BREAKING – Iraqi Parliament Bombed, Two Dead

AP breaking:

A suspected suicide bomber blew himself up Thursday in the Iraqi parliament’s cafeteria in a stunning assault in the heart of the heavily fortified, U.S.-protected Green Zone, killing at least two lawmakers and wounding 10 other people.

The blast in the parliament building came hours after a suicide truck bomb exploded on a major bridge in Baghdad, collapsing the steel structure and sending cars tumbling into the Tigris River, police and witnesses said. At least 10 people were killed.

The parliament bomber struck the cafeteria while several lawmakers were eating lunch, officials said. In addition to the two dead, 10 people were wounded — eight lawmakers and two workers.

Lovely. Certainly, this doesn’t speak well of the added security provided by the so-called Surge. On the other hand, a direct assault on the democratically elected legislature could well backfire.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Terrorism, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    James, I think that the bridge attack is actually more interesting than the Green Zone one (although the Green Zone attack is getting more attention). Systemic attacks of that sort have actually been fairly rare and it makes me wonder if it isn’t a setup for some kind of follow-up.

  2. Andy says:

    We can’t secure the Green Zone or major infrastructure, with or without The Surge(tm).

    And we think that there will be a political settlement in this environment?

  3. G.A.Phillips says:

    whats new, just more Muslims practicing there Religion,if you don’t believe me lets ask Muhammad: Truly, if Hypocrites stir up sedition, if the agitators in the city do not desist, we shall urge you to go against them and set you over them. Then they will not be able to stay as your neighbors for any length of time. They shall have a curse on them. Whenever they are found, they shall be be seized and slain without mercy-a fierce slaughter-murdered, a horrible murdering. Qur’an:33:60. All I am saying is give (the religion of)peace a chance…lalala….

  4. Jim Harrison says:

    I wonder how many Iraqis really believe that their parliament has democratic legitimacy since it was elected while the country was under military occupation, many groups were denied the right to participate in the process, and a large group of Sunnis chose not to participate? By now I expect a great many of the people simply despise their leaders, whose performance has, after all, been pretty pathetic–many parliamentarians spend most of their time outside of Iraq and the level of corruption in the country is perceived to be and probably is fantastically high.

  5. Anderson says:

    What Jim said. Consider the contempt that Americans have for *their* elected representatives …

  6. Philadelphia Steve says:

    “Backfire” on whom? The surge “Path to Victory” has already backfired on lots of people, mostly American troops who thought they might get to go home after only twelve fifteen months in Iraq.

  7. M1EK says:

    It’s amazing that the Republicans, who were supposed to be the grown-ups, so totally misread the lessons of the German/Japanese rebuilding:

    Rule of law FIRST. Security SECOND. Elections LAST.

    Get people used to the idea that, unlike the old days, the law is what matters, not the man wielding it. And at first, we’re the ones wielding the law.

    Then, and only then, do you start having elections. And you start from the bottom up. First, elect your local city council. Wait a year. Working well? Great! Elect your provincial government. Wait another year. Then, and only then, have national elections.

    I have to admit I was one who was fooled into thinking Republicans were better suited for geopolitical realism of this stripe. I’ve been disabused of that notion by the antics of this group of boneheads.

  8. JKB says:

    It is near impossible to completely stop a single determined individual who is willing to die from attacking a target. Especially, given their has been demonstrated that co-conspirators are inside the Iraq infrastructure. But let’s not forget this is one attack in a long war.

    The Surge was never about securing the Green Zone but rather getting troops in the neighborhoods. The parliament and bridge attacks tell me that is working. The enemy has moved to attacking targets they hope will draw troops out of the neighborhoods to defend. It tells me that they are no longer calling the ball but having to react to the Surge.

  9. John Ryan says:

    Now up to 8 dead.

  10. Michael says:

    The parliament and bridge attacks tell me that is working. The enemy has moved to attacking targets they hope will draw troops out of the neighborhoods to defend. It tells me that they are no longer calling the ball but having to react to the Surge.

