13 Dead, 33 Wounded; GI killed
Bali Bombers Sought Revenge for Iraq
An armed group raided a prison at Tikrit north of the capital and killed an inmate. (Presumably to keep him from saying what he knew about the other guerrillas.) There were more bombings in Baghdad, with that and other violence leaving a 13 or so persons dead and 33 wounded. Six corpses were found in the streets of the capital, victims of faith-based reprisal killings.
A US soldier was killed in south Baghdad.
One in three Iraqi children is malnourished and underweight.
The British military in the southern port city of Basra, according to Con Coughlin (the Judy Miller of the UK) ” . . . now finds itself virtually confined to barracks, fearful that its presence on the streets will provoke further violent assaults.”
The terrorists who carried out the Bali bombings say that they were seeking revenge for the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, among other things.
Families displaced by the March-April, 2003, American invasion of Iraq are mostly still homeless, according to Reuters. Their plight has received much less attention than that of the Iraqis displaced in the past two months because of the faith-based civil war.
Residents of Wasit in the Shiite south staged a small demonstration against corruption and the way it creates fuel shortages and high prices.
US troops in the western city of Ramadi mostly cannot tell friend from foe. Since opinion polls in Anbar province show that over 80 percent of the population thinks it is all right to attack US troops, I’d say they could just assume that mostly they are seeing foe.
Iraq, once one of the more progressive Arab countries on women’s rights, is becoming among the more repressive.
South Korea will withdraw 1000 troops from Irbil this year, a third of its total force. Since Kurdistan is actually patrolled militarily by the highly competent peshmerga militia, South Korean troops have not actually had much of a military mission, and mostly did peace corps kinds of work (probably the most valuable kind). They are there so that Seoul can please Washington, and perhaps to nail down economic opportunities for S. Korean firms in future, not because they are needed militarily. That even they are being withdrawn shows how unwilling Bush’s coalition has become.
Light sweet crude is almost $70 a barrel. Analysts are saying that about 10 percent of that is jitters over the articifical Iran crisis. That is, Americans should know that everytime Bush and Rice make threats against Iran, you pay $3.00 a gallon instead of $2.70 a gallon for your gasoline. Think about that when you’re filling up.