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8th December, 2009
Car bombings rock Baghdad
BBC report (with videos):
A series of car bombings has killed at least 127 people and wounded 448 in the centre of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
The first blast targeted a police patrol in the Dora district of the city. Four others occurred near official buildings within minutes.
Veteran politician Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, an ex-national security adviser, blamed al-Qaeda militants for the attacks.
He told the BBC their aim was to destabilise the country ahead of general elections due in March.
The news about the huge numbers of lives lost in Baghdad today, and three times as many injured needs to be highlighted. Not with the BBC Radio 4 tone of voice that invariably reports “Another British soldier has been killed in Afghanistan today”, but with the reality of the consequences of war and conflict.
If Britain were still involved in Iraq, of course it would be reported as Blair’s fault. Perhaps Brown’s. Even now that we are no longer there he’ll/they’ll get the blame from some, mais naturellement -“fomented” etc. In the same way, presumably, as the English would kill the Scots and the Welsh if France invaded us!?
ALL of this nonsense really needs to be knocked on the head.
It wasn’t Blair, it wasn’t Brown, it wasn’t Bush, it wasn’t Obama.
IT WAS THE INSURGENTS, STUPID … SWEETHEART.
Iraqis, Iranian, Syrians, Lebanese, Pakistanis, Saudis? All or some of those, and perhaps those of other Middle Eastern nationalities. Certainly not westerners.
Meanwhile at the US State Department today Blair meets Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss the Middle East peace process:
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s a delight to welcome back to the State Department a friend and an extraordinary public advocate for so many good causes, Tony Blair. As you know, he is the representative from the Quartet in the Middle East and has been working very hard to improve the economic well-being of the Palestinians, to look for ways to enhance cooperation between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and we’re looking forward to catching up on the latest developments in the Middle East.
MR. BLAIR: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be back here in the State Department. And I’d like to thank Secretary Clinton for welcoming me here, and to say that together, we will keep working along, of course, with Senator Mitchell, to do everything we can to make progress between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It’s a difficult moment right now – but then it always is – but we’re going to keep working on it very hard in order to try and bring about a change in circumstances that allow us to get into negotiations and make real progress.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Great. Thank you all very much.
Let’s hope they give him REAL power to ‘bang heads together’, as I called for here recently.
UPDATE to this Clinton/Blair meeting
Some clever clogs at Al Jazeera, also with a thing about meters, says that Mr Blair look “haggard, old and ill at ease” at his short appearance with Hillary Clinton here at the State Department on Tuesday morning. If so, and I don’t agree with John Terrett’s impression of Blair anyway, it might just have had something to do with the scare at his London home the night before, when he was already in Washington and away from his wife and family.
The perils of being a decider and a doer and not just an opiner – taxi-driver or (Al Jazeera) scribbler. (Read more here)
1. The booming Palestinian economy: Excerpt: “The Coordinator of the Israeli Government Activities in the Territories (or COGAT) is a unit in the Israeli Ministry of Defense that deals in coordinating civilian issues between the Government of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces and the Palestinians. If we look at much of the economic data that is available from COGAT, we see an economic boom that must be the envy of the world.”
ISI – the Islamic State of Iraq is an umbrella group icluding Al Qaeda in Iraq.
WHAT!? You thought there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq, or at least not until the west gave it (and its predeccessors) birth? Fancy.
The group is composed of and supported by a variety of insurgency groups, including its predecessor, the Mujahideen Shura Council, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Jeish al-Fatiheen, Jund al-Sahaba, Katbiyan Ansar Al-Tawhid wal Sunnah, Jeish al-Taiifa al-Mansoura, etc, and other clans whose population is of Sunni faith. It aims to establish a caliphate in the Sunni dominated regions of Iraq.
3. After the bombings an Italian terrorsim expert says – NO return to the instabilityafter Saddam’s fall
Rome, 9 Dec. (AKI) – An Italian terrorism expert said on Wednesday that the devastating bomb attacks that struck Baghdad this week do not signal a return to the instability witnessed in the country after the fall of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. Stefano Dambruoso, Italy’s best known anti-terrorism magistrate, spoke to Adnkronos International (AKI).
“Compared with the instability of the country when the United States and allied forces had a massive military presence, today we can say that a period of stabilisation of the country is well underway,” he said.
Tags: Armed Albanian gangster at Blair's home, brown, bush, car bombs Baghdad, civiliandeaths in Iraq 2003-2009 chart, Hillary Clinton, Iraq bombing, ISI, Islamic State of Iraq, John Terrett, Middle East peace talks, Obama, Quartet envoy Blair talks, secretary of state, State department, Tony Blair, video bombings Iraq