8 US Troops Killed;
Major bombing at Shiite Market killes 35;
Boehner Favores Benchmarks
Sunni Arab guerrillas killed nearly 100 persons in Iraq on Sunday in an orgy of civil war violence.
The guerrillas in Iraq killed 8 US troops on Sunday, including 6 blown up by a roadside bomb along with an embedded European journalist. We are not far into May and already 28 US troops have been killed this month, 12 of them over the weekend.
The guerrillas also targeted a Shiite market in Baghdad, using a car bomb to kill 35 and wound 80.
Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that a new round of fighting and declared enmity between the Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr and the Badr Corps of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq has has posed new dangers to security in several locales, including East Baghdad, Diwaniya, Najaf and Basra.
The battle that Reuters reported this way:
‘ BAGHDAD – The U.S. military said it had killed up to 10 militants and destroyed a torture room during a raid in Baghdad’s Sadr City that targeted suspected members of a cell known for smuggling sophisticated bombs from Iran.’
was, according to al-Zaman, actually a fight between the Mahdi Army and the Badr Corps, in which US helicopters intervened on the side of Badr. Al-Zaman’s sources maintain that the Badr Corps is systematically targetting the Mahdi Army, and incarcerating its leaders along with others, breaking down front doors and going into houses where they feel it necessary. It says that residents of the Baghdad neighborhood where their latest clashes took place are disgusted with the behavior of the Badr Corps. It says that US troops incarcerated dozens of Mahdi Army militiamen in Diwaniya and other cities.
Reuters details some of the other deaths. Police found 24 bodies in Baghdad, an alarming number and a sign that sectarian shootings are rising again. Other major action:
‘ SAMARRA – A suicide car bomber killed 12 police officers and wounded another 11 after detonating himself at a police headquarters in the city of Samarra, the U.S. military said. Two U.S. soldiers were wounded after an ensuing gunbattle. Samarra’s police commander was among the killed, deputy governor of Salahaddin, Abdullah Jubara, said. . .
BAGHDAD – A car bomb killed two people and wounded 10 others in the Mansour district of western Baghdad, police said.
GARMA – Police said they found the bodies of three policemen, shot and tortured, in the town of Garma, near Falluja, 50 km (35 miles) west of Baghdad. . . . ‘
Aljazeera has been banned from the Iranian parliament building for allegedly insulting Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.
Not only is Republican congressman from Ohio, John Boehner, leaning toward setting benchmarks for progress in Iraq– this approach seems to have been endorsed by Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, as well. The point is that benchmarks for progress imply that a policy can succeed or fail, unlike Bush’s policy in Iraq. For Bush, there are only two settings, “slow progress” and “progress.” 300 hundred people slaughtered in a single day? That’s “slow progress.” Since there are only these two settings, there is never any reason to change policy, since whatever happens yields “progress,” even if it “isn’t as fast as we would like.” That things have for four years been spiralling down into the Night of the Living Dead is precluded by BushRove’s rhetorical strategy, which is almost never challenged by the press. But benchmarks? Then you could get “no progress” or even “things are getting worse.” And the further implication is that there is going to be a plan B. The Republicans in Congress have two choices at this point. Let Capt. Bush take them down to Davy Jones’ locker in 08, or work with the Dems on a plan B.