A suicide bomber attacked a celebration in Abu Ghraib late Sunday, killing at least 30 and wounding 42. The gathering was in honor of a former prisoner in a US prison who had just been released and was attended by police and by members of the local Awakening Council that has fought radical Muslim vigilantes on behalf of the US.
Meanwhile, Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that the six million Baghdad residents are facing a severe shortage of clean water during the hellishly hot summer. Sadiq al-Shammari, the general director of Water Utility in the capital, said that residents of the capital only have access to half the clean water they need at a time when the temperature can reach 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 C). Al-Shammari also said that every time the electricity goes out, it knocks out water production for 3 hours. He said 2.8 million cubic meters (roughly, yards) of water is produced for Baghdad, but that the demand is 4 million.
Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the spiritual leader of millions of Shiites in Iraq and around the world, dispelled rumors he is in poor health by holding a small press conference. See also the LAT blog. One of Sistani’s followers, resident in Qom but visiting the southern port city of Basra was assassinated on Sunday.
More evidence that the Bush administration decided to go to war against Iraq and then fixed the intelligence around the policy. The National Security Archive electronic briefing book edited by John Prados shows that a white paper arguing for war was produced before the relevant National Intelligence Estimate. (That NIE was anyway deeply flawed, produced in a hellish rush, and then apparently doctored by the White House in the aftermath).
Michael Collins observes:
‘The seemingly endless war in Iraq has become a total disaster on multiple levels for all involved. The awful toll in human deaths and casualties is largely ignored but real nevertheless. Over 4,000 U.S. soldiers have been lost in battle and tens of thousands injured. In excess of one million Iraqi civilians are dead due to civil strife unleashed by the invasion. The U.S. Treasury is drained and the steep decline in respect for the United States around the world is just beginning to manifest.The United States political establishment responds with collective denial on a scale that’s incomprehensible. In the presidential campaign, the only sustained public commentary on the war comes from the Republican presidential candidate John McCain who makes the bizarre claim that U.S. is “surrendering” with victory in clear sight. McCain touts the surge without noting that 4.0 million Iraqis are “displaced from their homes.” Nearly ten percent of Iraq’s population is either dead or injured and there are 5.0 million Iraqi orphans. This pathological view of victory claims the “surge’ is a success in the context of a devastated population in an obliterated nation lacking in the most essential supplies and services; a nation where death continues on a shopping spree. ‘
A class by Chalmers Johnson reprinted at Tomdispatch.com reminds us of another sort of destruction of Iraq.
McClatchy reports other political violence in Iraq on Sunday:
Four people including a policeman were killed and 15 others including two policemen were injured by successive bombing of two IEDs near Nahdha bus station in east Baghdad around 9:00 a.m.
Three civilians were killed and five others were wounded by a roadside bomb that targeted a civilian car in al Dyna area northeast Baghdad around 12:00 p.m.
Two civilians were injured by a roadside bomb in Doura neighborhood around 1:30 p.m.
Around 7:00 p.m. an IED exploded near Shaab Stadium in east Baghdad. No casualties were reported.
Police found one unidentified body in Palestine Street in east Baghdad. . .
A civilian and a policeman were killed and four other people were wounded when gunmen opened fire inside a bus station in downtown Baquba city northeast of Baghdad around 11:15 a.m.
Three civilians were killed and five others were wounded by a roadside bomb in Dayniyah village east of Baquba city around 2:00 p.m.
Four Iraqi soldiers were killed and eight others were injured by an IED that targeted a patrol of the Iraqi army in Dayniyah village east of Baquba city around 2:30 p.m.
Three policemen and a civilian were injured when a suicide car bomb targeted a US army convoy in al Maliyah intersection in east Mosul on Sunday morning.
Two insurgents were killed while they were trying to plant an IED in al Zohoor neighborhood in downtown Mosul city on Sunday morning. ‘