Friday, June 17, 2005

Worst yet to come in Iraq, says Bush official

A senior Bush administration official yesterday warned that the worst is yet to come. 'We have a rough road ahead of us,' the official said in an unusual moment of openness by the Bush administration on the war. His comments appeared aimed at preparing a public -that polls show is increasingly disillusioned by the war- for even more bad news.

The official spoke after one of the bloodiest weeks in the war, in which at least 17 U.S. servicemen and 155 Iraqis have been reported killed. The violence comes just four months after U.S. generals had begun to predict the beginning of a U.S. pullout from Iraq early next year. Such predictions have completely stopped.

Nearly 1,100 people have died in violence since the Shia-led government took office seven weeks ago. The American deaths announced yesterday occurred in volatile Anbar province, a longtime hotspot. The Marines died after their vehicle was attacked near Ramadi, the military said. A sailor attached to the Marines' unit, the 2nd Marine Division's II Marine Expeditionary Force, was killed in Ramadi by gunfire, the military said.

In Baghdad yesterday, the suicide bomber plowed his black sedan into a truck carrying police officers on the road connecting Baghdad with its airport."


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