Within days of U. S. withdrawal from Iraq, Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki moved against the Sunnis in order to eliminate detractors and consolidate dictatorial power. The Sunnis, probably spearheaded by al-Qaeda, then retaliated against Shi’ites in Baghdad with a fresh wave of terror bombing. And so it begins again.
Could it all have occurred so quickly and in such a coordinated manner if Obama had not announced months ago our precise plans for exiting Iraq? Plans were obviously laid well in advance by both Maliki and Sunnis. Obama pulled the trigger himself, for the sake of his re-election campaign, when he withdrew all our troops from Iraq, not leaving behind even a reduced contingent of security forces as was originally planned.
Iraq Under Seige
A coordinated wave of bomb attacks has rocked the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. At least 69 people have been killed and more than 185 injured in a series of 14 explosions, consisting of four car-bombs and 10 improvised explosive devices IEDs. This is the worst violence to besiege Iraq in months, and it puts an exclamation point on the daunting reality that America may have prematurely left a nation whose government remains ruptured by sectarian divisions. Divisions that may ultimately undermine the enormous sacrifices made by American troops, and plunge the country into sectarian turmoil.
Although it was not immediately clear who was behind the attacks, analysts speculate that the level of coordination reflects a capability only available to al-Qaeda in Iraq, which is primarily a Sunni-dominated organization. Furthermore, the bombings were aimed at “soft targets,” another al-Qaeda trademark.