The Ramadan Offensive
Car bombers attacked the international Red Cross headquarters and four police stations across Baghdad today, killing around 40 people.
A suicide bomber drove an ambulance packed with explosives into security barriers outside the Red Cross at around 8.30am local time (0530 GMT), killing 12 people, the aid agency said.
Then in police station bombings through the morning, 27 people, mostly Iraqis and one US solider, were killed, Iraqi police said.
The capital has now seen the worst two day of violence since the war was declared over in April and the sound of sirens reverberated through the streets this morning as emergency vehicles criss-crossed the city.
The bombings came during a morning of apparently choreographed attacks by Iraqi resistance guerrillas that appears to have been timed to coincide with the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Witnesses of the Red Cross bombing said the vehicle stopped some 20 metres (60 feet) in front of the headquarters. One Red Cross worker said: "The ambulance stopped in front of the line of barrels we have had in front to protect the building and then it exploded."
Despite the protection of the barrels, oil drums filled with sand, the blast blew down a 40-foot (12-metre) section of the front wall in front of the three-storey building. It also demolished a dozen cars parked nearby and appeared to break a water main, flooding the streets.
"We feel helpless when see this," a distraught Iraqi doctor said at the devastated offices
You have to wonder what the hell Wolfowitz was thinking by showing up just before Ramadan. He's running around, having dodged three assassination attempts in as many days and then watching any claims of security turn into a cruel, bitter joke. We now have a bombing offensive which makes a clear statement-collaboration, at any level means death. UN, Red Cross, police, if you cooperate with the coalition, we'll target you.
They killed 40 people in one day successfully completing four out of five bombings. The last one failed, and as they drag the guy away, he's screaming "Death to the Iraqi Police, you're all collaborators".
Now you tell me, how does this happen without excellent intelligence? A roadside bomb waiting for Wolfowitz, a helicopter ambush, rocketing the hotel with a home made rocket launcher. This isn't the last gasp of anything. This is the start of a serious offensive to undermine the CPA.
The Pentagon then has to lie and say Wolfowitz wasn't the target. Bullshit. He was nearly killed by the rocket attack. He's the Iraqi version of Reinhardt Heydrich and the Iraqis will spare no expense in killing him. That should be self-evident. No matter the level of US security, it can be and is penetrated. Juan Cole suggests he can come back secretly, but I doubt that. If he's in the country, the Iraqis will find out and seek to kill him. He's a marked man in Iraq, no matter what crap flies from his mouth. More importantly, Bremer isn't much safer.
There is no reconstruction in Iraq, just a guerrilla war.
posted by Steve @ 11:33:00 AM