20 Killed in Mosque
The guerrillas detonated a huge bomb outside a Shiite mosque on Wednesday at Musayyib south of Baghdad, killing 20 and wounding twice that number.
The steady drumbeat of violence demonstrates that mere political developments such as the constitutional referendum or the preparations for parliamentary elections are disconnected from the guerrilla war, which has an entirely different context and set of motivations. One worries that if Shiites keep being mercilessly targetted, soon or later the ex-Baathists will get their wish for a civil war.
The Iraqi government is trying to entice lower ranking officers away from the Sunni guerrilla movement, promising them amnesty and a place in the new Iraq if they will defect to the elected government. It is a good idea but perhaps comes too late.
The LA Times reports on a vastly altered political atmosphere in which serious challenges are being mounted to Bush’s Iraq War. The electorate had punished opponents of the war in recent elections, but it appears that the shoe may be increasingly on the other foot, as it becomes increasingly obvious that this thing is an expensive and dangerous quagmire.