The Desperate Hours
Desperation is the new flypaper:
Also, two car bomb attacks on the highway to Baghdad's international airport killed two American soldiers and wounded 11 on Saturday, the military said.
The first bomb exploded near an overpass on the road linking the capital to the airport as a convoy passed by, wounding three soldiers. Plumes of thick black smoke were seen rising from the scene and a U.S. helicopters clattered overhead.
At around 4 p.m., U.S. soldiers traveling to the scene of the first attack were hit by a second car bomb, killing two and wounding eight, the military said.
The treacherous stretch of road is the site of frequent attacks against U.S. troops and their supply convoys. In a travel warning issued Saturday, the U.S. State Department described the airport road as among the country's most dangerous.
The Americans insisted Saturday that the militants' campaign of violence won't succeed.
"The continued targeting of Iraqi security forces shows the desperation of anti-Iraqi forces as they recognize the continued improvement and capability of the Iraqi National Guard and Iraqi Police," said Maj. Neal O'Brien of the Army's 1st Infantry Division.
To be fair, I do catch a very strong whiff of desperation.
With militants roaming unmolested in parts of Baghdad, no one is safe.
The violent reality of life in Iraq stands in contrast to the Bush Administration's sunny assessments of the country's progress toward democracy. A growing chorus of lawmakers, soldiers and U.S. military and intelligence officials warn that the U.S. faces a potential disaster in Iraq. Critics of the Administration pounced on reports saying a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, which the cia gave to the White House in July, lays out a distressing view of Iraq's future. According to a U.S. official familiar with the estimate, it envisions three possible scenarios for how events might unfold over the next 18 months. The official says the estimate foresees, "at best, a situation that would be, in terms of security, tenuous and, at worst, a trend line that could point in the direction of a civil war."
Officials from the U.S. military and the interim Iraqi government are playing down the significance of the intelligence estimate. "It says what we've been saying for months," a Pentagon civilian says. "There's a 1-in-3 chance of civil war."