BAGHDAD, Iraq - A series of explosions struck commercial areas in Baghdad within hours Saturday, killing at least 17 people and dealing a blow to a huge government operation to secure the capital.
The blasts — seven within five hours — brought the death toll around Iraq to at least 23 people. The bombings also wounded at least 72. A day earlier, a suspected shoe bomber blew himself up inside one of Baghdad's most prominent Shiite mosques, killing 13 people.
Two of our soldiers are missing from a checkpoint south of Baghdad.
Car bomb and mortar attacks occurred in the Sunni city of Mahmoudiya.
Here's the item that really caught my eye:
Gunmen attacked the house of Iraqi army Col. Makki Mindil, killing him after engaging his guards in a gunfight.
If that's "standing up," coffee is a cure for insomnia.
Ah, but there is good news.
There has been a slight decrease in the number of Iraqis reported killed since al-Zarqawi died June 7. In the nine days before the airstrike, 307 Iraqis were killed, compared with 262 in the nine subsequent days, according to an Associated Press tally.
So we've got that going for us. But we have to temper our enthusiasm with the fact that on the same day al-Zarqawi was killed, Iraq's director general of the State Company for Oil Projects was kidnapped.
Another Mission Accomplished, Another Corner Turned.
In his weekly radio speech today, young Mister Bush announced his new plan to succeed in Iraq, which consists of "continued sacrifice" and "more patience."
I wonder how much better that will work than the "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" he announced in November 2005 at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Or from the plan he announced in May of 2004 in a speech he gave at the Army War College.
Or the plan he announced in February 2003.
Or the plan he made with help of the Project for the New American Century prior to even taking office in January 2001.
And then we have the magnificent, non-binding, stay-the-course GOP "legislation" just passed in the House of Representatives which was nothing more than a piece of pro-Bush cheerleading.
Criticize the left. Pander to the right. Stand up. Stand down. Fight! Fight! Fight!
Yeah. That will do the trick.
One of my hardcore conservative acquaintances who is a Vietnam veteran insists to this day that "We only needed eighteen more months, and we could have won."
"Could have won what?" I ask him
"Victory," he says.
"And how would you have defined victory in Vietnam?" I say.
"Winning," he says.
"So you can't define 'winning' or 'victory,'" I say, "but we'll let that pass for now. Let me ask you this. After ten years, you only needed eighteen more months to defeat a third world country?"
"Hell, we could have done it in six months, if they'd let us."
"If you could have done it in six months, how come you couldn't do it in ten years?" I say. "You know, that whole line of reasoning sounds like a little kid at bedtime, wanting to watch the end of a baseball game on television, saying, 'five more minutes, mom. The game's almost over.'"
The game's already over in Iraq, but if we're not careful, we'll be giving the war hawks another five minutes until another ten or twenty years have gone by.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his weekday commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.