…..on its last throes?

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Smoke rises near the Iraqi Ministry of Justice, shortly after a blast, in Baghdad October 25, 2009. Twin car bombs targeting two government buildings killed at least 75 people and wounded 460 in central Baghdad on Sunday, police and health officials said, in the bloodiest attack in the capital for two months.

While Sunday’s 2 bus bombs in Baghdad that left over a hundred dead and 500 wounded was a horrific reminder that “evil-doers” and “deadenders” still seek to derail the road to freedom and democracy for Iraq, ordinary Iraqis, who have endured so much, seem undaunted and optimistic about their future.

David Ignatius of WaPo apparently was flying overhead in a Black Hawk with General David Petraeus on the day of the bombings. Baghdad was so much abuzz with construction and commerce activities, that they did not realize that terrorists exploded two massive car bombs at the Justice Ministry and the Baghdad provincial administration. This is how he describes the reaction of his Iraqi friends, and it is the correct message to send to terrorists (you know? “Go shopping“?):

But my Iraqi friends were surprisingly upbeat about the future, even after Sunday’s terrible bombings. “In every sector, Iraq is coming back to its normal mode,” said one. “There is no way it will slip back,” insisted the other. I wondered at their confidence on such a day, but that is part of the Iraqi toughness.

Rather than talking about the bombings, we talked politics. My friends sharply criticized the incumbent prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. But as we were debating, one turned to me with a smile: “Here we are talking about who will run the government after the elections. Could you do that in any other country in the Arab world?”

As night fell, Petraeus and his party flew to Camp Victory, near the airport. “Baghdad can be a cruel place,” he told me. “You have to keep a grip on your hopes.” But as the Black Hawk skimmed over the city, Baghdad seemed to be teeming again, despite the morning’s events.

Petraeus surveyed the cityscape at night. “People are back out in the parks,” he said. “All the lights are on, cars are driving around.” I asked later if he thought Sunday’s violence would lead people to request that American troops return to the cities, and he shook his head: “Iraq is a sovereign country. Iraqis will respond to this.”

…..standing up….

7 Responses to “…..on its last throes?”

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    I’d say that the “definition of victory” by Bush is close to fruition, and the Iraqis themselves are “staying the course” to that victory. Good on them.

    And I most certainly think that the Iraqis, carrying on with their normal lives (i.e. “going shopping”) is very appropriate. Just because they continue to live and enjoy the simplicities of life does not mean they are complacent, Wordsmith. The point of that phrase was to not be cowed into fear and disrupt our simple freedoms.

    I *love* what that Iraqi said. He is learning the joy and freedom of speech and opinions.

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    I most certainly think that the Iraqis, carrying on with their normal lives (i.e. “going shopping”) is very appropriate. Just because they continue to live and enjoy the simplicities of life does not mean they are complacent, Wordsmith. The point of that phrase was to not be cowed into fear and disrupt our simple freedoms.

    Oh, I agree. That was my point in linking to Andrew Ferguson’s defense of the oft-cited, miscontextualized Bush quote. It came on the heels of 9/11 and we needed reassurance that our way of life remains strong and undaunted. And as he points out:

    As far back as 1999, while a presidential candidate, Bush began telling people to serve a CGTYOSI, and he never stopped. He’s even said it to Larry King. In an interview days after he was first elected, he told Larry that what he hoped for his daughters above all was that “someday they understand what it means to serve a cause greater than self.” And of course he used it after 9/11, over and over again. “We want to be a nation that serves goals greater than self,” he said in his 2002 State of the Union, to cite one example. The searchable White House database of presidential pronouncements lists 1,020 uses of the phrase since 2001. That’s a lot.

    The senseless bombings and taking of innocent lives will continue to shock us; but it was anticipated. And there will be future days like Sunday (especially with upcoming elections). It’s just all part of the process.

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    The terrorist continue to do their dirty deeds, knowing Obama will do nothing about it. He doesn’t have time to support our troops, to busy playing golf. How long do you think it will be before he starts waving the white flag? There is as much honor in losing these wars as there is honor in Washington DC.

  4. 5

    John ryan

    Obama is of course still having to follow the Status of Forces Agreement that Bush signed in Dec of 2008 just before leaving office. this agreement severely limited what the US military was legally allowed to do in Iraq. Also as of today Mon 4pm EST the total is over 150 dead. what we have done in Iraq is remove Saddam the mortal enemy of Iran and replace that government with another that was voted in and is now the best friend of Iran. I cannot see how this was in the national security interests of the USA. If Saddam was still around he would take care of Iran’s nuke capability for us.You neocons have taken on all of the change the world do gooder silliness that the libs used to have a monopoly on. You think that Reagan was great for arming the Taliban in the fight against the ruskies, well i wish that the ruskies were still in A-stan and that teh taliban were still killing them instead of our soldiers

  5. 6

    Old Trooper

    John, Saddam, his Sons and his Baathist Regime were the mortal enemies of the majority of His Neighbors to include Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran and to a degree Jordan. He certainly was not a great friend of Turkey either. He Murdered a great many of His Citizens. I have seen the torture shops and mass graves. I blame Bush the first and the UN for stopping short of eliminating Saddam during Gulf War I for that if We are pointing fingers.

    We currently have SOFA’s with a great many Nations. Iraq has been a very volatile and violent place for decades, certainly more so under Saddam than now, both to it’s oppressed citizens and neighbors. Ask Kuwait about that. We have bases there and a fine SOFA. What you are witnessing in Iraq if you have been there or are reading about it is an awakening. The Iraqis are TRIBAL if you did not know it. A Central Government under Democracy is a brand new concept there. Tribal Heads and Mullahs deeply resent their loss of Authority. What you appear to know about the region would easily pass through the eye of a needle.

    It is up to the President to pursue prudent Foreign Policy and Diplomacy. He took office on 20 Jan, 09. It is no longer Bush’s responsibility. Everything that has and will happen after Obama was sworn in is His Responsibility so go bark up His Tree. By Law it is Obama’s Job now. If Our National Security is in jeopardy it is on him to deal with it. Not Bush.

    On AF/PAK, on Obama’s watch now. National Command Authority rests on Him. Foreign Policy Authority rests on Him. By Law. Period. This blame Bush crap just ain’t gonna fly anymore around here Bud. There’s a New Sheriff in town and he needs to step and take responsibility. Period.

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    Freedom Now

    John is just angry that his UN Oil for Food corruption money dried up…

    Maybe instead of losing American soldiers we should have let Imperial Japan rape and kill the Chinese and let the Nazis do the same to Europe. Or maybe rightwing paleoconservative isolationism is just immoral and foolish in this small world of ours. Lets not “feed the alligator and hope he will eat us last”.

    …And Saddam didnt do too good of a job against Iran last time around. Its a laugh to believe that he could have stopped Iran’s nuke capability.

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