The Lady Speaks

Iraq – it’s going, um…well?

While Le Cauchemar Bête…the President is telling us to look on the bright side, and the V-P is telling us that, yes, he really does believe the insurgency is in its last throes (again) here’s a little reality:

From the Associated Press:

At least 51 people were killed by insurgents and shadowy sectarian gangs, police reported — continuing the wave of violence that has left more than 1,000 Iraqis dead since the bombing last month of a Shiite Muslim shrine.

As the Iraq war entered its fourth year, police found the bodies of at least 15 more people — including that of a 13-year-old girl — dumped in and near Baghdad. The discoveries marked the latest in a string of execution-style killings that have become an almost daily event as Sunni and Shiite extremists settle scores.

Sectarian killings have swept across Iraq since the Feb. 22 bombing of a Shiite Muslim shrine in Samarra. An Associated Press tally, including deaths reported Monday and Tuesday, put the toll at 1,044 since the golden dome atop the Askariya shrine was left in rubble by two bombers, who are believed to remain at large.

From Reuters:

The U.S. military said on Tuesday it was investigating Iraqi police allegations that its soldiers shot dead a family of 11 in their home last week.

The probe comes a day after a magazine published allegations that U.S. Marines killed civilians in another town in November. A criminal inquiry into those deaths was launched last week.

Time magazine said a patrol went on a rampage after one of their comrades was killed by a roadside bomb in Haditha, west of Baghdad. It published detailed accounts by townspeople.

More on that from Time:

[…] According to eyewitnesses and local officials interviewed over the past 10 weeks, the civilians who died in Haditha on Nov. 19 were killed not by a roadside bomb but by the Marines themselves, who went on a rampage in the village after the attack, killing 15 unarmed Iraqis in their homes, including seven women and three children. Human-rights activists say that if the accusations are true, the incident ranks as the worst case of deliberate killing of Iraqi civilians by U.S. service members since the war began.

[snip]

According to military officials, the inquiry acknowledged that, contrary to the military’s initial report, the 15 civilians killed on Nov. 19 died at the hands of the Marines, not the insurgents. The military announced last week that the matter has been handed over to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (ncis), which will conduct a criminal investigation to determine whether the troops broke the laws of war by deliberately targeting civilians. Lieut. Colonel Michelle Martin-Hing, spokeswoman for the Multi-National Force-Iraq, told Time the involvement of the ncis [sic] does not mean that a crime occurred.

[snip]

But the military’s own reconstruction of events and the accounts of town residents interviewed by Time—including six whose family members were killed that day—paint a picture of a devastatingly violent response by a group of U.S. troops who had lost one of their own to a deadly insurgent attack and believed they were under fire. Time obtained a videotape that purports to show the aftermath of the Marines’ assault and provides graphic documentation of its human toll. What happened in Haditha is a reminder of the horrors faced by civilians caught in the middle of war—and what war can do to the people who fight it.

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March 21, 2006 - Posted by | Bush, Government, Iraq, US Military, War

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