6 Coordinated Bombings Rip through Shiite Baghdad; 34 Dead, over 100 Wounded

Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that guerrillas set off six coordinated bombs in Shiite areas of Baghdad on Monday, killing 34 and wounding over 100, and raising fears that Iraq was slipping back into major violence.

The pan-Arab daily summarizes the explanations being proffered for the resurgence of violence in the Iraqi capital. These include: 1) the Shiite-dominated government’s arrest of some Sunni Arab leaders of Awakening Councils, which may have angered Sunni ex-guerrillas and led them to take back up their former struggle. 2) The general failure of national reconciliation and the fight between major political forces. 3) The release by the US of large numbers of prisoners from its prisons. Many of these individuals were captured in the vicinity of a guerrilla attack but there is little formal evidence against them. 4) The recent removal of blast walls from some markets and other areas, allowing automobiles once again to circulate freely and so permitting the deployment of car bombs.

Me, I just think American observers called the war over too soon, and that a low-intensity conflict continues there. Despite the trope found in US news reporting, that “Black Monday” interrupted a long period of relative calm, in fact there has been a steady drumbeat of violence in Baghdad, Diyala and Ninevah provinces all along, which just isn’t being reported unless a single strike is as big as Monday’s. Yes, children. The “surge” did not entirely “work.”

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