US death toll in Iraq hits 2,000

(Gold9472: When confronted by this yesterday, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, again, made reference to 9/11 as being the reason our soldiers are dying in Iraq. Even though, again and again and again, it has been proven that Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11. Our leaders made the argument that Saddam Hussein had ties to Osama Bin Laden. I say the BUSH FAMILY has more ties to Osama Bin Laden than Saddam Hussein EVER had.

It was recently reported that almost half of Iraqis approve of attacks against American and British soldiers. It was also reported that less than 1% of Iraqis believe we are making their country more secure. It is time to bring our troops home. They are dying for nothing more than lies conceived of by fascists.)

2 hours, 10 minutes ago

BAGHDAD (AFP) - The US death toll in Iraq reportedly hit 2,000 amid a sharp spike in violence that killed 14 Iraqis as the nation awaited results of a key vote on a charter aimed at curbing sectarian violence.

The US network CNN, quoting Pentagon sources, reported Tuesday that the number of soldiers killed since the March 2003 invasion of Iraq had reached 2,000 with the deaths of two more soldiers, a toll likely to add pressure on the US administration over its role in the violence-wracked country.

For the first time, a majority of Americans believe the Iraq war was the "wrong thing to do", according to a poll published in The Wall Street Journal.

Ten people were killed in a string of bombings in the Kurdish stronghold of Sulaimaniyah in northern Iraq, while another four were killed in Baghdad, the day after a spectacular bombing blitz on hotels housing international reporters and contractors killed 17.

The Sulaimaniyah attacks targeted a building housing Kurdish peshmerga militamen and the convoy of a senior Kurdish politician, while security sources also defused a bomb outside a hotel used by journalists.

In Baghdad, four people were killed, including two security officials shot dead in the violent southern neighborhood of Dura.

The capital was recovering from a triple suicide car bomb attack against hotels which killed at least 17 people Monday as Iraqis sat down to break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

A cement truck packed with explosives was stopped before it reached the Sheraton hotel, and disappeared in a massive flash that sent up a towering column of gray and black smoke.

The blasts rocked Firdus Square, where the statue of ousted president Saddam Hussein was pulled down when US troops marched into Baghdad in April 2003, and shook the Palestine, Sheraton and Sadir hotels.

"If the cement truck had not been stopped in time by guards who opened fire, it would have totally devastated the Sheraton," a security source said.

In the past week, almost 100 people have been killed as the number and strength of attacks surged following the start of former dictator Saddam Hussein's trial for crimes against humanity last Wednesday.

The latest blasts also underscored tension over the outcome of Iraq's draft constitution, which hung on the undeclared results of Sunni-dominated Nineveh province after a second region rejected it.

With a two-thirds majority "no" vote in three of Iraq's provinces sufficient to scuttle the document, all eyes turned to the "swing" northwestern province and its mixed capital of Mosul.

"There is no problem in this province," said senior election official Abdul Hussein Hindawi on Monday. "We don't have a result yet we will get it later today and give it tomorrow."

US and Iraqi officials hope the constitutional process will lead smoothly to general elections in mid-December and draw Sunni Arabs towards a political solution to end sectarian strife.

But the constitution, which is aimed at laying down a democratic future for Iraq, has exacerbated ethnic divisions with disaffected Sunni Arabs fearing it could lead to the break of the country and leave the country's oil wealth in the hands of Shiites and Kurds.

Growing calls for foreign troops to leave Iraq, where some soldiers and analysts say they have essentially become insurgent lightning rods, provoked comment by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"We are not going to defeat (terrorism) by getting out of Iraq, or by not taking the steps necessary to make the world more secure," Blair told Sky News television.

But Jane's Information Group analyst Charles Heymen said attrition among coalition forces would likely lead to a withdrawal at some point.

"The only people it benefits, of course, are the insurgents," he noted.

In the Wall Street Journal poll, 53 percent of those surveyed said they felt that "taking military action against Iraq was the... wrong thing to do", against 34 percent who thought it was correct.

Meanwhile, Saddam's lawyer and a team of foreign officials supporting the defense called for a UN probe into the murder of an attorney working for one of his co-defendants.

The letter emerged as Saddam's Iraqi lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi arrived in Amman to take part in talks on coordinating defense strategy for his next court hearing on November 28.

US President George W. Bush stressed it was crucial "that there will be a fair trial, which is something he didn't give many of the thousands of people he killed".

The trial against Saddam and the seven former regime officials over the 1982 massacre of 148 Shiite villagers opened on October 19.