It's late on the east coast, but tomorrow's papers are beginning to post their stories. The WaPo offers this casualty estimate:
Since Sunday, fighting across Iraq has claimed the lives of 34 Americans, two other coalition soldiers and more than 190 Iraqis.
In the nearly 13 months since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, 635 American service personnel have died, 444 of them as a result of hostile action.
In Sadr City, officials at the two main hospitals said 64 Iraqis had been killed and 238 wounded in clashes since Sunday. Most of the casualties were men, but officials said women and children were among the dead and wounded.
Hopefully we'll have more information tomorrow. Note the headline:
Anti-U.S. Uprising Spreads in Iraq; Marines Push Deeper Into Fallujah
Cleric's Force Tightens Grip In Holy Cities
Washington will wake up to that in time for Condi's hearings. More here, where Kossacks have been trying to piece together what's been broadcast re the multitude of cities affected (thanks, Al Rodgers) from North to South.
Feel free to post info from the foreign press as it becomes available, although the same sources may be supplying the news for now.
Update [2004-4-7 23:53:6 by DemFromCT]: From the NY Times:
An official in the occupation authority said Wednesday that allied and Iraqi security forces had lost control of the key southern cities of Najaf and Kufa to the Shiite militia, conceding that months of effort to win over the population with civil projects and promises of jobs have failed with segments of the population.
*"Six months of work is completely gone," the official said. "There is nothing to show for it."*
He cited reports that government buildings, police stations, civil defense garrisons and other installations built up by the Americans had been overrun and then stripped bare, of files, furnishings and even toilet fixtures.
The most likely explanation for the coincident eruptions of violence, many Iraqis believe, is that Sunnis and Shiites are each watching the other's assaults, first in Falluja last week and then in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad, Kufa, Najaf and at least three other southern cities over the weekend, sensing that the American forces were overstretched.
Let me say again, Washington is going to wake up to these headlines and stories in time for the Condi hearings. The reality is bad enough, but I don't know that there's been much preparation for this either with the politicians or the American people. Seems like this is beyond spin.
Update [2004-4-8 0:32:5 by DemFromCT]: The political fallout is already beginning.
Bush Credibility on 2 Wars -- Iraq, Terrorism -- Under Challenge
By Dan Balz and Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, April 8, 2004; Page A11
A week of escalating violence in Iraq, accompanied by growing numbers of U.S. casualties and gruesome images on television and in newspapers, threatens to erode public confidence in President Bush and redraw the political calculus of the impact of the war on terrorism in the presidential election.
Bush has put a consistently hopeful face on his Iraqi policy as he aims for the June 30 transfer of power back to the Iraqis. But that very optimism could turn into a political liability if the American people conclude that it does not square with their evaluation of events. Faced with a growing debate over his policies, Bush's credibility on terrorism, once the linchpin of his political strength, is under serious challenge.
"There's no doubt that the increasing casualties will affect public opinion adversely for a president who has drawn a much more optimistic scenario than the amount of casualties we're seeing today," said Larry Berman, a professor at the University of California at Davis and an author of books about presidential decision-making during Vietnam.