And it's kept ramping up. And up. And up. In fact, it's fair to say that violence hasn't ramped down since the first day that tanks and embedded reporters rolled into Iraq from the Kuwaiti border in March, 2003.
Journalists will no longer venture outside of their hotels, so we should have no false illusions that we're getting anywhere close to the correct story. The scribes that do take the chance to wander the streets are wearing flack jackets and taking personal body guards. The media relies on reports from local stringers and cameramen.
Even Ayad Allawi wouldn't travel beyond the nearest bar in the Green Zone™ without a convoy and body doubles. Still, he's the guy that says violence is "isolated to a few provinces". Yeah. It sure looks like a few provinces. Like all of them. 30 days, 2368 attacks.
And now, the occupation forces and their Washington (and Baghdad) masters are diminishing expectations again, saying, "violence will ramp up prior to elections".
(Which one? Theirs or ours?)
If you think about it, warnings that "violence will ramp up" are pretty specious, because such pronouncements would imply that violence ever ramped down. It's been an ever upward spiral.
Now, comes word this morning that dozens of people have been killed in multiple car bombings around Iraq, the most serious targeting a U.S. military convoy. No word yet on the nationality of the injured, but I think it's fair to speculate that since a U.S. military convoy was targeted, U.S. troops were probably killed. How many? It depends on how quick U.S. Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte can get in touch with Minister of Defense Rumsfeld and Vice Chancellor Cheney to figure out the spin (or change clothing on the bodies) in advance of tonight's foreign policy debate between John Kerry and G.W. McJesus.
So, here's my question for tonight's debate: "Mr. pResident, when can we expect the violence in Iraq to ramp down?"
BAGHDAD, Iraq - At least three bombs exploded near a U.S. convoy in western Baghdad on Thursday, killing 34 children and three adults, a hospital official said. Hours earlier, a suicide car bombing killed a U.S. soldier and two Iraqis on the capital's outskirts.
It was unclear if the bombs — which also wounded 137 people, including 10 U.S. soldiers — targeted the convoy or a ceremony marking the opening of a new sewage system in the neighborhood that was taking place at the same time. Also unknown was the nationalities of the casualties or whether there were U.S. soldiers among the dead.