26 Killed in 2 Baghdad Bombings; Ahmadinejad calls for US Withdrawal; Public Rues Economic Cost of Iraq War

Som 92 percent of Democrats and 77 percent of independents are opposed to the Iraq War, which cannot be good news for John McCain, who has tied his campaign to staying in Iraq. Peter Slevin of WaPo argues that the public is now understanding the Iraq War in terms of other issues, especially the economy. Money graf:

‘Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). . . has heard about the war’s budgetary impact while listening to constituents at 85 roundtables since early 2007. He said he hears from business owners and government officials that federal support for such things as police and utility improvements is drying up. “They are starting to understand this economically,” said Brown, who defeated Republican incumbent Mike DeWine in 2006 with a message that touched on the war, the economy and corruption. “They are seeing that, because of tax cuts and because of the immense cost of the war, they aren’t getting what they need locally.” ‘

Despite all the talk of falling violence, Baghdad remains a dangerous place. Two significant car bombs killed 26 and wounded dozens in Baghdad on Monday.

On the last day of his state visit to Baghdad, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said

‘ “Peace and stability will return to the region if the foreigners leave . . . We believe the powers that came from overseas thousands of miles away must leave this region and leave the issues in the hands of the locals. If they claim that they want to spend their money to develop the region, I think it’s better to spend this money in their own country.” ‘

Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that Ahmadinejad prayed at the shrine in Baghdad of Imam Musa al-Kazim (the 7th Imam of the Twelver Shiites). It notes that at the same time, residents of nearby Sunni-majority `Adhamiyyah came out to protest. They accused Iran of involvement in Iraq’s violence.

McClatchy notes that the visit has exacerbated Sunni-Shiite tensions. (Though, I note that the Sunni demonstrations about him appear to have been very small.)

Reuters reports political violence in Iraq on Monday:

‘BAGHDAD – At least 12 people were killed and 46 wounded by a bomb in a parked car aimed at an Iraqi army patrol in central Baghdad’s Bab al-Muadham area, police said.

BAGHDAD – Four people were killed and six wounded by a suicide car bomber who rammed a minibus into a checkpoint outside a building used by the Iraqi army in Ghadeer in eastern Baghdad, police said.

BASRA – Gunmen killed police Colonel Qassim Abid Filaih and three of his bodyguards in a drive-by shooting in Basra, 550 km (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.

SHIRQAT – Two policemen were killed and nine people wounded by a suicide car bomber in Shirqat, 300 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

SAMARRA – The bodies of 14 people, believed to be either Iraqi police or members of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood security unit, were found in a mass grave south of Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. All had their hands tied behind their backs and had gunshot wounds to the head.

SAMARRA – The final death toll from a car bomb attack on a police officer on Sunday near Samarra had risen to eight people, with another 30 wounded, police said. . . ‘

McClatchy adds:

‘Baghdad

Around 6am, a roadside exploded at Baladiyat neighborhood (east Baghdad).No casualties reported. . .

– Around 7:30 am, a roadside bomb exploded at Waziriya intersection (north Baghdad). Three people were injured in that incident.

– Around 8 am, a roadside targeted a colonel’s car of MOI at Al-Rubaiyee intersection in Zayouna (east Baghdad) damaging his car only.

Salahuddin . . .

– Mortars hit Suleiman Beck check points (7 km south Tuz Khurmatu ) .One Iraqi soldier was killed in that incident.

Mosul

– In the morning , a car bomb exploded at Isdayra village on the left bank of Shurqat .Two policemen were killed and two civilians injured in that explosion.

Basra . . .

– Yesterday night, two British missiles hit Shoala area (9 km west of Basra city) killing two people (one woman and a girl)and four children were injured in that indirect attack. ‘

Don’t forget the forgotten war: Barnett Rubin’s recent postings on Afghanistan and Pakistan are not to be missed.

At the Napoleon’s Egypt blog, Gen. Berthier describes the siege of Acre.

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