At least 67 people have been killed and almost 100 have been wounded in two separate bombings in Baghdad, Iraqi police have said.Carnage in Baghdad isn't something new and exciting (Iraq Body Count currently stands at 68038-74735, though this does not include casualties after July 29th) (2), but this comes just after my comment (3) on Dick Cheney's upbeat claims about the surge "producing results." (4)
In one attack, a fuel tanker exploded near a petrol station in the mainly Sunni suburb of Mansour, killing 50.
Earlier, at least 17 people were killed and 32 injured in a blast in the mainly Shia shopping district of Karrada.
Elsewhere, US officials said three of its troops had been killed, and the UK said a British soldier had died. (1)
It is simply depressing, miserble and bollocks that smug idiots like Cheney can claim that things are getting better when they so clearly aren't. I'm guessing that Cheney's talk of results will turn out to be some improvements in security in areas that should have been under control by now, according to the original plan. This was hinted at in the NYT when they broke the story of the failure of the surge to meet its goals:
“We were way too optimistic,” said the officer, adding that September is now the goal for establishing basic security in most neighborhoods, the same month that Bush administration officials have said they plan to review the progress of the plan. (5)i.e. Cheney's 'progress' will most likely be the establishment of basic security in the soem of the neighbourhoods where troops have either not started operating or are still facing resistance, which is two thirds of all the neighbourhoods in Baghdad (6). Yup, plenty of room for progress there, Dick.
So continuing failure to accomplish what the surge was meant to accomplish will be presented as progress. Although don't be surprised if even that reduced target proves unobtainable, and there are more bloody tragedies like this new one.
1- "Car bombs kill dozens in Baghdad," unattributed BBC story, 1st of August 2007. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6925487.stm)
2 - Iraq Body Count, minimum and maximum figures, as at 1st August 2007, 3.10am, New Zealand time. (http://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/recent/)
3 - "Oxfam highlights plight of Iraqis," by lurgee on Lefthandpalm.blogspot, 1st of August 2007. (http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2007/08/oxfam-highlight-plight-of-iraqis.html)
4 - Dick Cheney, quoted in "Cheney talks up Iraq 'progress' ahead of report," by Mark Tran in The Guardian, 1st August, 2007. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2139224,00.html)
5 - An unidentified source, described as 'a senior American military officer,' quoted in "Commanders Say Push in Baghdad Is Short of Goal," by David S. Cloud and Damien Cave, in the New York Times, 4th of June 2007. (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/04/world/middleeast/04surge.html?ex=1186113600&en=9b254fb3c4c47947&ei=5070)
6 - ibid, though the statistic does not originate from the unidentified 'senior American military officer.'