Another fine contribution from the ‘religion of peace’.
As the Obama administration weighed sending more troops to Afghanistan, the worst terrorist attack in two years rocked Baghdad – a grim reminder that the insurgency thought to be largely defeated in 2007 and 2008 is still capable of spectacular bloodshed.
Two powerful suicide car bombs detonated in front of Iraq’s Justice Ministry and other government buildings midday Sunday, killing at least 155 people, according to the Associated Press.
The dead included 35 employees at the Ministry of Justice and at least 25 staff members of the Baghdad Provincial Council, officials told the AP. More than 700 others were wounded, including three American contractors.
The attacks undercut optimistic comments that Iraq’s Sunni insurgency has been fully defeated by an alliance of the U.S. and Iraqi military and a federation of Sunni sheiks known as the Awakening.
The bombings also may have been timed to humiliate Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who returned this weekend from a trip to Washington, where he participated in a conference aimed at bolstering international investment in Iraq.
Mr. al-Maliki is running for re-election next year and is basing his campaign in part on the claim that Iraqi security has significantly improved on his watch, despite the withdrawal of thousands of U.S. troops.
……A retired Iraqi general, Najim Abed al-Jabouri, told The Washington Times that the bombings “are largely an attempt to weaken politically the Maliki administration, which has been using security as a trump card for the upcoming national elections.”
Mr. al-Jabouri, a senior fellow at the Near East South Asia Center at the National Defense University in Washington, wrote a paper earlier this year warning that Iraq’s security services are becoming more loyal to ethnic factions than to the state.
We left both the Iraqis and Obama a winning hand in Iraq. Now that we’re drawing down, it’s theirs to lose. The Islamofascists don’t like or want an Iraq free of extremism. They’ve stepped up their bombings in an act of desperation; free elections means another step toward self-determination.
As for loyalty: It’s up to the Iraqis to control their own destiny. They’ve been trained and given the tools they need to carry on. They will have to step up to the plate and see that it happens.