Monday, April 6, 2009

A Fragile Peace

Six car bombs went off in Iraq today, killing some 30 people in a coordinated attack aimed at predominantly Shiite population centers near Baghdad.

American and Iraqi officials have attributed a recent spike in attacks to insurgents, militia fighters and criminals seeking to exploit the gradual withdrawal of American soldiers from positions in cities, including Baghdad, before a June deadline set by the new security agreement between the United States and Iraq. Monday’s wave of bombings occurred three days before the April 9 anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government six years ago, a day that evokes wildly divergent emotions among Iraqis. Those who remain loyal to Mr. Hussein’s Baath Party view it as the beginning of a war against occupation. April 7 is the anniversary of the party’s founding in Iraq.
Am I the only one who's surprised by how little attention this event is getting? I think it's far more important and far more ominous than even the death toll would suggest. A coordinated attack involving six different car bombs reveals a level of organization and a breadth to the militant Sunni opposition that could presage seriously violent times ahead for that nation once U.S. troops begin to withdraw.

On a political level, once our inevitable military draw-down begins, a rise in violence is going to be presented by the neo-conservatives as prima-facie evidence that Obama is bungling our policy toward Iraq. In point of fact, though, what it reveals is that Bush's "victory" in that nation is a largely superficial one. How successful can the war truly be said to have been if the stability of the post-war democratic order requires an endless commitment of U.S. military resources and manpower, along with the concomitant cost to the U.S. treasury, to sustain?

What it seems to me is undeniable is that getting out of Iraq is going to be a whole lot more difficult and expensive than we might hope.


ProblemWithCaring said...

Am I the only one who's surprised by how little attention this event is getting? That's the change America wanted...never having to think about Iraq again...

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