Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Someone help Antony Blinken pick his jaw off the floor

Antony Blinken thought he could Happy Talk Iraq, as noted in yesterday's snapshot. For nine years now, one official after another has tried to splash a wave of Operation Happy Talk only to have reality slap them across the face. Blinken, the red marks you awoke with this morning? That's reality.

Today Iraq was slammed with bombings. Early on, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) counts "at least 38 dead and 171 injured" as violence exploded "in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Karbala, Hilla, Tikrit, Baiji, Ramadi, and Falluja." Salam Faraj (AFP) notes that in addition to bombings -- including one "in the center of the capital" -- a Baghdad church was attacked with 3 people shot dead. The Telegraph of London offers video of the aftermath of the Kirkuk bombings. BBC News' Peter Biles offers audio commentary here. He focuses on the Arab League Summit (scheduled for next week in Baghdad). Al Bawaba News adds, "The government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, announced a week-long holiday in Baghdad, from 25 to 31 March, during which government offices will be closed. A curfew will be imposed on March 29 in some areas of the capital to secure the arrival of Arab leaders. The roads near the fortified Green Zone where the summit is to take place will be barred and the residents will be encouraged to stay home."

Kareem Raheem and Aseel Kami (Reuters) count
16 bombings with the death toll rising to 43 and over two hundred injured.

The following community sites -- plus Adam Kokesh, the Bat Sengundo Show, Chocolate City, IVAW, Antiwar.com and CSPAN -- updated last night and this morning:

We'll close with this from David Swanson's "Obama Declares War on Iraq an Honorable Success 2 Weeks Early for April Fool's Day" (War Is A Crime):

Wait. Wasn't it more challenging when the U.S. military used to fight wealthy, armed nations? Isn't sacrificing for a cause a separate question from whether the cause was worthwhile? Isn't braving insurgency and sectarian strife an inevitable part of occupying someone else's country and using death squads to stir up sectarian strife? Isn't fighting block by block an atrocity, because people live there? Isn't helping the Iraqi people against the will of the Iraqi people a bit arrogant? Didn't the mission come to an end because the Iraqi people compelled the Iraqi government to no longer allow criminal immunity for US troops and mercenaries killing, raping, and pillaging? Didn't the mission end without finding the mythical weapons, without forcing the Iraqis to accept U.S. domination, and with the country essentially destroyed -- causing a majority of Iraqis to say they'd been better off before the invasion?

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