From the Washington Times (registration required):
BAGHDAD -- Tiny plastic sandals, some tattered and stained with blood, lay in a pile near a child's crushed bicycle. Mothers wailed and beat themselves after a suicide bomber killed 18 children and teenagers getting candy and toys from American soldiers.Brutality beyond description. I can understand how people could justify an "insurgency" in the abstract, but how do they reconcile such tactics with whatever vestiges of conscience they may have left?
One of the soldiers was among the up to 27 people killed in the blast yesterday in an impoverished Shi'ite Muslim neighborhood. At least 70 persons, including a newborn and three U.S. soldiers, were wounded.
Twelve of the dead were 13 or younger, and six were 14 to 17, said police Lt. Mohammed Jassim Jabr. Among the wounded was 4-day-old Miriam Jabber, cut slightly by flying glass and debris.
"There were some American troops blocking the highway when a U.S. Humvee came near a gathering of children," said Karim Shukir, 42. The troops began handing out candy and smiley-face key chains.
"Suddenly, a speeding car bomb ... struck both the Humvee and the children," Mr. Shukir said.
At Kindi hospital, where many victims were taken, a distraught mother swathed in black sat cross-legged outside the operating room. "May God curse the mujahedeen and their leader," she cried, referring to the insurgents as she pounded her head with her fists in grief.
"The car bomber made a deliberate decision to attack one of our vehicles as the soldiers were engaged in a peaceful operation with Iraqi citizens," said Maj. Russ Goemaere, a spokesman for Task Force Baghdad.
"The terrorist undoubtedly saw the children," Maj. Goemaere said, calling the attack "absolutely abhorrent."
The Volokh Conspiracy has been debating recently the propriety of using the phrase "homicide bomber" as opposed to the clearer and more descriptive "suicide bomber". I prefer the latter construction, but for those who want something a little more visceral, may I suggest "merciless bastard"? Or perhaps, "cursed by Allah". What would that be in Arabic...?