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Monday, October 27, 2003

Arab terrorist bombings in Baghdad first day of Ramadan

At least 34 dead, over 200 wounded in suicide bombing attacks on Red Cross office and police stations
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Suicide bombers have struck four times in Baghdad's morning rush hour, killing 34 people and wounding 224 near the Red Cross offices and police stations, in the city's bloodiest day since Saddam Hussein's overthrow.

Apparently coordinated blasts shook the city after three U.S. soldiers were killed in separate attacks overnight. An ambulance bomb was used in the Red Cross attack.

Iraq's police chief Ahmad Ibrahim, who is also deputy interior minister, told a news conference 26 of the 34 dead were civilians and eight police. Sixty-five [Iraqi] police and 159 [Iraqi] civilians were wounded. He did not say if foreigners were killed.

The explosions, sirens and smoke plunged Baghdad into fear and chaos at the outset of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The onslaught "is not only criminal, it's sacrilegious", U.S. Brigadier General Mark Hertling told reporters.

Speaking later at the news conference, Hertling said all the Monday morning attacks were suicide bombings, while a fifth had been foiled by Iraqi police. A suspect was seized alive in that attack and was believed to be a Syrian national, he said.

The bombings bring a new urgency to the struggle by embattled U.S.-led forces to control Iraq. On Sunday, rockets hit a fortified Baghdad hotel where U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz was staying, killing a U.S. soldier and wounding 17 people. Wolfowitz was unhurt.

Not to worry - Democrats have plans
FoxNews provides a transcript of last night's debate in Detroit among Democrat presidential candidates:
Kucinich: "I think that we have to have a commitment to work with the nations of the world to make war archaic so we won't need to send our men and women abroad in search of wars or to fight wars that they never should have had to fight in the first place."

Gephardt: "We need peace in the world, not terrorism."

Kerry: "This president has done it wrong every step of the way."

Sharpton: ". . . we need to show that we really love the troops by bringing the troops home. Why can't we bring them home now? "

Edwards: "I will never give George Bush a blank check."

Moseley Braun: "We blew the place up; we have to fix it back. "

Clark: "I think the best form of welfare for the troops is a winning strategy. And I think we ought to call on our commander in chief to produce it."

Dean: "I would submit to you that my foreign-policy experience might be more valuable in the White House today than the foreign-policy experience of many of the people who supported the Iraq war."

Lieberman: "Would I negotiate with Hamas and other terrorist groups? Not while they're terrorists. "

Part II of the transcript covers domestic affairs.

Caught between an Arab Islamist enemy and the Arab-Muslim vote?
Arab Muslims make up one quarter of the population of Dearborn, Michigan.
- Daniel Pipes in Militant Islam Reaches America, page 25.

NPR Special Report: Muslims in America: Nov. 5, 2001 -- More than a quarter of a million people of Arab descent live in southeastern Michigan, making the area the second-largest Arab community outside the Middle East (after Paris, France).

Each year the Michigan community gets bigger: Annually, about 5,000 Arab immigrants enter the United States through Detroit. And many of them are Muslims, a religion in the spotlight since the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

If there is a center to Michigan’s Arab-American community, it is in Dearborn, west of Detroit.