Militiamen detonated three car bombs in downtown Amara on Wednesday, killing over 40 persons and wounding 125. The southern Shiite city of Amara–capital of Maysan province–has seen fighting between the Mahdi Army and the Badr Corps (or police recruited from the Badr Corps), as part of a contest between their parent parties, the Sadr Movement and the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq for control of the south of Iraq.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, writes al-Zaman in Arabic, was at that time visiting the southern city of Basra not far away. During his visit, Basra airport took heavy mortar fire.
The Amara police chief was immediately fired, as Iraqi observers in Baghdad concluded that such a coordinated triple bombing could only occur if the police had themselves been infiltrated (i.e. by whatever militia or guerrilla group did the bombing).
Guerrillas also carried out several bombings and mortar attacks in Baghdad on Wednesday. McClatchy says, “5 civilians were killed and 13 others wounded in a parked car bomb in Ghadeer neighborhood east Baghdad around 3,30 pm. A policeman was injured when gunmen opened fire targeting a police patrol in Doura neighborhood south Baghdad around 5,30 pm. 3 employees were injured when gunmen opened fire targeting their car in Al Tobchi neighborhood west Baghdad around 4,30 pm. 3 civilians were injured when a mortar shell hit Al Hodood club building in AL Qanat area east Baghdad around 7,30. Police found 5 anonymous bodies in the following neighborhoods of Baghdad . . .”
Reuters reports some other incidents, including at Mosul.
Hannah Allam reports that illiteracy is increasing among Iraqi refugee children in Syria.
I reiterate, the US Congress bears a lot of responsibility for this situation and should be appropriating funding to make sure those Iraqi children our war displaced to Syria are getting food and education. Wouldn’t that be part of ‘liberating ‘ them, on which the US has been willing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars, primarily on munitions? How about a billion dollars for like food and schooling?
Steve Simon and Jonathan Stevenson argue that the lesson of Vietnam actually is that the US needs to get out of Iraq if it is to maintain its global prestige and power.
In that regard, “Welshman argues that the British are right to declare victory in Basra and go home– and that if the US is smart it will do exactly the same thing.
Farideh Farhi has more on the lack of an Iranian nuclear program. She shows that remarks of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to American scholars and politicians have been distorted by propagandists such as Dennis Ross. But it does turn out that Rafsanjani frankly told the Americans in 2005 that Iran had no weapons program, and did not need one, but that it did want to close the fuel cycle.
At the Napoleon’s Egypt blog, a frank assessment of the dire situation of the French army in Egypt after Bonaparte suddenly departed for France.