Marine Dies of Wounds
11 Iraqi Soldiers Kidnapped,
35 Killed in New Wave of Violence
Reuters reports that a US Marine died Friday from wounds inflicted by guerrillas in al-Anbar Province. At least 2,803 GIs have been killed in Iraq, some 97 of them in October–making it among the costliest in US life since the war began in 2003. Over 21,000 GIs have been wounded, several thousand of them seriously, with brain or spinal damage or loss of limbs that will dictate how they live the rest of their lives.
Another Family Wiped Out” [i.e. by the US] is the headline in the Gulf Daily News. Heavy clashes have been fought daily in Ramadi between US forces trying to ‘take back’ the city from the guerrillas, some of whom have declared an Islamic state. The article goes on, ‘ “Six members of one family were killed when US planes bombed their place, a nursery school they were using as a house in 17th of July Street in the centre of the city,” said Dr Kamal Al Hadithi of Ramadi Hospital. ‘
The implication is that we are serial family-killers. And, the US is relatively popular in the Gulf, so imagine what the other Arab newspapers think of us.
As Bobby Burns once put it with a brogue, “O wad some power the giftie gie us/ to see oursels as ithers see us!/ It wad frae monie a blunder free us and foolish notion . . .”
The US military said it had no record of launching the air strike. US forces have been fighting guerrillas in Ramadi and have been firing tank and mortar shells. They also point out that the guerrillas are firing RPGs, which could have it the house. Except that what happened to the family sounds to me like big firepower, of a sort I am not sure the guerrillas can muster.
A correction to Colbert I. King’s column on Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in the Washington Post, which alleges that Sistani won’t meet with Bush administration officials because they are non-Muslims. This is untrue. Sistani met with United Nations official Sergio Vieira de Mello. He declines to meet with the Americans because he considers them an illegitimate occupation force. Mr. King suggests he should be grateful to the US for invading and occupying Iraq. He is not. He feels that a unilateral American act of aggression could in the nature of the case not truly help Iraq, and he is extremely distressed at the way the American action has turned his adopted country into the Night of the Living Dead. (See Anthony Shadid’s column on Sunday, which is chilling.
The US military besieged the largely Shiite Sadr City in East Baghdad for a fourth day [Ar.], according to al-Sharq al-Awsat. They sealed off the roads leading into the capital, as they continued to search for a captured US GI of Iraqi descent. They clearly think that a branch of the Mahdi Army has him.
Reuters reports extensive political violence in Iraq on Saturday, with at least 35 killed or announced dead and dozens wounded. Among the major incidents:
‘ISKANDARIYA – At least five people were killed and 20 wounded when a car bomb went off near a residential compound in Iskandariya, south of Baghdad . . .
NEAR KHALIS – Four people were killed on Friday and five wounded when gunmen opened fire on their minibus in the village of Muradiya near the town of Khalis, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. . .
FALLUJA – Police said at least two soldiers and one civilian were killed in clashes between Iraqi army and insurgents. Another three civilians were wounded.
UDHAIM – Gunmen kidnapped 11 Iraqi soldiers travelling in a minibus at a fake checkpoint in the town of Udhaim 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad on Saturday, a joint U.S. and Iraqi policing centre said . . .
BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb hit a minibus, killing one person and wounding eight near a restaurant on Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad, police said.
BAGHDAD – Mortars hit a garage in southern Baghdad, killing one man and wounding 35, police said.
SUWAYRA – Police retrieved five bodies with signs of torture and bullet wounds from the Tigris River in the town of Suwaira, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. . .
HAWIJA – Gunmen killed the head of a women’s organisation in the town of Hawija and then shot dead a police officer as they fled her home, police said. . . ‘
Before the Iraq War, China and Iraq had signed an oil deal. The new Iraqi government is in talks with the Chinese about renegotiating it.
Ellen Knickmeyer of WaPo follows up with further details on the faith-based violence that racked Balada and Dhulu’iyah recently.
A secret British government memo implicitly accepts that the Iraq War is fueling terror against Britain, and sets forth a wish list for the tamping down of terrorism in the Muslim world in conjunction with foreign policy achievements such as Palestinian-Israeli peace.
Zaid al-Ali reviews Peter Galbraith’s book and discusses the proposal that Iraq be devolved on three regions.
For Arabists: KarbalaNews.net publishes the text of Sistani’s letter endorsing the Meccan Document calling for an end to internecine bloodshed between Sunnis and Shiites.