127 Dead, 500 Wounded in 5 Baghdad Bombings

Five large bombs were detonated throughout Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 127 persons and wounding 500, and damaging important government buildings. Three of the five were suicide bombs.

Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that the bombings targeted the ministries of the interior and of finance, as well as a popular market and a court house. They hit on either side of Karkh and Rusafa districts. The first bombing struck at the gates of a Technical Institute in Dora, about 10:05 am, and then a courthouse in Karkh. The final bombing occurred in the Western Sunni district of Mansur, striking near a federal police building and a publicity office of the US military. The Ministry of Finance building hit on the edge of a market was the one employees moved into when the original Finance offices were destroyed by a massive bombing in October. Over-all, many of the dead were police or officers.

The streets were eerily empty in the aftermath of the attacks, and American helicopters hovered above the sites that had been bombed, according to al-Zaman. Al-Sharq al-Awsat says that security at checkpoints was redoubled after the bombings.

Parliament’s Security Committee announced that it would question security-related cabinet ministers on December 17 as to how this serious lapse in security occurred. Hadi al-Amiri, chair of that committee, is head of the Badr Organization, a Shiite paramilitary related to the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a pro-Iran, fundamentalist Shiite party. ISCI took a bath in last January’s parliamentary elections, facing a strong challenge in Baghdad and Basra from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Dawa or Islamic Mission Party. Some of the outrage directed at the government is probably related to the upcoming parliamentary elections, in which attempts will be made to depict al-Maliki and Dawa as ineffective in providing security. Al-Zaman, reporting in Arabic, says that Baha’ al-A’raji, a Sadrist MP, also slammed the government for failing to stop the bombings.

What I remember is that bombings were a feature of Baghdad life when the US was actively patrolling

Aljazeera English reports on the dilemma created for Washington by the security challenge in Baghdad.

Aljazeera notes that some US media outlets did not bother to cover these attacks in Iraq, and wonders if the story will return. I think the answer depends on the journalistic integrity of the outlet. For many, the answer will be no. Many US media are nationalist media, and cover stories having to do with US national projects. Americans have already decided that Iraq was a mistake, and they know the US military is leaving, and so what happens there is not “news” as much of the corporate media defines it (i.e. a story that generates profits because of wide public interest in it).

CBS, to its credit, did cover the story:

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4 Responses

  1. The corporate news media in the US keeps Americans VERY distracted from what America is doing overseas and what is happening as a result of what America is doing overseas. Thus, Americans get mostly Tiger, Britney, Angelina news and other fluff news stories.

    Distract, distract, distract, distract

    It would be hard to fight and fund 2 wars and threaten a 3rd in Iran if America really knew what was going on. Dumb 'em down !!

  2. I put this out on your Facebook page yesterday in regard to the spate of bombings in Pakistan and Iraq professor Cole, and I think a wider audience needs to, at least, take the possibility into consideration:

    In regard to Iraq, and perhaps Pakistan as well, two words come to mind about people who would bomb markets and schools… No matter what their professed religious or political beliefs might be

    The two words?

    Operation Gladio:

    BBC series here: link to informationliberation.com

    "…operated by the CIA and MI6 through NATO, which killed hundreds of innocent Europeans and attempted to blame the deaths on Baader Meinhof, Red Brigades and other left wing groups. Known as 'stay-behinds' these armies were given access to military equipment which was supposed to be used for sabotage after a Soviet invasion. Instead it was used in massacres across mainland Europe as part of a CIA Strategy of Tension. Gladio killing sprees in Belgium and Italy were carried out for the purpose of frightening the national political classes into adopting U.S. (read Western) policies.

    Considering, with Iraq, that Saddam Hussein was fostered from the beginning by the CIA and was "Our Boy" until near the end of his regime, the logical extension would be that the Baathists, if they are responsible for the recent bombings are those 'stay behinds', even if unwittingly, "…for the purpose of frightening the (Iraqi) national political classes into adopting U.S. (read Western) policies."

    …and to extend the stay of US troops in the country.

  3. I agree that the US nationalistic news media spoon feeds the American public whatever the Radical Right wants the public to believe.

    The news medias' job is simple and easy to the point of ridiculousness. People in the United States are unbelievably stupid and mentally slothful and will accept anything as truth.


  4. Curse corporations and corporate media.

    thank god for independent outlets like CBS.

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