Sunnis Kill 10, Kidnap 50 Shiites;
GIs face Sniper Fire
CBS News and the Associated Press report that on Saturday:
‘(CBS/AP) Sunni gunmen ambushed a convoy of minibuses at a fake checkpoint on the dangerous highway south of Baghdad, killing 10 Shiite passengers and kidnapping about 50. Across the country at least 52 other people were killed in violence or were found dead, five of them decapitated Iraqi soldiers. Police said the mass kidnapping and killing was near the volatile town of Latifiyah, about 20 miles south of Baghdad in the so-called Triangle of Death.’
‘ In Baghdad, eight people died and at last 38 were wounded when two bombs hidden under parked cars exploded among midday shoppers in downtown Baghdad’s Hafidh al-Qadhi square. Police and medical workers said at least 38 others were injured . . . Thayer Mahmud, a police lieutenant, said his men found 25 corpses dumped in several parts of the capital in the 24 hours than began at 6 pm on Friday.’
In Samarra, police report that the bodies of beheaded 5 Iraqi soldiers were brought to the morgue.
A US government office in the Shiite city of Hilla south of Baghdad took mortar fire on Saturday.
The US military in Iraq says that the troops are increasingly targetted by sniper fire from trained Sunni Arab guerrillas. Funny thing, when CNN reported this story, using videotape produced by the guerrillas, Lynn Cheney accused them of lack of patriotism. But here we have the US officer corps admitting the story is entirely true and quite important. So is Lynn Cheney on the side of democracy, or of its enemies? Or maybe she thinks the officer corps is full of traitors?
The Democrats are going to restore the bureau that monitors waste and fraud in Iraq contracting. It was generating too much bad news and bothering the rich corrupt friends of the Republican-dominated Congress, so they had recently just abolished it. Fire the watchdog, and you never hear any bad news about burglaries. There are actually more burglaries under this situation; but you never hear about them.
Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports that 8 small political parties in the southern port city of Basra have announced that they will merge into a single coalition list. Most of the parties seem to be secular-minded, including the Arab Socialist Movement. A surprise: Ayatollah Muhammad Yaqubi, the spiritual leader of the Fadhila or Virtue Party, endorsed the new coalition. Will Virtue join it, leaving the United Iraqi Alliance?
The Telegraph reports on the “Shiite Zarqawi,” Abu Deraa, a shadowy figure who commands death squads operating against Sunnis in Baghdad.
Jim Zogby urges a reconsideration of the Hagel/Kerry plan for Iraq put forward last year.
Iraq’s private sector will use an Iranian port in accordance with an agreement between the two countries.