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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bombs away

Yesterday three American soldiers were killed and nine wounded when a suicide bomber attacked them near a crowded outdoor market in Baghdad. Twelve civilians were killed and twenty-five wounded in the same attack.

Earlier the same day, a suicide bomber killed seven Sunni paramilitary officers (who worked for the US-backed government) in Kirkuk. Eight others were wounded.

Two days ago, on May 19th, a car bomb went off near a group of restaurants in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad, killing 41 people and wounding over 70 more.

On May 6th, 15 people were killed by a car bomb at a vegetable market in Baghdad.

On April 29, two car bombs killed 51 people in Sadr City, a Shiite neighborhood.

Given the frequency of such bombings in Iraq, you'd think that people would make more of an effort to avoid crowded places.

If I lived in Iraq, I'd move my family to the countryside (if I could), and shop only at unpopular stores during off hours. I'd certainly never eat at a restaurant nestled into a group of other restaurants.

The only place I want to witness a bombing is on a movie screen. Actually, even there it's a little too jarring for my taste.

Hieronymus Bosch was an artist most famous for his triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights. Most of us have seen posters of it: on the left, a scene from the Garden of Eden; in the middle, a vision of paradise; and on the right, his vision of hell. The aftermath of a real bombing makes Bosch's vision of hell look like paradise. The scene is littered with corpses, and body parts are strewn everywhere. And though we first notice the number of dead, the wounded are often horrifically maimed.

The Sunnis and Shiites (especially the Sunnis, it seems) are hellbent on exterminating each other.

It's their country, let them do what they want. But why waste American lives in the bargain?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree. The question I have about the premise of the second Iraq war is: Even if Iraq had WMD’s, how would they have gotten them to the United States and deployed them well enough to pose a direct threat to our national security? -Ed

John Craig said...

Thanks Ed, that's a good point. And the same question applies to Iran: does it represent a threat to the US, or just to the other countries in the region?