As violence swept through Iraq today, a new feature, reported by Iran's Press TV, was the targeting of a roadside bomb in Dhi Qar. Jomana Karadsheh (CNN) explains, "The Shiite Arab-dominated province was among the first handed over to Iraqi security forces, and was the scene of periodic clashes between Iraqi security forces and a militia loyal to anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in 2007." Aamer Madhani (USA Today) adds, "A USA TODAY reporter was traveling in a separate U.S. convoy a few minutes behind Hill's in Nasiriyah, a relatively peaceful city where Hill had just finished meeting with local political leaders." Though no one is reported wounded or dead from the attacks, others weren't so lucky as Iraq saw repeated bombing attacks on churches today as well as continued attacks on the Iraqi police and Sahwa.
They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)
Last Sunday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4321 and tonight? 4322.
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 3 Baghdad bombings "near churches" which left eight people wounded, a Baghdad car bombing "near a church" which claimed 4 lives and left twenty-one injured, a Baghdad sticky bombing which claimed 1 life and left four people injured, a Baghdad bombing "near a church" which left three people injured. Reuters counts five churches attackd with bombings in Baghdad and drops back to Saturday to note a Baghdad roadside bombing targeting the Iraqi polic which claimed the life of 1 Iraqi civilian and left twenty people injured. And they provide this context, "Iraq's Christians, believed to number around 750,000, are a small minority in a mainly Muslim country of around 28 million. Christians have been sporadically targeted for attacks, particularly in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul, leading many of them to flee abroad."
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports "the financial inspection department in Kirkuk" was assassinated in Kirkuk today. Reuters identifies the man shot dead in Kirkuk as Aziz Rizko and notes the brother of a Sawha member was shot dead in Jurf Al-Sakhar.
Reuters notes the corpse "of an official from former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's Iraqi National Accord party" was discovered in Baghdad ("bearing signs of torture").
In this morning's New York Times, Sam Dagher and Amir A. Al-Obeidi contributed "6 Are Killed And 67 Hurt In Bombings In Iraq Cities" on yesterday's violence which notes Nineveh Province's continued violence and that, "[l]ike neighboring Kirkuk Province, it is embroiled in a bitter territorial dispute involving Kurds, Arabs, Turkmens and other ethnic and sectarian groups." And, of course, a territorial dispute between the KRG and the central government ouf of Baghdad. Waleed Ibrahim (Reuters) observes oil-rich Kirkuk's status "is now seen as the leading long term threat to Iraq's stability as sectarian violence dies down". If you remember Sam Dagher's article Friday (click here for critique), notice how Ibrahim is able to break down the basics without taking sides: "Kurds claim Kirkuk as their historic capital and want to attach it, with other disputed territories, to their largely autonomous Kurdistan region -- an idea rejected by the city's Arab and Turkman residents as well as Iraq's Baghdad government." Ibrahim explains that Kirkuk does not appear likely to be getting a vote anytime soon and cites the Speaker of Parliament, Ayad al-Samarai, declaring that instead of open election, Arab and Turkmen MPs are advocating for a number of seats set aside for each ethnic group in the city. Iraqi journalist Hussein Khalifa left Iraq and was accepted for admission into the US under the program that encourages the admission of journalists, translators, etc. Anna M. Tinsley's "Iraqi journalist has second thoughts about resettling in U.S." (McClatchy Newspapers) explains:
Loneliness has set in on the man accustomed to working two jobs and spending much time with his 4-year-old nephew.
He has been forced into a slower pace as he waits for a Social Security card and legal documents that will let him formally begin a job search. So he spends time talking with other Iraqi refugees, looking through old pictures, sending e-mails to family and talking on the telephone with his nephew, who wants him to come home.
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Isaiah's latest goes up after this. Pru notes "Obama’s war intensifies in Afghanistan and Pakistan" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker):
US and British troops are involved in a bloody fight with insurgents in the southern Helmand province in Afghanistan.
Occupation forces hope to push into an area that is considered a Taliban stronghold.
Six British troops, including a lieutenant colonel, had been killed in the operation as Socialist Worker went to press.
Troops plan to push out insurgents and set up a string of permanent bases using a strategy developed during the occupation of Iraq.
This is part of a wider plan to squeeze the insurgents between Western troops in Afghanistan and an extensive operation by the Pakistani army in the border regions.
Militants in Pakistan have been ambushing some 200 supply trucks a month as supply convoys snaked through northern Pakistan to Afghanistan. The attacks are causing serious problems for the occupation, and it now wants to secure these routes.
But the push has come at a heavy cost. Some two million Pakistanis have been displaced by the offensive.
Many of them have been abandoned in sprawling refugee camps that have sprung up over the past few months.
Meanwhile the Taliban are said to be gaining influence in the northern provinces of Afghanistan, and remain a threat in the regions around the capital Kabul.
Despite a promise by Barack Obama that the “mini-surge” in Afghanistan would be limited to an extra 21,000 troops, US commanders are hinting that more soldiers are on the way.
© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.
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and the war drags on
the new york times
amir a. al-obeidi
anna m. tinsley
the socialist worker
the third estate sunday review