42 Killed, 138 Wounded in 3 Thursday Bombings
Coalition Soldier Among Dead
The LA Times reports that guerrillas detonated two enormous bombs in Iraq on Thursday. A suicide bomber blew up an Iraqi army recruitment office in downtown Baghdad. He killed 35 Iraqis and injured 138, according to Baghdad health authorities. Later on Thursday, a guerrilla detonated a car bomb in Balad, just north of Baghdad. He killed six members of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps.
A third bombing targeted a Coalition military convoy southeast of Baghdad, killing a Hungarian noncommissioned officer.
Bombings of significant magnitude are virtually daily events in Baghad. Interior Minister Fallah Hasan al-Naqib, who is from a prominent Sunni Baath family that fell out with Saddam in the late 1970s, threatened to consider the use of “Martial Law” to fight the wave of bombings. The LA Times (which misspells his name) wonders what in the world he could mean by that. Uh, martial law usually involves strict curfews, armed troops in the streets, and shooting suspected miscreants on sight. Although you might think there are already US armed troops in the streets, in fact from the accounts I have seen they don’t actually do much to provide security or policing to the Iraqi public, so al-Naqib’s plan would be a real change.
Oh, one other thing about martial law. Often, as in Pakistan, it substitutes military rule for civilian, and indefinitely postpones elections.
Iyad Allawi, the US/UN-appointed “prime minister,” has mainly worked with ex-Baath officers trying to make coups in the past decade and a half. This talk of “martial law” is pretty scary. You have to wonder whether those elections scheduled for January will actually happen.