Tag Archives: Green Zone

Hunkering Down In Green Zone-Surge Working?

Dick Cheney and John McCain came and went announcing to the media how the Bush surge had significantly reduced violence in Baghdad. During the past few days, warning sirens echo through Baghdad and within seconds rockets and mortars strike, sometimes in one or two, other times 10 or more. The danger has completely reshaped lives of those living in the heavily protected area. On Thursday, the State Department ordered Embassy personnel not to leave reinforced structures and all employees are required to wear helmets and other protective gear while in or outside. The attacks apparently are the work of members of Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi militia who are fightng the government of Iraq both in Baghdad, Basra and elsewhere. One explosion on Thursday ignited a fire in the central area of the zone that sent a massive column of thick, black smoke drifting over the Tigris River.

On Easter Sunday at least 12 innocent Iraqi civilians were killed by rockets that went astray. Inside the Green Zone, American personnel are sleeping on cots and on couches in heavily reinforced buildings to escape rocket and mortar shells. The barrages are definitely coming from Shiite areas located in eastern Baghdad. Rockets are fired from mobile rocket launchers which are quckly moved to other locations.

We await comments from John McCain about the success of his ideas that additional soldiers, in themselves, will result in peace in Iraq. The failure to launch a political offensive is among the reasons for further violence.

US Soldier Death Rate Nears 4,000

The figure of 4,000 deaths of American soldiers is among the few aspects of the Bush initiated war which cannot be denied away. Five years of promises the war will soon be “won” continue to be uttered by Dick Cheney and George Bush even as rockets and mortors pounded the US protected Green Zone in Baghdad. The latest violence in Basra underscored the fragile security in Iraq as the deadliest attack in weeks left 13 Iraq soldiers dead and over 40 people wounded. Gunmen fired on passengers waiting for buses in southern Baghdad leaving seven dead and 16 wounded. Police also found the bullet ridden bodies of six people dead. Although no group took responsibillity for the latest Baghdad attacks, suspicion lay on Shiite extremists.

Shiite militant leader Muqtada al-Sadr, who has ordered his Mahdi Militia to observe a cease fire now is permitting them to defend themselves in case of attack. There are rumors latest attacks on the Green Zone may come from al-Sadr forces who are responding to American pressure.

Elewhere, the American airforce claimed its planes killed 12 insurgents but the Iraq police insist those killed were innocent civilians. For many Iraqis the question of who is killing them is no longer as important as the reality they are dying in a war begun in lies.