Shiite Workers Abducted
4 Marines Killed
The US military announced that guerrillas killed four US Marines in al-Anbar Province.
Some reports said that guerrillas abducted 85 mostly Shiite workers from a factory in a mostly Sunni district of Baghdad. Later reports by Iraqi officials said it had been 30 that were abducted, and that 25 were released. Not good news for at least 5 people, even if that narrative is correct.
16 corpses were found in the streets of the northern Sunni city of Mosul [Ar.]. Some were police or security men, others businessmen, and had likely been tagged as “collaborators” by the Sunni Arab guerrilla movement that is trying to overthrow the new government.
Gunmen in largely Sunni Zubayr north of Basra invaded a school and assassinated its principal [Ar.]. Al-Zaman says that security is collapsing again in Basra.
A car bomb in Sadr City, Shiite East Baghdad, killed 2 and wounded 14.
Another of Saddam’s defense attorneys was assassinated. That tribunal, which at one time seemed as though it would be source of good news for the Bush administration, has been handled so badly that it has become nothing short of an embarrassment. Three defense lawyers killed, and one witness alleging that some of the men Saddam is alleged to have had killed at Dujail are still alive. Saddam even emerged after the February bombing of the golden dome at Samarra and the subsequent faith-based massacres between Shiite and Sunni as a voice of national unity. To give the old mass murderer the occasion to grandstand that way. It is incompetence, criminal incompetence.
Australia’s economic ties with Iraq, surely among the main reasons it has troops in the country, have been imperilled by the shooting of a bodyguard of the trade minister by Australian troops.
7 Marines and a sailor were charged with the murder of an Iraqi civilian at Hamdaniyah. This case is in addition to the Haditha massacre and another murder case at Salahuddin.
“I’ve always claimed that, when you read articles in the imperial press, the best way — and I’m only half-kidding — is back to front. Your basic front-page stories, as on the TV news, usually don’t differ that much from paper to paper. It’s when you get toward the ends of pieces that they really get interesting. Maybe because reporters and editors sense that nobody’s paying attention but the news junkies, so things get much looser. You find tidbits the reporter’s slipped in that just fall outside the frame of the expectable. That’s what I go looking for. Sometimes it’s like glimpsing coming attractions.
Here are a couple of tidbits I picked up deep in the Times recently.
There was an interesting front-page piece by Sabrina Tavernisi, “As Death Stalks Iraq: Middle Class Exodus Begins.” After the jump, pretty deep inside, there’s this line: “In all, 312 trash workers have been killed in Baghdad in the past six months.” There it is: basic, good reporting that no one’s going to notice or pick-up on. And yet it probably tells you just about everything you need to know about life in Baghdad today. Forget the security forces, forget top officials. Three hundred and twelve garbage men slaughtered. Holy Toledo!
So that kind of reporting, hidden but in plain sight, can start me on an Iraq piece.”
The Iraq War isn’t just over there. It hits home, too.