October 11, 2006

Meanwhile in Iraq...

The threat letters are everywhere...
"Warning.. Warning.. Warning. To the worshippers of the Sajjad mosque: Beware of coming near this mosque, or your fate will be death. Woe to the unjust. Death to transgressors. Damn you, lackeys of the occupiers."

"Warning. Warning. Warning. To the Palestinian traitors who allied themselves with Wahhabis, Takfiris, Nawasib and Ba’athist Saddamists, especially those who inhabit the Dar Al-Shu’oun area: We warn you that we will eliminate you all if you do not leave this area entirely within 10 days."

"As a result of the criminal and sectarian behaviour of what is called (the disgraceful) Jaish Al-Mahdi and (the treacherous) Badr forces by killing, kidnapping and deporting the Sunni community (at Mahmoudiya, Rashidiya, Sha’ab, Shu’la and Hurriya), as well as violating the honour of Sunnis and plundering their possessions, the organisation has decided, Inshallah, to return the strike twofold and treat them the same (an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth). It has been decided to deport you from Sunni areas, including Ghazaliya, within 24 hours, or otherwise your heads will be cut off, the same as your militias act with members of the Sunni community. He who has warned is henceforth excused." [Healing Iraq]
The "secterian violence" continues...
Iraqi police found 60 bodies dumped across Baghdad in the 24 hours until Tuesday morning, all apparent victims of sectarian death squads, a grim reminder of the spiraling communal bloodshed that has killed thousands.

A bomb placed under a car near a Sunni mosque in the southern Baghdad district of Doura exploded at midday, killing 10 people, police said. [Reuters]

Yet another Republican Senator on Iraq:

It seems to me the situation is simply drifting sideways," Warner told reporters after completing his eighth trip to Iraq. "It was a markedly different trip from ones before. We just did not have the freedom and ability to travel where I have been before." [Chicago Tribune]
While our young Americans are dying for Bush...
The US military is suffering one of its worst weeks since the invasion. Fourteen US troops have been killed since Monday. The military says that's the highest three-day total so far. A military spokesperson attributed the deaths to a record number of bomb attacks on US troops. Meanwhile a new poll by the veteran advocacy group VoteVets.org has found nearly two thirds of troops who've fought in Iraq and Afghanistan believe the military is overextended. [Democracy Now]
In Iraq, school is out...
Iraq's school and university system is in danger of collapse in large areas of the country as pupils and teachers take flight in the face of threats of violence.

Professors and parents have told the Guardian they no longer feel safe to attend their educational institutions. In some schools and colleges, up to half the staff have fled abroad, resigned or applied to go on prolonged vacation, and class sizes have also dropped by up to half in the areas that are the worst affected. [Guardian Unlimited]

In Baghdad, no family is spared...

The brother of Iraq's Sunni Arab vice president was assassinated yesterday by gunmen who broke into his home, the third of the politician's four siblings to be slain this year. Sunnis blamed Shi'ite militias and demanded a crackdown to stop the sectarian violence raging in the capital.

Iraqi authorities, meanwhile, arrested the head of the mess hall at a base where as many as 400 mainly Shi'ite policemen suffered food poisoning during a Ramadan meal in what may have been the first known attempt by insurgents to carry out a mass poisoning against police. [Boston Globe]
But in Washington, a "Day of Celebration" is in the works...

Tucked away in fine print in the military spending bill for this past year was a lump sum of $20 million to pay for a celebration in the nation’s capital “for commemoration of success” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Not surprisingly, the money was not spent.

Now Congressional Republicans are saying, in effect, maybe next year. A paragraph written into spending legislation and approved by the Senate and House allows the $20 million to be rolled over into 2007.

The original legislation empowered the president to designate “a day of celebration” to commemorate the success of the armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and to “issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.” [NYTimes]

And there you have it folks. This is Iraq. Not Condi's Iraq. Not Rumsfeld's Iraq. Not Bush's Iraq. Not Fox News' Iraq.

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