The latest synchronized suicide car bombings, according to Times reporter Timothy Williams, "struck at the heart of the Iraqi government, severely damaging the Justice Ministry and provincial council complexes in Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 132 people and raising new questions about the government's ability to secure its most vital operations."
The grim reality of what occurred is further described by Timothy Williams:
"The bombers apparently passed through multiple security checkpoints before detonating their vehicles within a minute of each other, leaving the dead and more than 520 wounded strewn across crowded downtown streets. Blast walls had been moved back off the road in front of both buildings in recent weeks.
"It was the deadliest coordinated attack in Iraq since the summer of 2007 and happened just blocks from where car bombers killed at least 122 people at the Foreign and Finance Ministries in August.
"For months, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal-al Maliki, who is seeking another term as Iraq prepares to hold national elections in January, has painstakingly tried to present Iraq as having turned a corner on the violence that threatened to tear the country apart in 2006 and 2007."
A few days ago on Anderson Cooper's CNN nightly news show that self-acknowledged neoconservative military affairs expert Bill Bennett made the case for more U.S. troops in Afghanistan. In doing so Bennett sought to buttress his argument that he was backing a strategy that had achieved success in Iraq.
Bennett has followed a long line of neocons delivering hawkish pro-military pronouncements after a pattern of vigilant college deferments when the Vietnam War they championed from the sidelines sent other young Americans in their stead. Bennett along with Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle might have chosen the deferment strategy regarding Vietnam War service, but that did not stop them from advocating in Bennett's case and plotting in the others the Iraq War.
It was essential to attack Iraq to punish its dictator Saddam Hussein for the 9/11 attacks. Never mind that he had nothing to do with them and was a sworn enemy of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Given the right propaganda climate it sounded good to many. Let us all, in the meantime, gloss over those very private meetings in Dick Cheney's office involving the major forces of Halliburton, Bechtel, Monsanto and others to divide Iraq's oil and other profits before the first shock and awe attacks commenced.
Bennett the other night demonstrated the same kind of reassuring glibness he did while serving as America's spokesman on morality before it was discovered that this paragon of righteous zeal squandered millions of dollars on gambling tables.
Bennett's righteous zeal also extended to white collar crime. He ignored the obvious link of regulatory curbing by two of his political idols, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, instead blaming Bill Clinton.
William Bennett insisted that such egregious white collar crime resulted from the bad example Clinton set with the Monica Lewinsky scandal. His self-righteousness blended with an all pervasive simplicity that never threatened to invade the level of reason.
Neocons such as Bennett assiduously dodge factual reality. Nowhere is this trait more obvious than with the Iraq War. How many of them discuss the conflict's death toll?
How often are Iraq War death totals discussed in the mainstream media? Is this a current discussion point with Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck? Isn't it more fun to instead discuss ACORN?
The death total according to the respected British medical journal Lancet stands currently at 1,339,771. It is reported that 2 million Iraqis fled the country as refugees since the war began. Another estimated 1.8 million lost their homes but continue to live in Iraq.
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