New York

Morning Report 8/17/05’Charred Bodies All Over the Place’


That’s in Baghdad. Bush is also hosting barbecues back at the ranch.


White House


Sumpin’s burnin’: Wearing his “Western White House” T-shirt back in August ’02 in Crawford. Beyond the smile on his grill, note the bug in his ear.

There’s nothing like the sizzle and smell of a barbecue on a summer day. That aroma hangs over Baghdad as the sun goes down this evening.

George W. Bush, meanwhile, is doing his grilling at Prairie Chapel Ranch, where he continues to hide out from Cindy Sheehan. A recent Associated Press story on Bush’s scorched-flesh approach noted:

President Bush has turned his remote ranch into a stage for down-home diplomacy, where a barbecue grill and a pickup have become his favorite tools for dealing with world leaders.

Cooking with mesquite or hickory, though, just can’t match the smell of burning human beings from the flaming mess Bush’s handlers have created on the other side of the globe.

In this morning’s Washington Post, Khalid Alsaffar and the estimable Ellen Knickmeyer tell it succinctly:

Three back-to-back bombings hit near a Baghdad bus station Wednesday and then at the hospital where rescuers rushed the victims, killing at least 43 people and wounding nearly 90, authorities said.

In addition, officials announced that six Iraqi security-force members and one U.S. soldier also died in other incidents.

No war correspondent is putting words to war any better than Knickmeyer is right now. Her frontlines account in May of ill-fated “Lucky Lima” Marines in Haditha is one of the most poignant sagas to emerge from Iraq in the U.S. daily press since the Cheney regime’s unjustified invasion.

Unfortunately, Knickmeyer keeps getting opportunity after opportunity to stretch her writing skills, particularly her eye for detail. More from her co-bylined story this morning:

Bodies of the victims collected in pools of blood in the grounds outside the emergency room of the targeted hospital after medical teams ran out of room for the dead inside.

Rescuers also ran out of cloth to cover the dead and resorted to splitting open cardboard boxes to cover the faces and corpses.

The bodies are piling up so fast in Iraq that even the perfunctory quotes from officials can’t help but be dreadfully colorful. As Alastair Macdonald of Reuters writes of today’s horror:

At least 43 people were killed and 76 wounded, an official in the Interior Ministry said, adding: “The casualty figure could rise as there are charred bodies all over the place.”

The word from Crawford, however, is that Bush is mighty proud of what’s going on in Iraq. Only yesterday, he marked the failure of Iraqi pols to meet their absurd deadline by the release of an equally absurd statement:

Their efforts are a tribute to democracy and an example that difficult problems can be solved peacefully through debate, negotiation, and compromise.

No need to put another shrimp on the barbie. Bush is enough.

Archive Highlights