Saturday, June 19, 2004

Wake Up Baghdad

From The Washington Post, today in Iraq.

The good news:

Meanwhile, in what appeared to be a new development in the 14-month-old U.S. occupation, about 500 women staged a demonstration against violence in Sadr City, a Shiite Muslim neighborhood in eastern Baghdad that has been the scene of repeated clashes between militiamen and U.S. occupation troops.


"The people who pay for the violence are the women," said Salama Khufaji, a former Governing Council member whose brother was assassinated by insurgents in late May. "We want a stop to the violence, the U.S. to leave the neighborhood and a reactivation of reconstruction projects like water and sewage."

And the bad news:

BAGHDAD, June 19 -- In a bloody surprise attack, the U.S. military launched precision weapons into a poor residential neighborhood of Fallujah on Saturday to destroy what officers described as a safe house used by fighters loyal to Abu Musab Zarqawi and perhaps, at times, by the fugitive terrorist leader himself.

Residents said about 20 people were killed, including women and children, despite a cease-fire with U.S. occupation forces that has brought relative peace for the last six weeks to the rebellious city 35 miles west of Baghdad. Images from the site of the blast showed two collapsed houses, with people in white robes picking through the rubble looking for buried victims and lost property.

"This leads to nothing but more confrontation with the enemy," Abdullah Janabi, head of Fallujah's Mujaheddin Council, declared in an interview with the al-Jazeera satellite television network.

I wish nothing more on Zarqawi and his goons than exactly what happened here; however, it is becomingly increasingly clear that in Iraq, the US has been lured into larger-scale version of the war of attrition that currently ensnares Israel and Palestine. And while it is a war the US most certainly will win - at what cost, and with what end result?