Let Bullets Rain


Despite Bush’s strongly worded note, Iraq dissolves into chaos

Bullets and bombs rained down on Iraqis this weekend, in sharp defiance of George W. Bush‘s supposedly scrawled message of last June 28 to let freedom reign.

Bush’s message, on a note handed to him by Condi Rice after the U.S. “handed over” the reins to its puppet regime, firmly commanded freedom, instead of shrapnel (see photo below and also this earlier item). But at least 70 Iraqis were killed during uprisings by the resistance by 6 p.m. EST Sunday.

Many of the civilians were targeted because they were working with the U.S., according to the CBC. The Canadian outlet rounded up the carnage, which included:

• Gunmen in two cars strafed a civilian bus carrying Iraqis to work at an ammo dump near Tikrit, in northern Iraq. At least 21 were killed. The workers had been hired by the U.S. to sort through unexploded munitions—someone’s got to do it.

• A car bomber smashed up an Iraqi National Guard checkpoint in Beiji, between Tikrit and Baghdad, killing three soldiers, including a regional commander.

• A mortar barrage in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, killed a mother and her child.

• Masked militants “openly flaunt their control” in Mosul, also in the north—and a long way from Fallujah.

One of the Mosul gunmen, sounding a lot like John Ashcroft, said, “I swear by God almighty. Our retaliation will be severe.”

Even stranger, a hapless resident’s lament took on the familiar syntax and rhythm, at least in translation into English, of Yinglish: “This is the democracy of Ayad Allawi, to give us during the day mortar shells and at night bombs?”

With more than 50 shooting days left before Election Day, that January 30 celebration of democracy looks pretty shaky. The Daily Star (Beirut) puts the weekend carnage at 90 and, like many other outlets, reports former U.N. envoy to Iraq Lakhdar Brahimi as saying that the vote could take place only “if first and foremost, security improves.”

Also sounding an ominous note was Arizona senator John McCain, who said Sunday, as the Beirut paper quoted him:

Many of us, as long as a year and a half ago, said [the Pentagon must send] more people there. You’ve got to have more linguists, you’ve got to have more special forces—you’ve got to have, and the Pentagon has reluctantly, obviously, gradually made some increases. And the problem when you react, you have to extend people on duty there, which is terrible for morale.

But to get the proper perspective, go to the official White House site and read Bush’s newly updated “Record of Achievement.”

With a tone reminiscent of a Commando Cody cliffhanger serial from the early ’50s, Bush’s Chapter 1 is “Waging and Winning the War on Terror.” No surprise that Bush’s propaganda sounds so familiar: Cody, after all, styled himself as “sky marshal of the universe.”