67 Dead in Iraq Guerrilla Violence
Oliver Poole of the Telegraph reports that suicide bombers hit a restaurant in Baghdad on Thursday that is a favorite of local police, killing at least 33 persons, mostly civilians. At least as many were wounded.
In Tikrit to the north (the home town of Saddam Hussein), another bombing at a police recruitment center killed 7 and wounded 13.
Near Kut in Iraq’s southeast, bordering Iran, 27 bodies were discovered of men who had been kidnapped and murdered. Typically these killings involve sectarian (Sunni-Shiite) strife, though some are driven by criminality and extortion.
Jack Straw, the British foreign minister, visited Baghdad, and said, “This is a very exciting time to visit Iraq.” Yes, rather. O.k., that is a dirty trick. He was referring to the upcoming Dec. 15 elections, which he characterized as an opportunity for the “Iraqi people” to choose their own government.
But in a recent interview, when asked if peace would return to Iraq any time within the next 10 years, Straw replied, “I think so . . . [but] you can’t be absolutely confident.” Well, at least Straw hasn’t fallen as low as the impudent and uncategorical falsehoods uttered by American officials. On the other hand, one isn’t exactly reassured.
US Secretary of State Condi Rice did not have Straw’s gumption, and (probably wisely) she visited Mosul instead, on the grounds, she said, that security was improving there. (Compared to what?)