Baghdad is slammed by bombings today. Muhaimen Mohammed and CNN report, "A string of six explosions killed at least 22 people and wounded more than 70 in Baghdad on Wednesday, Iraq's interior ministry said." Other reports count five bombings. Details will be firmed down as reports are filed throughout the day. Rebecca Santana and Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) note that officials state the death toll has risen to 25 while AGI notes the death toll has risen to 28. Global Post states officials are saying eighty-three were injured. BBC News notes their correspondent Rami Ruhayem says "The resurgence of suicide attacks inside the capital is a worrying development even by Iraqi standards." Mu Xuequan (Xinhua) notes that the dead and wounded include police officers and Iraqi soldiers. Michael S. Schmidt (New York Times) adds, "Children at a school close to one of the police stations were injured by shattered glass." Reuters quotes police Lt Nadeer Adel stating, "A car approached... the driver smashed through the checkpoint and exploded the car when he hit a concrete barrier. Smoke was everywhere, we all took cover. Minutes later we found a crater and some of our police were dead."
Dan Zak and Asaad Majeed (Washington Post) state, "It was the bloodiest day in Baghdad since Aug. 28, when a suicide bomber killed 28 and injured 30 at the city’s largest Sunni mosque." KUNA explains, "An Iraqi police source told KUNA here that the explosions targeted police stations in the towns of Al-Watheq Square, at the entrance of the Ministry of Interior's building, Al-Hurriya, and Al-Baya'a ."
And thank goodness that in the US we can count on US outlets to report on what continues in Iraq as the US-started Iraq War continues and as approximately 45,000 US troops remain on the ground in Iraq. ABC News, CBS News, NBC News and NPR files twice here and here. Oh, wait. They don't report a damn thing. They just run AP reports.
How very disgusting. And how sad that only Dan Rather has had the guts to call this out. The same broadcast media that breathlessly sold the illegal war withdrew from in December 2008. (NPR would dispute that and they'd be semi-right; however, who gives a damn when they haven't managed to report from Iraq since July despite having earmarked X number of dollars in the budget submitted to the CPB for Iraq coverage. Where did that money go? Oh, that's right, trips to Syria and Egypt instead.)
And in other news outlets embarrassments, if NPR's hourly news wants to quote Harry Reid's whine about the failure of the so-called "jobs" bill, it owes it to the listener to inform them that the 50 votes for the bill and 49 against? Reid was in the 49 against. Yes, he had a reason for voting against it (presumably, everyone did); however, when you play a quote from him whining about the vote and then give the vote totals, you've presented a less than honest picture by failing to note that, inspite of the quote you played, Reid voted against the measure in the final vote.
Besides bombings in Baghdad, Reuters notes an attack on a Baghdad police point (shooting attack) that left two police officers injured, 1 Diwaniyya city employee shot outside his home, and, dropping back to Tuesday night for all that follows, 1 Iraqi military colonel shot dead in Baghdad, a Shirqat bombing which claimed the lives of 2 police officers (four more injured), a Daquq roadside bombing injured two Iraqi soldiers and 1 Sahwa shot dead in Garma.
In political news, Al Mada reports that some members of Iraqiya are launching an effort to convince political slate leader Ayad Allawi to rethink his decision to give up the post heading the (not yet created) security council. The Erbil Agreement allowed second placed Nouri al-Maliki (his State of Law came in second in the March 7, 2010 elections) to stay on as prime minister provided (among other things) an independent security council was created that would be headed by Allawi (whose political slate came in first). Meanwhile Al Rafidayn reports the latest response in the online column "Dear Moqtada." Al-Sadr was asked, via e-mail, a question and responded, "Only when necessary and I always make sure to gargle right after." Seriously, his question was about American trainers and he stated his objection to the US military remaining in Iraq but he appeared to draw a new line with regards to US soldiers as "trainers" and he noted the claims that this would be cheaper -- using American troops for training -- than to hire trainers. (That's popped up in the Iraqi press several times now, that claim. The US press has not reported that claim yet. Possibly because it would anger Americans and have them saying that, if that's the case, Iraq can forget it or if that's the case Iraq can pay X number of dollars for training from US soldiers.)
Lastly Suha Sheikhly and Adam Youssef (Al Mada) report Iraqi health officials state there is a 23% increase in heart disease as a result of environmental pollution from the war, car exhaust and generators.
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sameer n. yacoub
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michael s. schmidt