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August 19, 2009
At least 75 dead in Baghdad bombings
Well, Americans have begun to sit down in Iraq. Can we start wondering when the Iraqis are going to begin standing up?
Sam Dagher of the New York Times has the story of a huge series of bombs that went off around public buildings in Baghdad, killing at least 75 people:
Taken together, the attacks were among the most devastating in Baghdad since the withdrawal of American forces from street patrols at the end of June.The explosions, at least one of them close to the heavily fortified Green Zone security area, sent plumes of dark smoke billowing over the capital, ripped a gaping hole in a compound wall and set cars ablaze, trapping their drivers inside.
The blasts were so intense that parts of a main highway near the Finance Ministry collapsed, the officials said, speaking in return for anonymity under ministry rules. At roughly the same time, three roadside bombs exploded in other parts of the city, wounding 10 people, they said. In response to the chaos, the police and the Iraqi Army closed two main bridges over the Tigris River.
Two truck bombs struck the Foreign and Finance Ministries within three minutes of each other, officials said. The first explosion came shortly before 11 a.m., sending white smoke into the sky. But then, minutes later, a more powerful blast shook another area of Baghdad near the Foreign Ministry, shattering windows inside the nearby Green Zone and shaking houses in many parts of the city.
As you can see, the planning was very good and the ordnance was potent. Is al-Qaeda making a resurgence? Are Sunni militias stepping forward to improve the Sunni's bargaining position? Or, could it possibly be the Iranians who want to keep Iraq on its knees, making it easier to dominate?
Exit question: If Americans were still patrolling the streets, would the blasts have occurred?