Over 50 people killed in insurgent violence in Iraq today. 35 of them were children, killed at a celebration where US troops were handing out candy to them.
These children were killed in an instant, utterly by surprise, while American soldiers were standing next to them. It was as if the offer of candy lured them to their deaths. Think of what a trauma this will be for the soldiers who were present.
Ironies on top of ironies. The celebration was for the opening of a new sewage plant, of all things.
Today is a pivotal day in American if not world history, I believe. George Bush and John Kerry are debating tonight; today's news will be the featured topic. Kerry is going to make the case that this tragedy shows the complete failure of our military operation in Iraq. Bush is going to argue the opposite, roughly, that this is the kind of evil we're up against. Voters will weigh the arguments and judge whether we need a total change of leadership and direction, or we need to "show resolve" and cling to the mode of action that has brought us here, to a children's party that can turn into carnage in the blink of an eye, and that American soldiers are powerless to stop.