70 Killed in Iraq
Diplomacy of Iran May be Legacy of British Sailor Hostage Crisis
The killings of 18 Iraqi, British and American soldiers by Iraqi guerrillas and militiamen were announced on Thursday.
AFP estimates that 52 persons were killed or found dead on Thursday, with 20 bodies brought to the morgue at Baquba northeast of Baghdad.
Other violence, including roadside bombings and mortar attacks in Baghdad on Friday, are reported by Reuters.
Militiamen in the southern Shiite port city of Basra deployed a roadside bomb to kill four British soldiers and their interpreter when it penetrated their armored fighting vehicle. The incident occurred near the Hayaniya district, a slum where the Mahdi Army of the Sadr Movement is strong. (In general, in Basra, the Mahdi Army is a minority affair.) Tony Blair's implication that Iran was involved in this attack somehow is likely incorrect. Iran and the Mahdi Army mostly don't get along very well. Besides, an allegation like that should be accompanied by some proof.
In Mosul, 40 Sunni Arab guerrillas attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint. They set vehicles aflame and confiscated the soldiers' weapons, having found them asleep.
On Thursday, Sunni Arab guerrillas deployed roadside bombs in Baghdad to kill 4 US GIs.
Near Latifiya, guerrillas directed heavy fire at a US helicopter, apparently forcing it to make a hard landing in which 4 of the 9 service personnel aboard were injured.
Sunni Iraqi clerics meeting in Amman have agreed to form a new organization, the Council of Islamic Clerics. They issued a communique that said:
' The conference stresses the need for working with all means, including the legitimate resistance, to expel the invasion forces and ensure laying down a timetable for their pullout.'
Bernard Gwertzman's interview of me on the release of Iran's hostages and the Iranian role in Iraq is available at the Council on Foreign Relations web site.
Jim Lobe interviews Gary Sick, Trita Parsi and me on the Iranian capture and release of the British sailors, and what might be the aftermath.
Noam Chomsky on 'What if Iran had invaded Mexico?'
Shorter Washington Post: Feith and Cheney lied us into were just making it all up as they went, and lied us into a quagmire of a horrible war.
Cheney repeated on Thursday on Rush Limbaugh his ridiculous assertion that Saddam Hussein was running Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as an al-Qaeda agent in Baghdad.
Someone should please tell Cheney that his own government captured documents in Iraq that show that Saddam's security forces were a) afraid of al-Qaeda and Zarqawi and b) were trying to capture him once they heard he was in Iraq. The pdf link in my posting on this shows the APB Iraq put out for Zarqawi and the wanted poster.
I don't know why this information hasn't percolated up to Cheney or why the US press doesn't call him on his ridiculous assertions that are contradicted by clear documentary evidence in USG hands.
Zeinaub Chami on the propaganda effort by the Zionist Organization of America to bring so-called "ex-terrorist" Muslim speakers to the Detroit Metro area, and who say questionable things about the Muslim tradition.
Yes, whenever I want to know about Islam, I go to the Zionist Organization of America and to the retired terrorist dentists that they recommend.