Cheney in Baghdad; Bombers kill 12

   VP Cheney arrives in Baghdad (AP)

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney met Iraqi leaders on Wednesday during an unannounced visit to Baghdad, and was expected to press for more progress in meeting political benchmarks aimed at ending sectarian violence.

In Iraq's relatively peaceful Kurdistan, a truck bomb killed 12 people and wounded 53 in the northern city of Arbil, police said. It was one of the few bombings to hit a region that has been spared the bloodshed engulfing the rest of Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Cheney's visit, part of a Middle East tour, could signal growing U.S. impatience at Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's failure to push power-sharing agreements as American military commanders build up troops to secure Baghdad.

John Roberts, the U.S. embassy information officer in Baghdad, said Cheney would also hold talks with General David Petraeus, commander of the 150,000 American troops in Iraq. Roberts gave no further details.

U.S. President George W. Bush, who is sending 30,000 extra troops to Iraq for a security crackdown seen as a last ditch effort to stave off civil war between majority Shi'ites and once-dominant Sunni Arabs, is under mounting pressure from Democrats to show concrete progress in the four-year-old war.

With U.S. troops dying daily in Iraq, American officials have urged the Iraqi parliament to scrap a planned two-month summer recess.

During a visit to Baghdad last month, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said progress on a package of laws that include a bill dividing up Iraq's oil wealth would be an important factor in Washington's decision to maintain higher troop levels.

Petraeus, who last month said Maliki's cabinet was comprised of leaders with "narrow agendas," is expected to deliver an assessment of the "troop surge" in September.

Cheney, one of the main architects of a war in which more than 3,300 U.S. troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis have died, arrives in Baghdad at a sensitive time.

Leaders from the Sunni Arab minority have threatened to quit Maliki's government because they say Sunni interests are being ignored. Washington says a Sunni role in government is needed to bring Sunnis firmly into the political process and tame the Sunni Arab insurgency.

Ethnic Kurds, staunch U.S. allies, have also threatened to block the oil bill in parliament.

The law is another U.S. benchmark, along with legislation to roll back a ban on former members of Saddam Hussein's party from public office, a plan that has met deep Shi'ite opposition.

Despite the security crackdown, Sunni Islamist al Qaeda has stepped up a campaign of car bombs against Shi'ite targets that officials say are part of a campaign to ignite reprisal killings.

RARE KURDISTAN ATTACK

Bomb attacks are extremely rare in Iraq's autonomous oil-rich Kurdish region, unlike the rest of the country.

Abdul Khaleq Talat, chief of Arbil police, said the blast in the centre of the city was caused by a truck packed with 800 kg (1,764 lb) of explosives covered with kitchen cleaning products.

Talat put the death toll at 12, with 53 wounded.

Arbil is the capital of Kurdistan. The bomb went off near the Kurdish government's Interior Ministry.

Television images showed Kurdish soldiers and police pulling wounded people from the rubble of a collapsed building. The explosion left a massive crater in the road, damaged vehicles and caused partial damage to buildings.

"I was near the site of the explosion. I saw fire coming out from the blast area. A man was burned to death," a witness said.

A suicide bomber killed more than 60 people at the Kurdistan Democratic Party office in Arbil in May 2005 in an attack that was claimed by a militant Sunni Arab group. That was the last bomb attack in the Kurdish region that residents can recall.

13 Responses to "Cheney in Baghdad; Bombers kill 12"

  1. mojibyrd  May 9, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    This is just nothing more than a photo-op for this lying s.o.b. he needs to be thrown out on his ass the same as that lame-duck Bush.

    Impeach Bush Now & Dick(head) Cheney too!!

  2. Arlo J. Thudpucker  May 9, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    Evil incarnate has descended into Baghhad. The lack of a law giving Cheney’s masters control of Iraq oil for the next generation explains Darth’s presence.

    Cheney will attempt to make sure the legislature does not recess. At least until Exxon-Mobil, et al., have secured the spoils of war.

    Notice that on Tuesday, the Iraqi legislature garnered 144 votes calling for a timetable for US withdrawl. Further legislative action will be required, but this is the first time Iraqi nationalists have forced the issue.

    This does not bode well for the occupiers.

    The Emperor will not be pleased should Darth fail.

  3. gene  May 9, 2007 at 6:55 am

    Being a retired Army Officer I truely feel sorry for soldiers that have to shake hands with this idiot Cheney. This (911) feasco was orchistrated by our so callled democratic government (the terroist are on our beaches) in order to have access to Iraqi oil, the second largest known reserve in the world. So let innocent people die and suffer horrible pain or mutilation. I personally could not begin to comprehend the evil behind all this lieing, murderering, greed, power oriented behavior.

