Iraq: “Operation Imposing Law” fails to

Oh boy. Remember all the jokes about how Bush’s Operation Iraqi Freedom was originally dubbed Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL). Now life imitates humor as another Orwellian sobriquet is unleashed in Baghdad: Operation Imposing Law. You’d think the Pentagon PR people would’ve nixed that one. Or are they trying to tell us something? From the UAE’s GulfNews, Feb. 19:

BAGHDAD — Two car bombs tore through a packed shopping area of a mainly Shiite district of Baghdad yesterday, killing 60 people in the worst attack since US and Iraqi troops launched a crackdown in the city five days ago.

Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki had on Friday trumpeted what he called the “brilliant success” of Operation Imposing Law in quelling the violence.

US generals, mindful of a similar crackdown last year that failed, have been more cautious and warned that any downturn in violence might be temporary as militants adapt their tactics to meet the new strategy.

The two car bombs exploded in quick succession near a busy, pedestrianised market area of New Baghdad, killing 60 people and wounding 131, police said.

A Reuters photographer, Carlos Barria, who is embedded with a US military unit that was in the area, reported seeing seven or eight bodies lying in the street after the two blasts, which he said were about 10 seconds and 100 metres apart.

“I saw a man about 50 years old. He was carrying a dead boy who looked about 10. He was holding him by one arm and one leg and screaming,” he said.

Sadr City blast

A man wearing a business suit lay dead next to a black Mercedes, a piece of shrapnel sticking out of his head. One of the explosions partially demolished a two-storey building.

A third car bomb killed two people when it exploded near a police checkpoint in Sadr City, a stronghold of Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr’s Mehdi Army.

See our last posts on Iraq and the relentless sectarian cleansing.