8 US Troops Killed; Bombings in Baghdad, Baladruz, Sulyamaniya; Pentagon: No Saddam-al-Qaeda Ties

Sunni Arab Iraqi guerrillas launched a four-pronged attack on their enemies on Monday.

They killed eight US troops in two separate bombings, one in the al-Mansur district of Baghdad and one in the small town of Baladruz east of the capital in Diyala Province.

They set off two bombs targeting Shiites in east Baghdad, taunting the so far quiescent Mahdi Army, the local militia that patrols those neighborhoods.

They bombed a hotel, leaving over 30 wounded, in the Kurdish city of Sulaymaniya, stronghold of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

And, a female suicide bomber blew up a Diyala tribal sheikh, Ghadhban al-Karkhi, who had thrown in with the Americans, along with two of his family members and a guard.

Despite having gone into relative seclusion for his studies, Muqtada al-Sadr remains in control of over-all strategy for his Mahdi Army.

An exhaustive Pentagon study of 600,000 captured Iraqi documents shows conclusively that Saddam Hussein’s government had no operational link to al-Qaeda. A secular Arab nationalist, Saddam mistrusted the fundamentalists of al-Qaeda and bluntly rejected an overture from Bin Laden in 1995.

Now who will tell the US troops who marched into Iraq in 2003 with pictures of the World Trade Towers pinned to their backpacks? Ooops, guys, sorry. You were had by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

For more on the Iraq quagmire, see William R. Polk’s guest editorial, just below.

Barnett Rubin ties together global security, Pakistan, Afghanistan and . . . wheat.

In another step toward the Iraqization of Pakistan, a bomber attacked a police building in Lahore, killing at least 20 according to Aljazeera.

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