mr. zilla goes to town

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

stay the course

Violent Baghdad deaths top 6,000.

The bodies of 6,000 people, most of whom died violently, have been received by Baghdad's main mortuary so far this year, health ministry figures show.

The number has risen every month, to 1,400 in May. The majority are believed to be victims of sectarian killings.


Still, good thing that the US has trained and armed so many Iraqi police - I'm sure it would be worse without them?

No Escaping Iraq Violence

Clad in camouflage uniforms, the gunmen came peeling through the thick morning heat in police trucks. They stopped at a downtown strip of travel companies where Iraqis gather each morning to board buses bound for the safer lands of Syria and Jordan.

The gunmen leaped to the ground, witnesses said, and they worked fast. They seized more than 50 bystanders, pulling men away from their families and hauling drivers from behind the wheels of the buses. They handcuffed the men, blindfolded them and stuffed them into the backs of the trucks like human loot. They covered some of their captives with sheets.

Witnesses said the kidnappers were outfitted in the uniforms and vehicles used by some of the special forces of the Iraqi police, overseen by the long-troubled Interior Ministry. Police units under the ministry have been accused of working as Shiite death squads on a campaign to eliminate Sunni Arab men. Police have also been accused of kidnapping civilians for ransom.


The straight-laced objectivity of the reporters talking about "kidnappers outfitted in police uniforms" is admirable in some respects, but how many stories about "men with hoses outfitted in firefighter's uniforms" would you have to read before doing away with the pretense?

Still, good thing that the US still has a presence of over 130,000 troops - I'm sure it would be worse without them?

Field commanders tell Pentagon Iraq war 'is lost':

Military commanders in the field in Iraq admit in private reports to the Pentagon the war "is lost" and that the U.S. military is unable to stem the mounting violence killing 1,000 Iraqi civilians a month.

Even worse, they report the massacre of Iraqi civilians at Haditha is "just the tip of the iceberg" with overstressed, out-of-control Americans soldiers pushed beyond the breaking point both physically and mentally.

The wife of a staff sergeant with Kilo Company, the Marine Unit charged with killing civilians at Haditha, tells Newsweek magazine that the unit was a hotbed of drug abuse, alcoholism and violence.

"There were problems in Kilo company with drugs, alcohol, hazing [violent initiation games], you name it," she said. "I think it's more than possible that these guys were totally tweaked out on speed or something when they shot those civilians in Haditha."


Optimism abounds.

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