Bombings in Iraq kill 41, Wound 237; Attempt to tarnish al-Maliki’s reputation for improving Security;

The LAT says that at least 41 persons were killed and 237 were wounded by three suicide bomb attacks targeting the Iranian and German embassies and the Egyptian consulate. Most of those killed or injured were civilians who happened to be in those areas.

The bombings likely are aimed at hurting the chances of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for a second term. His claim to fame had been that he restored some security to Basra and Baghdad. His rival, the Iraqi National Movement of Iyad Allawi, immediately took advantage of the bombings to complain about poor security measures. But an official quoted in the al-Hayat article below pointed out that the bombers had hoped to drive their vehicles into the embassies, and had been prevented from doing so by Iraqi security, thus foiling what would have been a major blow against the Iraqi government’s standing with the outside world. Another Iraqi observer is quoted by Sawt al-Iraq as saying that the bombers were sending a message to the outside world that Iraq is still too dangerous to open an embassy there.

The pan-Arab London daily Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that actually the third bomb was set off between a residence used by the German embassy and the Syrian embassy. Correspondent Jawdat Kadhim in Baghdad says that the Egyptian government confirmed that four consulate employees were injured in the blast, which it roundly condemned. He says that an off-duty guard for the German establishment is also reported killed.

An eyewitness to the attack on the Egyptian consulate in the western district of al-Mansur said, “The suicide bomber was alone, driving a small Kia truck. He headed toward the building housing the Egyptian consulate. When the guards requested that he stop, he continued even faster. When they opened fire on him, he immediately detonated his vehicle.

The Iranian ambassador to Iraq, Hasan Kazemi Qomi, condemned the attack in Karrada near his embassy as an act of terrorism. He added, “We are not positive that our embassy was the target.” He said that none of his employees had been injured.

The attacks are the most deadly since January 25, when bombers killed 36 and wounded around 70. Two one-day bombing campaigns in August and October 2009 were also similar, though they demolished government buildings attached to ministries.

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7 Responses

  1. .
    After informally determining that Hamid Karzai is too big to fail,
    the Obama Administration has put together a bailout package for the embattled President for [a presumably short] Life.
    The package includes cramdown provisions, requiring the Karzai government to renegotiate terms/ concessions with former Northern Allianz warlords in his cabinet, some of whom will lose cushy assignments to provincial Death Panels.
    Karzai is resisting the controversial Public Option (something to do with listening to the public, which is why it's an option.)
    The Cap and Trade clauses limit agricultural subsidies to opium growers, if my translation is correct, while creating a new market for collateralized hash futures.
    Overall, by increasing subsidies to Kalashnikov importers, extending coverage of the writ of law beyond the suburbs of Kabul, tax credits to offset the mandatory insurance "protection money" to Karzai-appointed local officials, and Card Check rules for votes allowing for Taliban to represent remote Pashtoon communities, it looks like Orszag has bent the curve and this war will finally pay for itself.
    .

  2. Security must not be politicized, anywhere in the world, otherwise lunatics will always find soft targets to play the same game.

    Security must be the function of fully independent departments, and no politicians should be allowed to idiotically claim that he "is protection the people" — as stupid Bush did repeatedly although he spent much of his office hours listening to Rove's fart jokes.

    In the case of Maliki, he should thank Iran for telling the militias they backed to make way for the Iraqi troops. After the initial disastrous performance of the Iraqi Army in Basra, a deal was struck in Tehran, and although the Iraqi forces did defeat some small 'rouge' militias, the main ones simply withdrew.

  3. off topic a little but check out Collateral murder at

    link to wikileaks.org

    US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff.

  4. hey Juan,

    Could you do a post on the recent discovery of US troops killing innocent civilians then covering it up? There have been a number of news articles out there, but I wanted to get your view on it and how stuff like that impacts on the Afghanis and Pakistanis

  5. OFF TOPIC Afghanistan Generals Petraeus and McChrystal's strategy in Aghanistan crumbling in face of tactical realities on the ground : “Just a few weeks since the start of the operation here, the Taliban have "re-seized control and momentum in a lot of ways" in northern Marja, Maj. James Coffman, civil affairs leader for the Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, said in an interview in late March. "We have to change tactics to get the locals back on our side." In Marja, the Taliban are hardly a distinct militant group, and the Marines have collided with a Taliban identity so dominant that the movement appears more akin to the only political organization in a one-party town, with an influence that touches everyone. Even the Marines admit to being somewhat flummoxed. "We’ve got to re-evaluate our definition of the word ‘enemy’," said Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, commander of the Marine expeditionary brigade in Helmand Province. "Most people here identify themselves as Taliban. We have to readjust our thinking so we’re not trying to chase the Taliban out of Marja, we’re trying to chase the enemy out," he said. "We have to deal with these people." Note that without much mobile armor, heavy cannon or air power (its use being restricted in an attempt to limit civilian casualties, rubble-ization, etc.), NATO-American occupation forces find themselves on a much more "level playing field" with counter-occupation guerrilla fighters.

    Perhaps sensing that the illusion, I daresay naïveté of Petraeus and McChrystal's strategy is being shattered, Afghan President Karzai Slams West: Threatens to Join Insurgency : “Hamid Karzai has often resorted to playing the “anti-West” card in speeches when his popularity seems to be flagging, as an effort to distance himself from the international occupation forces which keep him in power. But after what could charitably be called a “cool” reception in Kandahar, a city his family and tribal affiliates dominate, the attempts are starting to [reflect a] whiff of desperation.

  6. .
    I used to be in US Army Special Forces. I got flash qualified in 1977.

    I can only think of one reason for stripping dead female bodies naked and gouging out bullets with bayonets: the bullets were not standard Army issue.
    That raises questions about who conducted the raid.
    I'd bet any takers a cold beer that it wasn't US Army Green Berets. Delta Force operators are allowed to use whatever guns they want (I know, "this is my weapon, this is my gun, …") Blackwater contractors are allowed to use whatever guns they want.

    If Stan McChrystal hasn't already briefed his boss on what really happened, and why he thinks that desecrating female corpses in that manner was justified, he finally needs to be ushered into retirement. Or indicted, Article 32 style.
    .

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