A mark in the sand. This evening as it does just about every evening, the death toll in the horrific war in IraqÂ hasÂ quietly spiked.Â
BAGHDAD – Four U.S. soldiers were killed by a bomb blast in southern Baghdad late Sunday, raising the death toll for American forces since start of the war to 4,000, according to the Pentagon.
The grim milestone was reached less than a week after the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion to topple former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and coincided with a spate of violence across Iraq on Sunday that left at least 61 people dead.
The attacks included rockets and mortars fired at Baghdad’s U.S.-protected Green Zone and a suicide car bomb detonated at an Iraqi army post in the northern city of Mosul.
In Baghdad, rockets and mortars began slamming into the Green Zone early Sunday, and scattered assaults persisted throughout the day, sending plumes of smoke rising over the heavily guarded district in the heart of the capital.
— MSNBC News Services, (3/23/08)
Later reports Sunday night indicated that 82 Iraqis, not 61, were killed today in various ways. The above-mentioned, so-written “spate of violence across Iraq”Â also carries maybeÂ a small whiff of a possible Tet offensive (the sudden countrywide attack in January 1968 by NorthÂ Vietnam troops, whichÂ altered that war),Â albet in a very strange, disjointedÂ kind of way.Â Â Â
In Iraq, unlike Vietnam, there are more than just two opposing forces.Â In Iraq, there’sÂ at least threeÂ groups at work –Â Shiite, Sunni and Kurd, but those are also themselves divided into numerous factions, sometimes bickering, fighting, killing each other. However, all those guys are still Iraqi and the US is a foreign, occupying army.
Early in the Tet offensive, some North Vietnam troops even breached the US embassy, the heart of the US presence in country.
Lobbing rockets and mortor shells into Baghdad’s Green Zone this morning could be a nastyÂ indication the insurgency/occupation might be getting ready to take a sharp turn for the worse — for US troops and all those bystanders, the Iraqi people.
(Visit antiwar.comÂ for a full round-upÂ of Â the grisly, “romantic,” boots-on-the-ground news for Easter Sunday 2008).
And we all know now that Decider George will tighten the screws if you don’tÂ play his game plan. However, this is 2008 and not 2002 — more than just years has passed since the run-up to the Iraq war. The world now views Decider George as an incompetent asshole.
The UKÂ won’t even think about this:
LONDON (AFP) – The US plans to urge Britain to launch a “surge” in Basra to combat increasing violence in the southern Iraqi region, the Sunday Mirror newspaper reported.
Britain, which has around 4,100 troops in Iraq, transferred control to Iraqi forces in December last year but could now be asked to step up its role again amid top-level concern about the situation, the paper said.
It quoted an unnamed senior US military source saying: “Three big militias are currently engaged in a particularly bloody battle in southern Iraq.
“US and Iraqi forces are involved in a huge operation to attack an Al-Qaeda stronghold in Mosul.
“But after that, the plan is to turn the coalition’s attention on to Basra and we will be urging the British to surge into the city.”
— Agence France-Presse, (3/23/08)
Another surge. Decider George has decided the only way to keep down the violence, or at least keep itÂ at a less-than-slaughterhouse level, is to have all these little “surges” — dashing across Iraq to put outÂ one insurgent upswing after another. What a design!
As this piece of ugly news out of Iraq this evening escalates, another surge might be forthcomingÂ from another direction.
Hence this news:
Gunmen killed Colonel Akram Awad al-Omairi, commander of a rapid reaction unit of Balad Ruz, and an escort, outside his home in Abu Saida.
— antiwar.com, Daily Roundup, (3/23/08)
A small town northeast of Baghdad.