The US military has captured the leaders of a car-bombing ring blamed for killing hundreds of Iraqis.
The news came as the departing US ambassador said Americans are in ongoing talks with insurgent representatives to try to persuade them to turn against al-Qaeda.
The US command said one of the car-bombers, Haitham al-Shimari, was suspected in the "planning and execution of the majority of car bombs which have killed hundreds of Iraqi citizens in Sadr City," a Shi'ite enclave of Baghdad.
Another, identified as Haidar al-Jafar, was second-in-command of a cell that killed some 900 "innocent" [!!] Iraqis and wounded almost 2,000, the military said. Three other men believed connected to that cell also were in custody.
The suspected bombers were rounded up last week by American forces during continuing security sweeps in Azamiyah, the Sunni stronghold in northern Baghdad, the military statement said. (Sydney Morning Herald)
Don't get me started on those quotes around the word innocent. When someone is killed at the market or mosque when a car bomb explodes, what is he or she guilty of, being Iraqi? It's a disgusting edit of an otherwise uplifting story of the ongoing success of the Surge.Meanwhile, in DC:
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), a longtime Bush critic, issued one of his strongest condemnations of the war over the weekend. "We essentially are ruining our National Guard. We are destroying our Army. We're destroying our Marine Corps," he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "We can't sustain this. . . . I will not accept the status quo." (WaPo)Hagel and his "Surrender at Any Cost" cohorts haven't noticed the recent change in status of the status quo: We're kicking butt and they're losing big. He shouldn't accept the status quo; he should accept the new reality, but Senators are a little like love -- they never have to say they're sorry ... even when they're positions are.