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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Blood Flows in Iraq

The AC-130 Gunships are Back
Gunmen wearing what appeared to be the uniforms of Iraqi Interior Ministry commandos stormed a private security company in the capital Wednesday afternoon and kidnapped as many as 50 employees, an official of the ministry said. In an atmosphere of spiraling lawlessness, at least 47 people across the country were killed between Tuesday and Wednesday nights. In the deadliest incident, the bodies of 18 men, all bound at the wrists and blindfolded, were found piled in an abandoned minibus late Tuesday by a U.S. military patrol in al-Mansour, a mixed neighborhood of Shiite and Sunni Arabs in western Baghdad, the U.S. military said in a statement Wednesday.
Gunmen Raid Baghdad Security Firm, Abduct 50 Employees -- Meanwhile, at Least 47 Killed in Latest Wave of Iraq Violence

This is going from bad to worse, like the final beat of a stopping heart.

Iraqis are being found bound, gagged and dead across Iraq, slayings no longer an aberration but the norm. Whole families and people from the same religious sect murdered with impunity.

In the middle of the carnage stands the U.S. military, between hell and the blood waters.

Death squads operate in the light of day.

Reuters reported that thugs attacked at the home of Interior Ministry advisor Maj. Gen. Moussa Salman in western Baghdad. Two of his bodyguards died.

At least some of the insanity seems to come compliments of the push back over the Shiites' nominee for prime minister, Ibrahim Jafari, who is not backed by Sunni Arab and Kurdish politicians. Juan Cole (always) has more.

Meanwhile, Donald Rumsfeld has joined the estimable but checked out Joint Chiefs' head Peter Pace in Iraqland, a place where reality is put on hold and every fantasy is indulged. Yes, of course, gentlemen, the carnage is overstated. In what world, by what measurement?

Via Emily Messner, let's turn to some Iraqi bloggers... Iraq the Model, with a conversation he had with his dad about why the bombs were so loud in Baghdad. "Iraq Democracy is a Farce," is sobering. Also check out 24 Steps to Liberty.

"More than 1,000" have been killed since the Golden Mosque bombing, which for me was the insurgents' Tet Offensive, for those of you willing to walk the metaphor out.

The Pentagon confirmed 2,304 U.S. service personnel have died in Iraq since March 2003. But what of the wounded? Senator John Warner said that between 25-30,000 have been wounded, some seriously maimed. That's not nothing, people.

Oh, and by the way, the AC-130 gunships are back, which can only mean escalation on all fronts, because those babies don't exactly pick and choose their targets.

It looks like a new type of war to me. Dare we call it civil?

posted by Taylor Marsh