Today in Iraq, a police compound is attacked. CNN reports that a Hilla police headquarters was targeted by a suicide car bomber who took his own life and that of "at least 21 officers" with sixty more people left injured. Australia's Herald Sun quotes security official Haidar al Zazour stating, "The suicide bomber took advantage of the police station's guards changing shifts to attack. He managed to drive through the main gate and blew up his vehicle four meters [12 feet] inside the station's perimeter." AGI News notes, "A list of the victims has been posted inside the city's largest hospital." AP explains, "A witness at the scene said the blast knocked down the concrete ceiling covering a parking lot where many police cars were located." Along with damaging the police headquarters and leaving a six foot crater, AFP notes, "Several nearby houses and shops were also seriously damaged, an AFP journalist said." BBC News observes, "Hilla is a mainly Shia city and has in the past come under attack by Sunni militants." Mo Hong'e (Xinhua) updates with, ""Our latest reports put the toll from the suicide car bombing in the city of Hillah at 25 and 75 wounded," the source from Hillah police told Xinhua on condition of anonymity." Michael S. Schmidt (New York Times) quotes Kathum Majed Toma ("head of Babil's provincial council") stating, "The central government is responsible for this explosion. We requested many times for them to provide us with sonar devices to detect explosives and for them to hire more security forces so we can secure our province but they did not reply."
In addition, Reuters notes a Mussayab roadside bombing, a Tuz Khurmato roadside bombing which claimed 2 lives and left four injured and, dropping back to last night, a Mosul doll bombing which injured three people.
Meanwhile Al Mada notes Iraqi Maj Gen Hamid al-Maliki -- Army Air Staff, stating that Iraq can't protect its air space or defend itself from an external threat and this leads quickly to speculation that the US has deliberately delayed providing military aircraft to Iraq in order to extend its stay. (If that is the plan, it was the plan before the SOFA was written. Go back to DoD reports as early as 2007 and you will see that the problem with Iraq's air force was noted as was the long time lag it would take to provide aircraft and training.) In other security news, Dar Addustour reports
that allegedly Solomon Yousef, chief security advisor in Salahuddin Province, has been arrested in a raid on his home by forces Nouri sent in from Baghdad.
Rusing to post Isaiah's comic this morning, sorry.
We'll close with this from David Swanson's "Osama Bin Lynched" (War Is A Crime):
I'm going to give this speech tonight to a crowd of drunk young people. If I'm not back by morning, ask around if there have been any "Islamic burials."
About 10 years ago a bunch of psychotic killers crashed planes into buildings. A tall skinny guy who took credit said he was protesting the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia and US support for Israel's war on Palestinians. That wasn't exactly going to hold up in a court of law as a justification for mass-murder. But the U.S. government had already, before 9-11, turned down offers from the Taliban to put bin Laden on trial in a third country, and it turned those offers down again.
Instead, the U.S. president said he had no interest in bin Laden, but proceeded to encourage Americans to be afraid of their own shadows. He used that fear to help launch a war without end. We've now had nine-and-a-half years of pointless horrific murderous war in Afghanistan and eight years of the same in Iraq, plus a drone war in Pakistan, a new war in Libya, and smaller wars and special military operations in dozens of other countries.
We watched foreign looking people on television dancing in the streets and celebrating the crimes of 9-11 and we thought how evil and barbaric they must be. Knowing nothing about the decades our government had spent exploiting and occupying their countries, toppling their democratic leaders, and kicking in their doors, we assumed that these subhuman monsters were celebrating the killing of Americans because they just happened to dislike us or because their stupid religion told them to.
Of course, we used to have lynch mobs in this country. Ask the freedom riders who left for the deep south 50 years ago today. But we had outgrown that. We were not driven by blind vengeance. We were civilized. The reason we locked up far more people in prison than any other country and killed some of them was a purely rational calculation dealing with prevention, deterrence, and restitution. We weren't monsters. We didn't torture or cut people's heads off.
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michael s. schmidt