Thursday, September 15, 2005

THE LAST TWO DAYS have been the deadliest in Iraq since the U.S. invasion began. Today, a new wave of car bombings brought the two-day total to 17 and probably more; at least 190 Iraqis have been killed. But when Bill Reilly told Condoleezza Rice that the violence was preventing Fox "reporters" from going out for a cup of coffee, did Rice tell Bill that it was kind of appalling for him to be complaining about coffee when close to 200 Iraqis had lost their lives? No! Not at all. Here is what she said, via Think Progress and Buzzflash.

Meanwhile, it seems that the Bush administration and its proxies in the Iraqi government are still clinging to the "last throes" argument.

The top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, said the surge in bombings represented the kind of occasional spikes in attacks that the military has been expecting. Lynch told reporters, "Zarqawi is on the ropes.''
American commanders often have publicly denigrated Zarqawi's role in the insurgency to little more than that of a media-fostered figurehead. On Thursday, however, Lynch discussed Zarqawi in some of the sharpest terms yet, calling him the Americans' main target and saying the United States was winning the fight against him.

"We believe we are experiencing great success against the most crucial element of the insurgency, which is the terrorists and the foreign fighters. The face of that is Zarqawi and al Qaeda in Iraq,'' Lynch said.

"We've got great intelligence which tells us where he's moving to and where he's trying to establish safe havens. As soon as we see him trying to establish a safe haven, we will conduct operations," such as the one still underway against northwestern insurgent strongholds in Tall Afar, Lynch said. "We're using all assets under our control in conjunction with the Iraqi security forces to find him and kill him."

Asked why he believed U.S. forces and their allies were succeeding in the fight against insurgents, Lynch pointed to accomplishments in Tall Afar and two other recent or ongoing operations in the west and northwest: 371 suspected insurgents killed and 1,163 detained.

Defense Minister Sadoun Dulaimi has things well under control. He put the fear of God in those terrorists:

"We tell the terrorists, we will never be weak or inattentive. We will chase you wherever you are, in the cities, villages," Dulaimi said. "I think what is happening is the last breath of the terrorists.''

Maybe Dulaimi and Dick Cheney should go out for a cup of coffee.

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