Sunday, February 04, 2007

Kristol: Violence in Iraq Is a Good Sign

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Yesterday, a truck bomb explosion in a Baghdad market killed at least 135 people, and injured over 300. It was the "worst single bomb attack in Iraq since the start of the war":

In the aftermath of the worst single bomb attack in Iraq since the start of the war -- 137 people killed in a suicide truck bombing on a Shiite market -- stunned Iraqis picked through the rubble of devastated buildings and loaded coffins onto minivans.

The explosion Saturday was fifth major bombing in less than a month targeting predominantly Shiite districts in Baghdad and the southern Shiite city of Hillah. It also was the worst in the capital since a series of car bombs and mortars killed at least 215 people in the Shiite district of Sadr City on Nov. 23.

Bandaged women, children and men filled hospital beds, while several bloodied bodies were piled onto blankets on the floor of the morgue, which was filled to capacity. Minivans carried wooden coffins to funerals.

The blast shaved the walls off nearby buildings, sending bricks, desks and other debris spilling onto Kifah Street, where the Sadriyah market was located. Police used loudspeakers to ask people to leave the area, fearing another suicide bomber could slip into the crowd. Shiite militiamen prevented anyone from entering the emptied buildings.

"It is a tragedy. The terrorists want to punish the Iraqi people. There was no police or American presence in this market yesterday," said Adnan Lafta, a 51-year-old seller of gas cylinders.

The bombing came just days before American and Iraqi forces were expected to start an all-out assault on Sunni and Shiite gunmen and bombers in the capital.

Only a day earlier, 16 American intelligence agencies made public a National Intelligence Estimate that said conditions in Baghdad were perilous.

"Unless efforts to reverse these conditions show measurable progress ... in the coming 12 to 18 months, we assess that the overall security situation will continue to deteriorate," a declassified synopsis of the report declared.

Almost 2,000 people were killed in Iraq in just one month (last month). This is well over double the number who died in war-related violence in January 2006. In the past week alone, at least 1,000 deaths have occurred as a result of the civil war:

The Iraqi Interior Ministry estimates that about 1,000 people have been killed throughout Iraq in the past week due to gunbattles, drive-by shootings and bomb attacks, a ministry official said Sunday.

The figure includes members of militia and terrorist groups, civilians and Iraqi security forces. The official said the data was gathered by Iraq's Interior, Health and Defense ministries.

But William Kristol is not concerned. In fact, he is encouraged by the massive increase in violence:

Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said on Fox News this morning that the recent surge in Iraqi violence is a sign that the extremists are “worried.” Kristol said, “If I were a Sunni extremist and was worried, which I would be, about a doubling of U.S. forces in Baghdad, what would I do? I would try to convey an impression of chaos.”

He added, “On the whole over the last two weeks, some of the news for Iraq is slightly optimistic.”

Makes you wonder what Kristol would intuit about the terrorists' mood if the last several weeks had been free of any major violence. Would he have seen that as bad news? Apparently, the more people killed, the happier we should be.

Kristol is not the only right-winger who is pleased by murder and assassination. As long, of course, as it's the ones they don't like who are being executed.

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