Iraq: illusion of stability
With last month's Arab League summit in Baghdad, Iraq's leaders boasted that the country has emerged from instability and taken its place in the international community. But on the eve of the summit, a car bomb killed a police officer at a Baghdad checkpont, and while the summit was underway March 29, three rockets were fired around the capital. One broke windows at the Iranian embassy; another exploded on the edge of the heavily fortified Green Zone, where summit was being held. With the region's Sunni leaders suspicious of the Shi'ite-led Iraqi government, only 10 leaders of the 22-member league showed up for the summit. After the summit Iraq’s fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a Sunni, left the autonomous northern Kurdish region for Qatar. The Kurdish region has meanwhile again halted oil exports, accusing the central government in Baghdad of failing to make payments to companies working there in the latest escalation in the struggle for Iraq's oil. (Reuters, April 1; The National, UAE, March 31; Fox News, Reuters, March 29; CNN, March 27)
Amid the official optimism in Baghdad and Washington, leave it to the arch-coservative Jewish Policy Center on March 20 to call it like it is:
An estimated 26 coordinated explosions targeting police rocked more than a dozen Iraqi cities on Tuesday, killing at least 49 people and wounding more than 200 in the country's deadliest day in nearly one month. The blasts came on the nine year anniversary of the American invasion and one week before Iraq is set to host the Arab League summit meeting for the first time in 20 years. They are an apparent message from insurgents set to prove that Baghdad cannot maintain the state's security following the U.S. troop withdrawal and the official end of the war in December...
Prior to Tuesday, a wave of coordinated attacks blasted through Iraq on February 23, killing 60 people and wounding dozens. Indeed, despite U.S. withdrawal, Sunni Muslim insurgents have said they will not stop fighting against the Shiite-led government, leaving many Americans to wonder, what did the U.S. accomplish in Iraq?
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