A string of bombings Thursday south of Baghdad killed at least 30 people and wounded nearly 200, stoking fears that more violence would follow this week's deadly strikes in the Iraqi capital.
Iraqi officials sought to get Baghdad under control Thursday, heightening security and arresting 11 police and military officers as part of an investigation into how insurgents managed to park truck bombs in front of two government ministries Wednesday in attacks that killed 95 people and wounded as many as 1,203.
As pointed out last night, that moved the number of dead reported yesterday to 40 and the injured to 71.
Earlier this week, Mohammed al Dulaimy reported on Anbar Province and with Wednesday's Baghdad bombings (with a death toll of over 100), it got pushed back and we'll note it now:
Its economy remains crippled, nurturing a volatile atmosphere in a Sunni province that holds one of the keys to Iraq's long-term stability. When the Anbar cities of Ramadi and Fallujah put down weapons, Baghdad, to their east, sits more safely.
"When terrorism started, it started in Anbar," said Sheikh Ghazi Faisal al Guoud, Anbar's deputy government for tribal and financial affairs. "Terrorism must end here to end it in Iraq."
The Chicago Tribune notes the death toll from Wednesday's bombings in Baghdad to be 101 and that Nouri's reversed his decision to pull down Bremer walls (the blast walls).
Military Families Against The War's Rose Gentle lost her son Gordon Gentle in the illegal Iraq War. BBC reports this morning that she's too meet with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and they quote her saying:
"The families could be informed a lot more about the death of a loved one. Families who have lost someone feel as though they are not getting a lot of information.
"They have a right to know exactly what happened before it comes out in a newspaper or book.
"Families want to know why it is taking so long for equipment to get over to Afghanistan. That's what the families are really worried about.
"There should also be funds set up for the siblings who have lost a relative."
Scotland TV quotes Rose Gentle stating, "I've never had a face-to-face meeting with the Prime Minister before. We are quite thankful that Gordon Brown is meeting with us."
James Petras has an ambitious article covering a wide spectrum of Iraq War topics entitled "US War against Iraq: Destruction of a Civilization" (The Palestine Chronicle):
Independent, secular Iraq had the most advanced scientific-cultural order in the Arab world, despite the repressive nature of Saddam Hussein's police state. There was a system of national health care, universal public education and generous welfare services, combined with unprecedented levels of gender equality. This marked the advanced nature of Iraqi civilization in the late 20th century. Separation of church and state and strict protection of religious minorities (Christians, Assyrians and others) contrasts sharply with what has resulted from the US occupation and its destruction of the Iraqi civil and governmental structures. The harsh dictatorial rule of Saddam Hussein thus presided over a highly developed modern civilization in which advanced scientific work went hand in hand with a strong nationalist and anti-imperialist identity. This resulted especially in the Iraqi people and regime's expressions of solidarity for the plight of the Palestinian people under Israeli rule and occupation.
A mere 'regime change' could not extirpate this deeply embedded and advanced secular republican culture in Iraq. The US war planners and their Israeli advisers were well aware that colonial occupation would increase Iraqi nationalist consciousness unless the secular nation was destroyed and hence, the imperial imperative to uproot and destroy the carriers of nationalist consciousness by physically eliminating the educated, the talented, the scientific, indeed the most secular elements of Iraqi society. Retrogression became the principal instrument for the US to impose its colonial puppets, with their primitive, 'pre-national' loyalties, in power in a culturally purged Baghdad stripped of its most sophisticated and nationalistic social strata.
According to the Al-Ahram Studies Center in Cairo, more that 310 Iraqi scientists were eliminated during the first 18 months of the US occupation – a figure that the Iraqi education ministry did not dispute.
Another report listed the killings of more than 340 intellectuals and scientists between 2005 and 2007. Bombings of institutes of higher education had pushed enrollment down to 30% of the pre-invasion figures. In one bombing in January 2007, at Baghdad's Mustansiriya University 70 students were killed with hundreds wounded. These figures compelled the UNESCO to warn that Iraq's university system was on the brink of collapse. The numbers of prominent Iraqi scientists and professionals who have fled the country have approached 20,000. Of the 6,700 Iraqi university professors who fled since 2003, the Los Angeles Times reported than only 150 had returned by October 2008. Despite the US claims of improved security, the situation in 2008 saw numerous assassinations, including the only practicing neurosurgeon in Iraq's second largest city of Basra, whose body was dumped on the city streets.
The raw data on the Iraqi academics, scientists and professionals assassinated by the US and allied occupation forces and the militias and shadowy forces they control is drawn from a list published by the Pakistan Daily News (www.daily.pk) on November 26, 2008. This list makes for very uncomfortable reading into the reality of systematic elimination of intellectuals in Iraq under the meat-grinder of US occupation.
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