Immediately following the attack on the Shrine, the Washington Post reported that 120 Sunni mosques had been attacked in retaliation, other media reports claimed as many as 184. In his press conference, General Casey explained that “it took us a few days to sort our way through what we considered in a lot of cases to be exaggerated reports” and provided updated totals:
We can confirm about 30 attacks on mosques around the country, with less than 10 of those mosques moderately damaged and only two or three of those mosques severely damaged.
There are other reports — we have sent forces out to check them — in one instance in Baghdad , we checked eight reports — visited eight mosques that were reportedly damaged. We found one broken window in those eight mosques.
Here’s how the Washington Post reported those comments:
He said 350 Iraqi civilians had died in a surge of sectarian killings, militia violence and revenge attacks on about 30 mosques around the country after the bombing. “This, obviously, is unacceptable,” he said.
The press have been insisting Iraq is teetering on the brink of civil war for three years and yet, despite the urgings of CNN and the BBC, those layabout Iraqis stubbornly refuse to get on with it. They’re happy to teeter for another three years, no matter how many “experts” stamp their foot and pout their lips and say “I want my civil war now.” The New York Times ran a headline after the big bombing: “More Clashes Shake Iraq; Political Talks Are In Ruins.” The “political talks” resumed the day after publication. The “ruins” were rebuilt after 48 hours.