May 4, 2008

Blowing Up The Surge

Sadr City Missile Strke-1

Talabani Wife Roadside Bomb-1

When it’s all said and done (sometime within the next hundred years), the most redundant image of the Iraq occupation could well turn out to be the razed car carcass.  At this point, however, what could possibly distinguish one more crippled hulk from another?

In the former case (besides the fact it’s an ambulance that took the hit), the method of infliction is worth noting.  The roof of the car is caved in because it was damaged from the air by one of three U.S. Hellfire missiles.  The specific view, however, is actually peripheral to the main target which Iraqis identify as a mosque and the American military described as a “criminal element command and control center.”

What everybody does agree on, however, is that the building next-door was a hospital, which made it that much more convenient to treat the twenty-eight people injured, including a group of kids who were collecting cans to salvage.

What the image also well signifies, by the way, is that the surge is dead.  If it weren’t, I don’t imagine the American’s would be resorting to bombing runs in the neighborhood — just like that incredibly tragic one I flagged last week — in order to pacify snipers, mounted machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47’s.

Which leads me to the distinguishing element of the second pic.  Yes, the incinerated body, charred undercarriage and flattened tires are reflective of a roadside bomb.  What’s unique, however, is the “lineage” of the car, this one happening to be part of a motorcade ferrying President Talabani’s wife. Combine  Combine this action with the news from the NYT article that two more bomb attacks occurred in Nisour Square, targeting the deputy chief of the traffic police, no less, and you have to think that the surge is dead, with these singular carcasses testifying to the fact.

Missiles Strike Sadr City, Damaging Hospital (NYT)

Iraqi President’s Wife Not Hurt by a Roadside Bomb (NYT)

(image 1: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images, for The New York Times. May 3, 2008. Sadr City.  image 2: Iraqi President’s Wife Not Hurt by a Roadside Bomb.  May 4, 2008. Baghdad.

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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