View Full Version : Iraqis vent rage on call-in TV after bombs kill 43

08-17-2005, 03:13 PM
Iraqis vent rage on call-in TV after bombs kill 43

By Michael Georgy
Wed Aug 17,11:06 AM ET

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - State television flashed grisly images of the latest bombing victims as the anchor told viewers their squabbling leaders would stabilize the country, in words that could only be termed reassuring in Iraq's chaos.

"It is a dialogue. They did not pull out guns and shoot each other," said the anchor on Iraqiya television, referring to Iraqi politicians struggling to draft a constitution.

Hours before they resumed negotiations, three car bombs killed at least 43 people and wounded 76 in an attack on a Baghdad bus station in morning rush hour, stepping up pressure on politicians to deliver on promises of security.

Al-Iraqiya quickly broadcast a call-in show, inviting Iraqis to respond to "the ugly terrorist crime" while broadcasting images of the latest carnage in Baghdad's version of U.S. and British breakfast television.

"This is a difficult test. We have to ask who they are (the bombers) and what they want," said government spokesman Laith Kubba, one of the callers.

But Iraqis are in no mood for questions. They want decisive action from a government paralyzed by sectarian and ethnic divisions holding up efforts to draft a constitution.

"These men that kill 100, 50 and 70 men a day -- have they been put to death," said a caller named Abu Abbas. "How many have been put to death? How many? The National Assembly is supposed to represent the Iraqi people. All I hear is we will do this and we will do that."

Frustrated Iraqis were bombarded with footage of bloodied bodies and policemen standing in emergency rooms that have treated hundreds of bombing victims.

"When will Iraqi blood stop being spilled?" asked Om Hassan.


Between calls and comments, al-Iraqiya showed footage of Iraq's new army and security forces crawling under barbed wire and practicing martial arts.

Such images have done little to ease anxiety in a country where guerrilla bombings have killed thousands of security forces and civilians.

The show's anchor interrupted the program for a breaking news announcement that four men suspected of involvement in the bus station bombing had been captured.

"I call on the government to try these men on television," said a caller.

Some Iraqis in the capital say they are taking the law into their own hands in a city plagued by criminal gangs.

In the Sadr City area of Baghdad, militiamen pulled a man from the trunk of a car and shot him and two women, saying they were running a prostitution ring, witnesses said on Wednesday.

Angry callers yelled while Iraqi officials sat at the negotiating table again after failing to meet an August 15 deadline to draft a constitution.

The anchor urged the officials to finish writing the document after telling Iraqis that Saddam Hussein's police state would never return, words that failed to soothe another caller.

"Instead of Saddam we now have thousands of Saddams," he fumed.

08-17-2005, 03:21 PM
It's looking more and more like removing Saddam was like taking the lid off of a jar of angry hornets. And with nothing planned to control the hornets, chaos ensued.

08-17-2005, 06:56 PM
Three Car Bombs Kill Up to 43 in Iraq By BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press Writer
25 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Three car bombs exploded Wednesday near a crowded bus station and a nearby hospital where survivors were being taken, killing up to 43 people in the deadliest suicide attack in Baghdad in weeks. Rescuers used bolt cutters to free some victims hurled into barbed wire fences by the blast.

The attacks may have been timed to coincide with talks on Iraq's constitution, which resumed Wednesday after leaders failed to meet a deadline two days ago. Iraq's main Sunni Arab party denounced the deliberations, raising doubts the document can win Sunni support and lure disaffected Sunni Arabs from the insurgency.

Police said the first bomb blew up at the Nadha bus terminal, the city's largest, shortly before 8 a.m. as swarms of travelers were boarding buses. As Iraqi police rushed to the scene, a suicide driver detonated his vehicle in the station's parking lot.

Another suicide bomber blew up his car a half hour later across the street from nearby Kindi Hospital, to which ambulances were transporting the injured.

Police Capt. Nabil Abdul-Qader said 43 people were killed and 85 were wounded in the attacks. The U.S. military put the casualty toll at 38 dead and 68 injured.

Terrified survivors many weeping and screaming scrambled about the smoking, charred hulks of buses and cars looking for signs of relatives. Several weeping men hugged inside the open-air terminal. One man searched through the charred buses for signs of his brother and cousin.

Several of the dead near Kindi Hospital were hurled into barbed wire security fences, and rescuers had to use bolt cutters to free the bodies.

"We want our voices to be heard by the president of the republic and every official to tackle such violence," shouted one dazed security guard who would refused to give his name. "All those who were killed are innocent people. There were no American nor Iraqi troops on the scene."

Four suspects were detained at the bus station on suspicion of involvement in the bombings, the Transportation Ministry said.

