The L.A. Times reports that “at least 71 corpses were found in the streets of Baghdad” yesterday:
Iraqi soldiers killed 30 suspected insurgents in a furious gun battle Saturday in downtown Baghdad, authorities said, in what appeared to be the opening salvo of a new plan by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki to secure the capital.
Maliki announced the new effort to end bloodshed in Baghdad on Saturday, five months after the U.S. military launched a plan to quell sectarian fighting that is widely regarded as a failure. Killings have steadily increased in the capital as insurgents and Shiite Muslim militia death squads continue to operate with impunity.
Maliki’s speech, to commemorate Iraqi Army Day, took place on a day when at least 71 corpses were found in the streets of Baghdad, one of the largest such discoveries in a civil war in which scores of bodies turn up daily.
Most of the victims had been bound, blindfolded, tortured and executed with gunshots to the chest or head. Twenty-seven of the bodies were found near the Sheik Omar cemetery, a Sunni Arab burial ground in downtown Baghdad. Some of the victims had been strangled.
Many of the dead were presumed to be the victims of Shiite death squads, police sources said.
Tell me: if we simply abandon Iraq to the enemy, will these death squads stop?
If you believe that, you are living in a fantasy world.
I have said that the war in Iraq was a mistake. But even if you agree with me, that doesn’t dictate how we deal with the aftermath. As I said yesterday, if we simply beat a hasty retreat, we will be setting up Iraq for a terrible disaster. In some ways, we are already doing this.
The gruesome discovery yesterday is just a hint of what’s to come, when we finally do repeat the ignoble end of Vietnam.