BAGHDAD, Iraq – Police found the bodies of 65 men who had been tortured, shot and dumped, most around Baghdad, while car bombs, mortar attacks and shootings killed at least 30 people around Iraq and injured dozens more.
Two U.S. soldiers were killed, one by an attack in restive Anbar province Monday, and the other Tuesday by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad, the U.S. military command said.
Police said 60 of the bodies were found overnight around Baghdad, with the majority dumped in predominantly Sunni Arab neighborhoods, police said. Another five were found floating down the Tigris river in Suwayrah, 25 miles south of the capital.
The bodies were bound, bore signs of torture and had been shot, said police 1st Lt. Thayer. Such killings are usually the work of death squads — both Sunni Arab and Shiite — who kidnap people and often torture them with power drills or beat them badly before shooting them.
If you have seen the good news or know anybody who has, please phone your local media outlet immediately. I’m sure that the shortage is only temporary.
As for wider analysis, what is there to say? This is the same damn story that was written last week, last month, last year. Bush won’t change course (the man is constitutionally incapable) so this same story will come up next week, next month and next year. We had a chance for a happy resolution, maybe, but our leaders sealed the deal when they made the ideological decision not to plan for postwar violence and not to deal with it when the occupation happened.
A short illustration of why sensible people want Rumsfeld to go. When Iraqis borked Rumsfeld’s pullout plan by not simply going back to work under Saddam 2.0 (that is to say, Ahmad Chalabi) and starting what looked like an organized, violent insurgency, local commanders were barred from describing what was happening because ‘insurgency’ has a bad connotation in military circles. Counterinsurgency war is a bloody, protracted, difficult process that demands a major shift in strategy from the troop-lite posture that the Pentagon had set out for Iraq. The Pentagon did not want to fight an insurgency, so the order went down that we weren’t fighting one. And gosh, wouldn’t you know it, the violence got worse and caught us totally unprepared.
Rumsfeld has many sins, god knows. In my view the most heinous is probably the number of Americans who have died unnecessarily because the people who killed them don’t fit into the sanitary Rumsfeld model for how people who oppose America are supposed to fight. Cue the Bush representative X throwing up his hands and lamenting that, alas, nobody could have anticipated they would do that! USMC General Paul Van Riper did (thanks to a commenter for reminding me). The Riper insurgency model handed the Rumsfeld model its ass. Twice. Any idiot could see that Iraqis might not fight nice like Rumsfeld wanted them to, that ignoring Riper’s success could get American kids killed, but we’re not dealing with ordinary idiots. For political reasons (asking for more troops might demand something resembling sacrifice, which would hurt GOP electoral chances) the Riper results were simply airbrushed out of the final wargame report.
And here we are. Groundhog day in Baghdad and Rumsfeld still in charge.