At least 160 people have been killed in four major bomb blasts around Baghdad today - the bloodiest violence since a US troop "surge" and crackdown on insurgents began in February.
The deadliest attack happened at the Sadriyah market, in central Baghdad, where at least 118 people died, according to Iraqi police, Reuters said.
Police said a total of 139 people were injured in the blast, which was thought to have been caused by a bomb left on a bus.
Construction workers helping to rebuild the predominantly Shia market area following an attack shortly before the February crackdown, when a suicide truck bomber killed 135 people, were among the victims.
An hour before the market blast, a suicide bomber crashed an explosives-laden car into a checkpoint at an entrance to Sadr City, Baghdad's biggest Shia area, killing at least 30 people.
And oh yes, I don't think they appreciate this, either: (Also from The Guardian)
Iraqi civilians are experiencing "immense suffering" because of a "disastrous" security situation, deepening poverty and a worsening humanitarian crisis, according to a report by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The ICRC also sees no sign that the American-led security "surge" in Baghdad is bringing relief to the capital, while hospitals struggle to cope with mass casualties as malnutrition as well as power and water shortages become more frequent across the country.
"The suffering Iraqi men, women and children are enduring today is unbearable and unacceptable," Pierre Kraehenbuehl, director of operations for the organisation, said at the group's Geneva headquarters.
The report, Civilians without Protection, provides a grim snapshot of the situation in Iraq but will carry special weight thanks to the ICRC's reputation as the scrupulously neutral "silent service" of international humanitarian work. It maintains a presence in Baghdad despite the bombing of its offices in 2003, and works closely with the Iraqi Red Crescent.
The report says that more than 100,000 families have been forced to leave their homes in the past year because of the shootings, bombings, abductions, murders and military operations.
And yes, I don't think they'd like to see any more of this.
Americans want out of Iraq... So why would Gary Miller say this?
As we cannot – and must not – turn back, we need a fresh approach to move forward. The President, along with his generals on the ground, has proposed a way forward. He has put forth a strategy to suppress the sectarian violence in Iraq to allow democratic reforms to take hold and economic institutions to flourish.
His plan is the only plan that provides for a way forward in Iraq. While the majority party proposes to stand still and do nothing, the President’s plan aims to allow American forces to stand down as the Iraqi people stand up.
For us in Congress, it is not our job to become involved in the tactical decisions that will lead to success in our mission. It is our responsibility to help shape the parameters of our mission and to conduct oversight on our progress in achieving the mission.
Oh yes, it looks like Bush really knows "the way forward in Iraq"...
Well, maybe if we consider a failed state to be "the way forward".
Let's face it: There's nothing left that we can do to save this war. And there's nothing that we can do to "force" Iraq to be a stable, Jeffersonian democratic republic. George Bush and Gary Miller may warn us that Iraq would descend into total chaos if we leave. However, I don't know how much worse it could become since Iraq has already descended into complete chaos. And now, it just seems like the longer we stay there, the worse it gets.
Can we really afford to allow Bush to "stay the course" of showing us "the way forward" into CIVIL WAR? And can we allow members of Congress like Gary Miller to just sit by and continue to allow Bush to waste resources in pursuing the wrong military mission that is just creating a failed state? Can we really afford more of the same failure?