The attacks Wednesday were the deadliest series of single-day suicide bombings in Baghdad since mid-July, although suicide attacks with far lower death tolls occur here near daily.

Twenty-five people died in a suicide blast July 10 at an army recruiting center in Baghdad. On July 13 a car bomb in Baghdad killed 27 people, including 18 youths and one American soldier.

The latest attacks occurred shortly before the leaders of Iraq's political factions met to try to finish the constitution by the new deadline next Monday. If no agreement can be reached this time, the interim constitution requires that the parliament be dissolved and that a new transitional assembly and government be elected in December.

Some Shiite officials spoke of progress in the Wednesday talks.

However, the largest Sunni group, the Iraqi Islamic Party, issued a blistering attack on the drafting committee, accusing it of bias and incompetence. The party, which has members on the committee, said major differences remain on the same issues that blocked a deal last week.

They included federalism, the role of the Shiite clergy and the distribution of Iraq's vast oil wealth. The Sunni party also insisted that the new constitution affirm the country's Arab and Islamic identity and demanded that Islam be declared a main source in legislation a measure opposed by Kurds and women's activists.

"The battle of the constitution is not over yet," the Sunni party said. "Our people should be awake and cautious and the popular will should arise to put pressure for a free Iraqi national draft constitution that preserves the sovereignty and unity of its people."

That raises serious questions whether the new constitution, if it can be completed in time, will achieve a major U.S. objective of luring disaffected Sunni Arabs away from the Sunni-dominated insurgency.

Once the draft is approved by parliament, it will be submitted to the voters in a referendum Oct. 15. If two-thirds of the voters in three of the 18 provinces reject the constitution, it will be defeated. Sunnis form the majority in at least four provinces.

Failure to finish the constitution by the original deadline last Monday was an embarrassment for the Bush administration, which insisted that the timetable be followed to maintain political momentum and blunt Iraq's deadly insurgency.

But Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, dismissed reports that the administration has lowered its expectations about what can be achieved in Iraq.

"I don't think expectations have been lowered," Myers said in Baghdad during an interview on NBC's "Today" show, with U.S. troops standing behind him. "Our plans are on track."

In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said he had been informed by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that drafters of a constitution "did make some progress" on Wednesday but that "the issues have not been all completely settled."

Despite U.S. hopes for the constitution, none of the previous milestones the December 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein, the June 2004 transfer of sovereignty and the Jan. 30 election has managed to curb the insurgency.

On Wednesday, the U.S. military said two more American soldiers were killed this week. One died Tuesday when a roadside bomb exploded near his patrol in southwest Baghdad and another on Monday in an insurgent attack in northern Iraq.

Elsewhere, six new Iraqi soldier recruits heading to a training camp in Kirkuk were killed after gunmen stopped their minibus, Iraqi Army Brig. Gen. Anwar Mohammed Amin said. Three people, including two children, were killed Wednesday when a car bomb exploded in Fallujah, hospital officials said.

The U.S. military said it is investigating a clash Tuesday in Baghdad during which an undetermined number of Iraqi civilians were injured after insurgents opened fire on a U.S. patrol and U.S. helicopter fired back. Iraqi police said one civilian was killed and 23 wounded.

08-18-2005, 12:55 AM
Mission Accomplished?

08-18-2005, 02:35 AM
It's looking more and more like removing Saddam was like taking the lid off of a jar of angry hornets. And with nothing planned to control the hornets, chaos ensued.

Good analogy.

Did the planners not know that a power vacuum was going to result from the overthrow of a long standing government?

This is not getting any better..what's the plan now?

08-18-2005, 09:44 AM
Good analogy.

Did the planners not know that a power vacuum was going to result from the overthrow of a long standing government?

This is not getting any better..what's the plan now?
You know, I am so cynical about this administration--and government in general--that I rarely feel I am being told the truth, and I view everything with skepticism.

That being said, one thing I DO believe to be true about this war, whatever Bush's motives were for getting into it, is that the Administration truly did delude themselves into thinking that picking up the pieces after we deposed of Saddam would be a piece of cake. And therein lies the problem of sorrounding yourself with a group of "yes-men"...Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, etc. I don't believe this administration planned--at all--for the aftermath we have seen, and the results prove it. The numerous comments made by officials about being welcomed as liberators with open arms and whatnot, it speaks either of considerable arrogance or a woeful lack of understanding and planning. Regardless, either are inexcusable coming from an administration that has started a war that has costs tens of thousands of lives.

The American public may be finally starting to catch on, if the recent poll numbers about the confidence people have in Bush's handling of the war and his presidency in general are any indication.