Update I: Peter F commented: "even money says the figure goes down". CNN has increased the death toll to 200.
Update II: Iraqi officials have raised the death toll from yesterday's attacks to 250, making them the single deadliest coordinated attacks of the war.
You really must read this hilarious editorial by Bill Kristol (pictured at left) entitled The Turn. Some choice excerpts:
For the Iraq war's opponents, July began as a month of hope. It ended in retreat. It began with Democratic unity in proclaiming the inevitability of American defeat. It ended with respected military analysts--Democrats, no less!--reporting that the situation on the ground had improved, and that the war might be winnable.
July also began with the liberal media disparaging the troops. It ended with the liberal media in retreat.
This denial will likely get more and more difficult. After all, civilian deaths in Baghdad are decreasing, and al Qaeda's networks and safe havens are being systematically disrupted.
Bill, Bill, Bill! How many times have I warned you that we are in the middle of a decades-long war in Iraq (should we choose to stay), and that there will be many ups and downs along the way? How many times have I warned you not to continually raise the hopes of the American people about "progress" and "turning points" that will only inevitably be dashed when the terrorists rear their ugly heads again in Iraq? How many times have I said that no matter how many bad guys we kill they will always regroup and come back because there is a virtually limitless supply of such people in the Middle East (especially in Saudi Arabia)?
Many, many times. And now, once again, we have tragic proof that any looming "victory" over Al Qaeda (i.e., the Saudis) in Iraq is completely illusory:
At least 175 people were killed when three suicide bombers driving fuel tankers attacked residential compounds home to the ancient minority Yazidi sect in northern Iraq on Tuesday, an Iraqi army captain said.
Captain Mohammad al-Jaad said at least another 200 people were wounded in the bombings in the Kahtaniya, al-Jazeera and Tal Uzair areas near the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, close to the Syrian border.
The surge has accomplished nothing other than stirring up the hornet's nest and forcing all the bad guys to relocate themselves to areas we don't control. Once regrouped and resettled, they will continue their campaign of murder and mayhem just as they have the last dozen times that we conducted offensives to root them out of their bases. The Saudi jihadists who commit these acts of mass murder in Iraq will not stop coming as long as we remain in that country. It's foolhardy to believe otherwise. It madness to think that the Saudis will see the good we are doing in Iraq, decide that we aren't such bad guys after all, and that this whole jihad against the infidels idea wasn't such a great idea after all.
It's also absurd Bill, to believe that our striking deals with Sunni insurgent groups to go after the Saudi jihadists represents "striking political achievements". What it represents is an opportunistic realignment whereby we supply arms and money to insurgents who have been killing our troops as a payoff to stop attacking us. It's madness to believe that such people are truly embracing us or the Shiite-dominated government that they hate and are committed to overthrowing.
Even more to the point Bill: why should anyone listen to anything you or your neocon buddies have to say about Iraq given the fact that you were wrong on everything up until now? You, sir, have zero credibility on the subject anymore. It's astonishing that anyone even listens to you.
Unfortunately they do, but there are always people like me to correct your errors and expose your lies. Keep 'em coming.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!