Monday, February 19, 2007

Bombing on Presidents' Day

U.S. officials in Baghdad and Washington must have cringed when spokesmen for the government of Nouri al-Maliki announced that the daily death toll in the Iraqi capital had fallen dramatically in the first three days after Operation Law and Order commenced. Sure enough, the bombings continues as insurgents and other’s simply switched targets – Kirkut this time.

Concurrently, back in Baghdad, those prone to bombings and executing civilians studied the manner in which U.S. and Iraqi forces interacted with each other and with the Iraqis still living in the neighborhoods that coalition forces hope to be able this time to not only “clear and hold” but also to “stay and rebuild.” It apparently didn’t take as long as the U.S. had hoped would be the case before the insurgents developed their own countermeasures. On Sunday, the day after the Iraqis announced that violent deaths in Baghdad had dropped by 80%, 63 people (at least) died in bombings with another 130 wounded. Today, early counts revealed another 30 bodies already.

Meanwhile, in India, a pair of homemade bombs placed on a train killed at least 65 passengers. Transportation is a frequent target in India, but with a number of active insurgencies in the country, especially in the northeast of India, sometimes those responsible are not always easily identified. This bombing of the Delhi to Attari train (Attari is on the border between the two countries) will likely be ascribed to Kashmiri guerrillas who have rejected the truce between India and Pakistan reaffirmed just last September at a side-meeting during the conference of Non-aligned States held in Cuba. With additional meetings at ministerial level scheduled for today and next month, and with the re-establishment of transportation links between India and Pakistan one of the few areas in which there has been progress in resolving outstanding issues, the perpetrators undoubtedly thought their action carried an ironic symbolism at the same time it killed. As it was, authorities found three unexploded bombs on other train cars. Had these detonated, the toll could well have reached or surpassed the 180 who died in a series of blasts last July on trains bringing commuters into Mumbai (Bombay).

Finally, some 30 bombs exploded in the Muslim areas of southern Thailand, killing seven.

And last week, the president said that the border area of Pakistan is more wild than the American Wild West – and smiled!


Blogger rasphila said...

The New York Times reported today (February 21) that some of the bombs used in the latest attacks disbursed chlorine gas. I would call this an alarming development. Gas was a gruesome weapon in the trenches in World War I, and it is doubly so when employed against civilians.

From the Times story I gather that this was the third use of chlorine gas in a relatively short period. Much of the gas burned in the explosion that disbursed it, but given the insurgents' quick learning curve, it can't be long until they find more efficient ways to deliver the gas. And until they begin to use other, more lethal gases.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to see a buildup of ships.Jets flying all around the countries of Iran,syra and the border of pakastan
If ourleadership does not show our power we can kiss our safety and future goodby I served in the Air Force as a wife 20 yrs. Two in Iran but under the leadership of the Shaw I liked the iranian's but if it is them or my grandchildern,I say Charity begins at home

6:55 PM  

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