Friday, February 01, 2008
Break Out the Confetti!!!
Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up Friday in separate attacks on Baghdad pet bazaars, killing at least 68 people and wounding dozens, police said. The attacks were the deadliest in the Iraqi capital since 30,000 more American troops flooded into the center of the country last spring.
Four police and hospital officials said at least 46 people were killed and more than 100 wounded. Firefighters scooped up debris scattered among pools of blood, clothing and pigeon carcasses.
About 20 minutes later, a second female suicide bomber struck a bird market in a predominantly Shiite area in southeastern Baghdad. That blast killed as many as 22 people and wounded 65, according to police and hospital officials.
The attacks shortly before the weekly Islamic call to prayer resounded across the capital were the latest in a series of violent incidents that have been chipping away at Iraqi confidence in the permanence of recent security gains.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said about 70 people were killed in both attacks, which he said were committed by terrorists motivated by revenge and "to show that they are still able to stop the march of history and of our people toward reconciliation."
And the people, they are indeed marching toward reconciliation - vindicating the surge by manifesting its ultimate objective:
Iraq's Presidency Council is unlikely to ratify a new law that would give thousands of former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party their old jobs back, Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi said on Thursday.
The step would be a blow to Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the United States, which praised the law's approval on January 12 and called it a key step to advancing national reconciliation.
Hashemi, a Sunni Arab, said the bill passed by parliament was flawed because it meant many people given jobs after the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam in 2003 would be forced out so ex-Baathists could return.
"We cannot regard this law as a step in the national reconciliation process. The spirit of revenge is so clear in many articles of the law," Hashemi said in an interview.
"It is not only me who objects to signing it, but the whole Presidency Council."
Snark aside, if the purpose of a proposed law is to mollify an aggrieved group, and thus foster reconiciliation and normalization within a given population, what does it mean when the leaders from the targeted group are the ones to veto the law? I'm sure you, able reader, can figure that out.(ht to Yglesias for the second link)