many didn't make it out of the restaurant.
A bus and its passengers burned in the street, which filled with flames and smoke. Witnesses said that only two passengers survived.
The Egyptian cook at Abu Wael's, Shaaban, who was only one name, immigrated to Iraq more than 20 years ago and had worked at the restaurant for years. "What was he guilty of to deserve being killed?" asked Imad Kareem, a co-owner of the family-run restaurant. "He just worked to feed his family."
When the bombs detonated, Kareem felt the floor shake under his feet, and the ceiling collapsed on him. He survived without a scratch.

AP's Robert H. Reid and Qassim Abdul-Zahra raise the death toll to 31 and they add, "Witnesses said the suicide bomber mingled among rescuers and bystanders, then detonated an explosives belt, which probably accounted for most of the casualties."

And on the election results, Ned highlights Dr. Elias Akleh's "Obama's Change Orgy" (Information Clearing House):

Obama's victory, and more accurately Democrats' victory, was a sure thing. Through two major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war in Haiti, their proxy wars in Africa, war in Georgia, war against Lebanon via Israel, and their violations of international laws, plus the internal wars against the freedom of American people, and the ravaging of American economy, the Republican neoconservative Bush administration had swung the pendulum to the extreme right, and now it has but to swing back to the opposite direction. Everybody knew that after eight disastrous years of Republican rule the Democrats will have their turn. This inevitable change is what brought Obama to the White House. Obama rode to the White House on the people's wish for change
This has been the most expensive American election so far. The combined cost of both Democratic and Republican campaigns was estimated to about one billion Dollars. McCain raised about $360 millions while Obama raised about $640 millions. In just one month Obama was able to raise $150 millions. Such amounts of money has not been raised from the poor and middle class American families, millions of whose bread winners had lost their jobs to outsourcing, lost their investments and retirement funds, and finally lost their homes. Such money came from the power elite; bankers and corporations, who wanted to have a saying in the decisions of the new American administration. Obama cannot accept such funds without paying a price of loyalty to such donors. With this money Obama was able to employ media power to reach every American minority and to talk to them in their own ethnic languages and their own dialects. He was able to deliver his dream of change to the newly young voters in their colleges and universities. With double the money McCain had, Obama was able to "buy" more votes.
Record voters turned out to vote for Obama; estimated to be 64% with 62.3 million votes. The majority of them were Blacks and Latino. Race, as well as economy, had played the greater influence in electing Obama. This was obvious in all election rhetoric that could not escape using racist terminologies. Unfortunately, a large majority are not aware that race is not the core issue of the struggle. It is, rather, a class struggle; the few filthy rich against the poor. Many colored rich minorities had, and still, enslave the poor of their own color. Let us remember what military black previous Secretary of State Collin Powell and his successor Chevron’s Condoleezza Rice had done to the blacks of America.
Obama is no different. He will soon be exposed the person he really is; just another wolf in sheep clothing. Obama's promises to protect the middle class are just empty promises. This was obvious after he approved the $700 billion (plus interest) bailout to give more tax money to corrupt bankers, who will use that money to buy weaker banks. The money should have been used to pay portions of the mortgages the middle class owe to the banks, so they could keep their homes. His acclaimed tax cut promise to the middle class means nothing to its unemployed members. The official unemployment rate is 6.5% not counting those, who are not receiving unemployment benefits and are thus not counted. In 2008 alone Americans have lost 1.2 million jobs to outsourcing. Obama's solution to outsourcing is offering corporations tax cuts as incentives to keep the jobs in the US. Such incentive is nothing compared to the huge savings, in the forms of benefits and retirement funds the corporations are saving by employing very cheap labor force unprotected by any labor laws in third world countries lacking any environmental laws. Obama never talked about the poor Americans. For him they don't exist.
Obama’s real position concerning the unfair NAFTA agreement, that he aggressively criticized and called for its revocation, was exposed later, when it was leaked that his advisor Astan Goolsbee had called Canadian officials asking them not to take Obama's anti-NAFTA rhetoric seriously, but "... should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plan".
People, who think that a president like Obama with his limited political experience could actually change policies, are gravely mistaken. He will be under the influence of members of his administration, more experienced experts and advisers, who will shape his decisions. They are expected to be more right-wing than the Republican neoconservatives. Each interest group, who contributed to Obama's campaign, will push its own agent into this administration to implement its own agenda that might be different than and opposite to the agenda of other interest groups. His administration will be pulled to too many different directions and the well being of the common people will be forgotten and lost.

Megan notes this from Roger Snyder's "I'm Over It" (Greens for Greens):

I sorry to say I’m over it. While I was moved by the first reports of people celebrating in the streets, and can still understand the feeling that many people (many of my neighbors) have, the plethora of bad analysis and false claims has left me not wanting to hear any more.
For example:
Obama's Historic Victory by Howard Zinn
"But, as the first African American in the White House, elected by an enthusiastic citizenry which expects a decisive move towards peace and social justice, he presents a possibility for important change.
Obama becomes president in a situation which cries out for such change. The nation has been engaged in two futile and immoral wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the American people have turned decisively against those wars."
No and no. What people did was vote against Bush. They didn’t like him anymore, and took it out on McCain. The McCain tactic of claiming to have years of inside experience backfired when the economic went south and the voters blamed those in power for the collapse. And they couldn’t tell or didn’t care that Obama was no different than McCain on the economy.
And the economy was the issue. Obama was a likely loser before it came along.
Not the wars. Not social justice.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

the new york times
katherine zoepf
leila fadel
mcclatchy newspapers  the washington post
 mary beth sheridan