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Fri

30

Mar

2007

Bombers kill over 130, wounding over two Hundred - US Embassy Orders Personal Armor in Green Zone
Friday, 30 March 2007 17:52
by Juan Cole

Oh, yeah. Those rightwing Iraqi bloggers that Bush depends on for his news about the country have sure imposed security on Iraq by their sunny faces.

Reuters reports on the horrific and massive bombings carried out by Sunni Arab guerrillas against Shiite civilians in markets that left at least 130 dead and over 200 wounded. At a market in the Shaab district of Baghdad two suicide bombers wearing bomb belts killed 76 persons, mainly women and children, and left about 100 wounded. Reuters says that a senior Iraqi health minister said, "It is impossible to tell the exact number of dead because we are basically counting body parts."

The bombers in Baghdad had to use bomb vests because increased security and checkpoints have made it more difficult to pull of a big car bombing in the capital. I had thought that car bombings could actually be stopped with better security techniques. But I don't know what you could possibly do to stop the deployment of a bomb belt in a market by local inhabitants. This development is very depressing.

On the other hand, in Diyala Province, which is not getting the same number of troops or checkpoints as Baghdad, is a place they can still carry off truck bombings. And the guerrillas did, deploying 3 car bombs and mortar strikes in the small town of Khalis against the Shiite minority there. They killed 53 and wounded 103. They saved the third bomb for when the police showed up to respond to the second, setting it off on their arrival and killing a lot of them.

The US embassy in Baghdad circulated a memo to all Americans working for the US government in the Green Zone. It ordered them to wear protective gear whenever they were outside in the Green Zone, including just moving from one building to another. Guerrillas have managed to lob a number of rockets into the area in recent days, and killed one US GI on Tuesday.

The Green Zone is therefore actually the Red Zone. I.e., it is no longer an area of good security contrasting to what is around it. Senator McCain was more wrong than can easily be imagined. Not only can American officials not just stroll through Baghdad districts unarmed and unprotected by armor, but they can't even move that way from one building to the next inside the Green Zone!

Al-Hayat writing in Arabic confirmed that Shiite police particiapted in the massacre of Sunnis on Sunday at Tel Afar. Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi called for a purge of Shiite militia elements from the Iraqi security forces.

The US Thursday expressed puzzlement over the statement by Saudi King Abdullah that the US was engaged in an illegitimate occupation of Iraq. Various government spokesmen pointed to UN Security Council resolutions authorizing US troops in Iraq.

But those ex post facto resolutions cannot go back and change the fact that the Bush administration violated the UN charter when it invaded Iraq in spring of 2003. I think that is what King Abdullah was driving at.

Juan Cole blogs at Informed Comment
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