    The location of the attack never mattered to them, neighborhood, greenzone, infrastructure. These aren’t strategic attacks, they’re psychological attacks, the location doesn’t matter, only the body count and publicity matters. They will always attack the targets that get them the most publicity for the least effort, and it takes longer for us to redeploy troops than it takes them to select a different target. We can’t win playing by these rules.

  11. Joe says:

    In all honesty, I really hope this attack acts as a catalyst for bringing the Iraqi’s on board – but I am not holding my breath. After ‘turning the corner’ so many times, I feel dizzy, and may need to see the change before I believe in it. Attacks like this make it tough to be optimistic, especially when they come on the heels of news that we are extending the deployments of our troops to 15 months each. Talk about a one-two punch – both the Iraqis and our own troops must feel pretty demoralized and frustrated right now. If any of you know a soldier, sending them something to cheer them up right now might be a good idea (not that it isn’t at any other time as well!)

  12. gil says:

    “Surrender is not an option”

    A few observations about this “remark”.

    First of all no one is surrendering and therefore it is not an choice. If the “option” of surrendering to Republicans, is represented by ENDING a failed policy then your choices Republicans are FALSE choices.

    Let’s instead clarify what is going on in real life shall we?

    1) Our armed forces are at the braking point.
    2) We are “Supporting” The Iraq “Democracy” that is represented by Kurds with a 100,000 + standing Army (Peshmerga) that answers only to them, a Sunni Insurgency numbering over 80,000 according to the best estimates that answers only to the Sunni, and over 100,000 Shiite militias that answers only to Shiite… Mixed with Iraqi troops that are corrupt, infiltrated, and inept. And “supported” by an even worst police presence that goes around acting like an extension of the Shiite Militias.
    3) The clear and logical notion that even if a miracle would happen, and we can all of the sudden re-invigorate our troops, convince the Shiite, Sunni, and Kurds to live in peace, and “win”…. Our “victory” would only mean that the “Free” Shiite rulers of Iraq will turn to Iran not to America.

    Now let me ask you Republicans ; When you put up idiotic slogans like “Surrender is not an option” What on hearth are you talking about?

    You Republicans simply refuse to see reality. To you the simple act of staying in Iraq is not loosing…. Really Republicans???? It does not dawn on you that we are in a quagmire with no good options THANKS TO YOUR POLICIES and that “staying” is not winning but rather giving the enemy the opportunity to continue to attack us at will and destroy our Army by attrition…. REPUBLICANS THE ENEMY HAVE US WHERE THEY WANT US THANKS TO YOU. This is Al Quaida’s wet dream people!!! Republicans if we stay under the present sircunstances WE LOOSE.

    The enemy have us pin down going in circles patrolling the same streets over and over again, saying the same things for years, spending hundreds of billions of Dollars with nothing to show for as our Army goes down the tubes…. And the clincher WE DON’T WIN EVEN IF WE “WIN” …… IRAN WINS!!!!

    ….. OH But no surrender and no retreat is the answer!!!!

    A long, long time ago General Sun Tzu regarded as one of the greatest military geniuses in history had some wise words for the situation you Republicans have us under.

    ” The Art of War is governed by five constant factors a)The moral law, b) Heaven, c) Earth, d) The commander, and e) Method and discipline. The moral law requires that the people is in complete accord with the ruler so that they will follow him regardless of their lives undismayed by any danger” “A General that wins a battle makes many calculations before the battle is fought not after.” and “When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped, and if you continue you will not loose, but you will exhaust your strenght to the point that the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain of the war… And therefore you will loose even in victory”.

    Wise words Republicans… We don’t have the unity of the people, we did not plan ahead, and continue not to plan ahead, and our resources are going down a never ending quagmire from hell…. Like I said, you Republicans have us where our enemies most want us…. Osama would be proud.

    OH but you have your empty slogans.

  13. James Joyner says:

    TEST