    Their are now many more gray areas in what is consider right or wrong. I still whole the view of “back or white” and this Bush gain is a very deep black.

    This country will soon pay for its sins as the world will turn against this nation in a very real way. It will probably start from a finacial collapse ie.

    1. Housing market crashing (subprime loans…what a joke)
    2. Debt in the trillions of dollars (individuals and each level of state and federal government).
    3. Our industrial base is clearly evaporated over the last several decades.
    4. Unrealistic expectations in this culture ie. “The American Dream”….which will soon become “The American Nightmare”
    5. The almost total collapse of (moral consciousness) that was the foundation upon which this nation “under God” initially represented.
    6. Jobs……..what jobs? Mostly service jobs that do not pay enough to survive on even with two individuals working.
    7. Through in the eventual effects of inflation and “look out” the shit will soon hit the fan.

    All the above and much more has already started and will soon reach a point that even Joe or Sussie six pack will know its over.

    Please excuse any miss-spelled words, I hate to edit. Thankyou all who know the truth and care, you give me reason to keep going some days. Here’s hoping your day goes well……gene

  4. gene  May 9, 2007 at 6:59 am

    OOPs….number (7) above should be throw instead of through, guess I should have done some editing.

  5. KayInMaine  May 9, 2007 at 7:36 am

    …to tell al-Maliki to take his government and go on vacation. Why? Because that is what George Bush was doing from January 2001-September 2001 and it was a good strategy to keep the chaos going. Yeah, yeah, vacationing means that one doesn’t have to deal with the threats inside his or her country. Yep….just go on vacation, cross your fingers, and hope the country heals itself by itself! *rolling eyes*

    Dick Cheney wants his Halliburton to get back into Iran, so he needs all the chaos he can get in Iraq. Having Iraq in complete turmoil means he can have Halliburton slip back into Iran without US soldiers noticing. It’s the ole “bait and switch” that corporate America loves to use!

    Impeach Dick Cheney and if we can’t then I think it’s time for our military to revolt against him in support of the American people and our country. Hey, nothing would please me more than the US military storming the White House, Camp David, the fake ranch in Texas, and Dick Cheney’s estate in Nebraska to arrest them in the name of the American people. I would literally suit up and join this fight if it happened.

    http://www.whitenoiseinsanity.wordpress.com

  6. KayInMaine  May 9, 2007 at 7:39 am

    …and you are so right. Like I’ve said for years now, George Bush and his band of criminals want a complete collapse of our nation whether by the economy collapsing or by them bombing us to blame another country for it. Why do they want this? Well, after the smoke clears and they come out of their bunkers six months after the last nuke was dropped, George Bush will come out of his foxhole and will proclaim that he is the neo-Jesus Christ. Yes! I bet he, his family, and his friends have already written their bible and they’re just waiting for their big moment so they can insert Georgie’s name in there. :-)

    See? We’re being led by a bunch of whackadoos…

    http://www.whitenoiseinsanity.wordpress.com

  7. gene  May 9, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    I totally agree with you accessment. Thank God their are individuals such as yourself that understand the depth and reality of the tragedy unfolding before our very eyes. Cheers!!!..gene

  8. drsivana  May 9, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    THIRTEEN would have been such a nice number….

  9. Bill Jonke  May 9, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    Looks like he’s about to fall over. He’s also gained some more weight by the looks of it. Do you think it may be the portable defibrillator?

    I’ll be everybody’s “pleased as punch” to see him, too.

  10. gene  May 9, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    Very good observation Bill, he has definitely put some weight on. I have been told recently that lieing incesantly increases the apitite. Lets hope the defibrillator is defective.

  11. Helen Rainier  May 9, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    I just finished reading an article about Cheney’s visit at ThinkProgress.org. According to that article, one of Cheney’s comments to the military was: “Let the games begin.” WTF is that supposed to mean — over 3,000 American military now dead, countless thousands injured, and countless innocent Iraqis dead, maimed, and/or misplaces, and he says “Let the games begin.” Right up there with Bushie’s comment “Bring ‘em on.”

    Proud (and Angry) Army Veteran

  12. Ardie  May 9, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    It’s about time Dick you tell that freely elected Iraqi puppet government of yours not to take a Bush style vacation!

  13. Carl Nemo  May 9, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot alias Dick Cheney aka “The Penguin” the infamous nemesis of Batman and the citizens of Gotham city visits Bagdhad to do some serious “hand-pressing” and to give some mano a mano contact with the duty puppets. The order of the day is: you best get “crackin’ Maliki” and show us yer stuff or we’re gunna lose our “pipeline” connection to the U.S. Treasury…!

    p.s.Batman where are you when we need you the most…?! :-s

    http://thebatman.bravepages.com/comics/villains/penguin.htm

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