Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Suicide Bomber Takes Out Overpass In Iraq

The only problem with his insomnia is that there are times where he cannot be quiet enough in the morning ...

Yes, the animals have struck again:

An apparent suicide car bomber took aim at an American convoy carrying demolition experts on Sunday, collapsing a major highway overpass south of Baghdad and trapping American soldiers in the rubble.

The vehicle detonated beside a support pillar, bringing down an Army checkpoint and a tent that had been on the collapsing span, dubbed "Checkpoint 20" by the American military. The overpass, one of two crossing over Iraq's main north-south highway in the region, appeared to be closed to all but military traffic at the time.

An American Army quick reaction force and the staff of Armor Group International, a private security firm that was in charge of the passing convoy, worked for some 45 minutes to pull trapped men from the rubble about six miles east of Mahmoudiya.

There appeared to be several casualties, including an Iraqi interpreter who was wounded, according to Donald Campbell, an official with the security firm who was at the scene.

The attack, which was witnessed by an Associated Press reporter and a photographer who were in the approaching convoy, occurred in the triangle of death, so called for frequent Sunni insurgent attacks.

A lot of people point to incidents like this and say the surge is not working. That is not true. While it may see a setback or two, the surge is working. Additionally, the Iraqis decided back in March that the surge was working so well, they asked to have it expanded. It has met a significant amount of resistance from militants, but the initial excution of the plan forced Moqtada al-Sadr from Iraq back to his native Iran. (Yes, he has since returned, but is nothing like his former self, knowing the consequences that will befall him.)

This attack, however, took place in a predominantly Sunni area, and likely somewhat friendly to al-Qaeda. the area has had a bit of unrest lately, which prompted a visit from an Apache helicopter. Were it not for the auto-defense mechanisms in the helicopter it might have been taken out while it was covering US forces moving into recover a devastated Hummer. The Apaches have auto-defense tricks that if it is targeted by a hostile -- a weapon, another helicopter, SAMs, etc. -- it automatically deploys flares. These flares supposedly caused a ruckus on the ground.

In the ensuring melee, several people were injured and a few were killed. While regrettable the bombing yesterday cannot be condoned by any Iraqi officials. The bombing is believed to be a retaliation for the Apache incident. The flares that were deployed would not have hurt anyone. There was no cause for panic, but the Iraqis on the ground did so. I can only imagine the spin that will be put on this incident.

While the reports say there were several casualties in the overpass bombing, they acknowledge only the Iraqi that was injured. This story from the AP says three soldiers were killed and at least six were wounded in the bombing:

With a thunderous rumble and cloud of dust and smoke, a suicide car bomb brought down a section of highway bridge south of Baghdad on Sunday, killing three U.S. soldiers and wounding six from a checkpoint guarding the crossing and blocking traffic on Iraq's main north-south artery.

The U.S. military said engineers were dispatched with bulldozers and other heavy equipment to clear the highway, which was partially blocked by debris from the overpass. An Iraqi interpreter also was wounded in the attack, according to the statement that gave the casualty toll.
Donald Campbell, a 40-year-old Scot with the private security firm Armor Group International, and his colleagues were in a passing convoy and worked with a U.S. Army quick reaction force for some 45 minutes to pull trapped men from the rubble, scrambling over the fallen concrete.

No one said this job was easy or that it did not have its risks. We should always remember that. I wish the Democrats would.



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