Bad, bad and bad news from Iraq

Fourteen U.S. Marines are killed in a single roadside bomb attack.


Tim Grieve
August 3, 2005 5:05PM (UTC)

Fourteen U.S. Marines and their interpreter were killed today in a single roadside bomb attack in western Iraq, the military is reporting. The report comes hard on the heels of news that seven Marines were killed Monday in a small-arms attack in the same far-western Anbar province.

The attacks bring the official U.S. death toll to 1,816, and the bad news doesn't stop there. Steven Vincent, a freelance journalist from the United States, has been found dead in Basra; both he and his interpreter, who survived, had been abducted by gunmen outside a money exchange shop. Vincent wrote frequently from Iraq; just last week, the New York Times ran an Op-Ed of his in which he was critical of British security efforts in Basra.

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And there's more. In what will be another blow for the beleaguered people of that country, Iraq will soon begin rationing fuel. Iraqis sometimes wait in hours-long lines to buy gasoline as it is; soon, they'll face restrictions on the amount of kerosene and cooking oil they can buy. Although Iraq has the world's second largest oil reserves -- remember when Iraqi oil was going to pay for Iraq's reconstruction? -- smuggling and the destruction of pipelines and refineries have left the country unable to meet its own fuel needs.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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