Clash On Street Called Haifa

Clash on a Street called Haifa

Guerrillas on Haifa Street in downtown Baghdad fought a running battle Monday with Iraqi police or national guards, and killed one civilian working for the US. The battle took place near the Green Zone, where the US embassy is sited.

There were also attacks on an oil pipeline that supplies Baghdad from the north, and clashes in the west, in Anbar province. From Friday through Sunday guerrillas killed 5 US troops in Anbar.

The CIA station chief in Baghdad has concluded that things are deteriorating in Iraq and may not get better any time soon. This breathtakingly honest evaluation was unacceptable to US Ambassador John Negroponte, who insisted it be hedged about with warnings that it was too pessimistic.

Uh, John, when you have conquered a country and ruled it for 18 months, and when you have 140,000 plus troops on the ground, and when you have to forbid your embassy staff to take the 10-mile-long road from the capital to the airport because their lives cannot be assured on it– then, John, things are deteriorating and may not get better soon. Get used to it.

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