Iraq’s Katrina? The Army Corps of Engineers is worried that a dam north of Mosul will collapse. CBS warns, ‘ A catastrophic failure, engineers believe, could unleash a 60-foot-high wall of water that would be inundate Mosul – and flood Baghdad to a depth of 15 feet. The casualty count would be in the hundreds of thousands. ‘ If this happened on the Bush administration’s watch, it would certainly be blamed on the United States, and even the lack of dam upkeep can be traced in some part to the UN/ US sanctions on Iraq of the 1990s, which debilitated its infrastructure. An article in the Scientific American in 1999 warned that a Katrina could happen to New Orleans. Now we have the ACE warning of this dam/ flood catastrophe. I have a sinking feeling that George W. Bush is incapable of taking such threats to civilian lives seriously. Imagine if the great United States, having occupied a major Muslim Arab country in the world’s driest region, managed to drown two of the most revered cities in Islamic history.
‘ NEAR BAGHDAD – Three U.S. soldiers killed by roadside bomb southeast of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.
BAGHDAD – Four policemen were killed and eight others wounded when a car bomb exploded near their patrol in Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. ‘
The kidnapped tribal sheikhs of Diyala were rescued by the US military, which is apparently fingering a Special Groups rogue guerrilla who split from the Mahdi Army, Arkan Hasnawi. Some proportion of the JAM commanders rejected Muqtada al-Sadr’s cease-fire with the US. A Sadrist spokesman denied Hasnawi had ever been in the Jaysh al-Mahdi (Mahdi Army or JAM).
Diyala was also hit on Monday by a massive bombing of police recruits that killed 28 and wounded 20, and by the discovery of twenty decapitated bodies near the provincial capital of Baquba.
Although over-all deaths are down in Iraq this fall according to the Iraqi ministry of health (which however has not been reliable in its past estimates and which has been caught not releasing bad numbers when the real ones were leaked to journalists), there is still a lot of debilitating violence (including waves of largely unreported assassinations, as in Basra) in the country that interferes with trade, employment and getting the country back on its feet.
Reuters reports civil war violence for Tuesday. Major incidents beyond the US troops killed and the bombing of police in Samarra:
‘ BAGHDAD – U.S. forces killed four suspected militants and detained 17 in operations on Monday and Tuesday . . .
BAGHDAD – A militant killed one street cleaner and wounded six others when he threw a hand grenade at their vehicle in eastern Baghdad’s Zayouna neighborhood, police said.
BAGHDAD – A bomb in a minibus killed one person and wounded four others in the central Baghdad Alawi bus terminal, police said.
BAGHDAD – Two policemen were wounded when a mortar round landed in the Mansour district of western Baghdad, police said.
BAGHDAD – A bomb inside a minibus wounded two people on a highway in eastern Baghdad, police said.
BAGHDAD – Four bodies were found in different districts of Baghdad on Monday, police said.
BAQUBA – Police confirmed Iraqi academic Jamal Mustafa was taken from his house on Sunday in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the abduction.
MOSUL – Police said they found four bodies in the northern city of Mosul. . .
KIRKUK – Three nightguards were wounded, some seriously, in a drive-by shooting about 35 km (22 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, police said. . .