FORWARD TOGETHER. Today saw some truly horrific carnage in Baghdad, with over 100 people killed or found dead throughout the city, and another of the double-wave bombing attacks designed to maximize deaths:
At least 62 unidentified bullet-riddled corpses--all bearing signs of torture--have been found throughout the city since Tuesday night, said Brig. Gen. Abdullah Mahmood of the Interior Ministry.
Some of the bodies had been beheaded. Attacks on police patrols killed an additional 27 people Wednesday morning, officials said.
The bloodiest scene unfolded at 9 a.m., when a car bomb exploded near an indoor stadium in Baghdad, killing 12 traffic policemen and wounded 13 others, authorities said. When a crowd gathered to help the wounded, another bomb detonated, killing seven civilians and wounding 47 others.
Yesterday's much-discussed Lowry-Kristol column focused on the urgent strategic need to secure Baghdad, and in fact a more modest version of that project was actually launched last month -- a security crackdown called Operation Forward Together meant to curb rampant sectarian violence in the capital city. The operation appeared to yield results, with commanders touting a remarkable 52 percent drop in Baghdad's murder rate from July to August. But then the Iraqi Health Ministry released figures showing that the number of violent deaths in the Baghdad area in August -- 1,536 -- was actually quite close to July's figure. It turns out (link via Americablog) the military had only counted drive-by shootings and torture and executions by death squads, and excluded deaths by mortars, rockets, bombs, and suicide attacks from the count.