CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O IS AGAIN THE GO-TO-GUY FOR JPMORGAN AND GOLDMAN SACHS, WHEN WALL STREET HAS DOLLARS TO SHOVE IN PANTIES, THEY REACH FOR BARRY O. WELLS FARGO ALSO STUFFED SOME CHANGE IN THE G-STRING.
REACHED FOR COMMENT, WHITE HOUSE PLUS SIZE MODEL JAY CARNEY DECLARED, "WE'LL DO A PRIVATE DANCE FOR ANYONE. IT'S $300 A NIGHT, BARRY CAN GRIND BUT THE CUSTOMERS HAVE TO KEEP THEIR HANDS TO THEMSELVES, WE PROVIDE THE TASSELS AND BOOM BOX."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Today Iraq was slammed with bombings. Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) observes, "Tuesday's violence was surprisingly widespread, striking not just the capital, but locations to the east, west, north and south. Medical authorities predicted the death toll would rise because many of the wounded are in serious condition." In a text, photo and video essay, ITV's Bill Neely explains, "They are snapshots of a forgotten conflict; one that most people can't bear to read or think about any more. This is Iraq. And this is carnage. Another day of slaughter in the land many in the West like to argue is better, safer, calmer now."
Early on, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) counted "at least 38 dead and 171 injured" as violence exploded "in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Karbala, Hilla, Tikrit, Baiji, Ramadi, and Falluja." AKI noted the bombings "killed 13 in Kirkuk, 13 in Karbala, 6 in Baghdad, 2 in Ramadi and 2 in Mahmudiya." Patrick J. McDonnell and an unnamed Iraqi correspondent (Los Angeles Times) note, "The attacks were apparently aimed at a range of targets: Shiite Muslim pilgrims, Iraqi police, an army patrol, government officials and guards outside a Christian church in Baghdad." Richard Spencer (Telegraph of London -- link is text and video) notes, "In most of the cases, the targets seem to have been civilians and police, but a motorcade carrying the governor of Anbar province, a Sunni heartland west of Baghdad stretching to the Syrian border, and long a haven for al-Qaeda, was also hit. A bodyguard was killed." Governor Qassim Fahdawi,. Al Rafidayn reports, is the Anbar Province governor who survived an assassination attempt in Ramadi (car bombing). AGI notes the claim that Baghdad security forces "managed to defuse 6 car bombs" before they went off. Salam Faraj (AFP) notes that in addition to bombings -- including one "in the center of the capital" -- a Baghdad church was attacked with 3 people shot dead. Catholic Culture explains it was the St. Matthew Baghdad Church, a Syrian Orthodox Church. The Telegraph of London offers video of the aftermath of the Kirkuk bombings. Lindsey Tugman (CBS News -- link is text and video) reports on the Kirkuk bombing, "Security teams, backed by ambulances and fire engines, who rushed to the scene in southern Kirkuk, examined the vast damage and wrecked vehicles, some still smoldering." The Australian quotes Kirkuk police officer Mohammed Sobheh stating, "We lost everything. Not one of my colleagues is alive; they were all killed. I will never forget their screams as long as I live." Sky News runs Sammer N. Yacoub's AP report quoting wounded cameraman Saman Majid explaining of the Kirkuk attack, "I quickly got out of my car to see burned bodies trapped inside the cars. Dozens of cars were on fire. It was a scene from hell, where there is only a huge fire and dead people and nothing else." A Kirkuk shop keeper tells Peter Biles (BBC News -- link is video) that, "A car parked here. We shouted for security because it looked suspicious. But no one from the police responded. A few minutes later it exploded." BBC News offers a photo essay of the aftermath in various cities.
Alice Fordham (Washington Post) provides this context, "The violence followed the mass killing of more than 20 police officers in Anbar provinces this month and an attack on police cadets in February. The wave of attacks is worrying Iraqi and Western officials alike." Late in the day, Trend News Agency was noting, "At least 56 people died in bombings in seven Iraqi cities on Tuesday, on the ninth anniversary of the United States-led invasion. Nearly 150 people were wounded, dpa reported." Jill Reilly (Daily Mail) notes of Karbala provincial council member Shadhan al-Aboudi, "Mr al-Aboudi immediately blamed the attacks on al Qaida, the terror network which officials believe is behind the recent violence with the aim of forcing the Arab League's summit in Baghdad next week to be cancelled for the second year in a row." Remember, when you have a ready-made 'bad guy' that you can always rush to blame, you never have to examine what it is that keeps courting these attacks. Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) speaks with someone who wants to look a little further than al Qaeda in Mesopotamia:
A security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters, told McClatchy that while the attacks had the hallmarks of al Qaida, they also could be the result of infighting among Iraqi political parties trying to undermine one another's credibility just before the summit meetings.
"It seems they (the political parties) will never stop. They will continue this war for supremacy until the very end. So until political issues are resolved at the top level, we will see no peace." he said.
In addition to the above, AFP adds, "Separate gun and bomb attacks in Salaheddin province, north of the capital, killed four people, including a city councillor, police said. Gunmen also killed a member of the Shabak minority in the main northern city of Mosul." BBC News' Peter Biles (link is video) notes today's attacks were "an attempt to undermined confidence" ahead of the Arab Summit. On The World (PRI) today, anchor Lisa Mullins spoke with McClatchy News Service's Sahar Issa. Excerpt.
Sahar Issa: [. . .] And I think insurgents want to remind people that although nine years have passed, everything in Iraqi politics today stems from an occupation of the country.
Lisa Mullins: The fact that the explosions are continuing now in such large numbers, what's the potential that this will derail the Arab League Summit next week?
Sahar Issa: The Iraqi government has taken this into consideration, I believe, because they have given two days holiday and there is a high possibility -- in fact, it is expected -- that a curfew will be announced. In which case, if people want to arrange bombings, it is going to be very difficult. But I don't believe it will be derailed, I believe it will take place. The Iraqi government looks to the summit to give it legitimacy in the Arab world. I doubt very much that it is going to let this opportunity slip between its fingers.
Lisa Mullins: Even if it has to embrace this opportunity and hold the summit against a backdrop of bombings?
Sahar Issa: They will want to keep it. It remains for the guests to decide whether they want to come to the site of bombings or not.
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