No, Hostilities Have Not Ended In Iraq
Despite the Obama Administration’s declaration of an end to “combat operations,” the situation in Iraq remains as unstable as it was when we were actually engaged in a war:
BAGHDAD – At least 29 people were killed and more than 100 others were injured when a pair of bombs exploded almost simultaneously Sunday in Baghdad.
One of the bombs was apparently aimed at a sales office of Asiacell, a large Iraqi mobile phone company that has been a frequent target of insurgent extortion attempts.
The second bombing, the more lethal of the two, occurred in a residential neighborhood of Khadimiya, a predominantly Shiite area in northern Baghdad. Nineteen people were killed and 53 others were wounded in that bombing.
The blasts are the latest in a series of explosions and other attacks that have occurred across Iraq during the past several weeks during the country’s ongoing political crisis.
Iraq held parliamentary elections more than six months ago, but the country’s political leaders have failed thus far to form a government. Insurgents have sought to take advantage of the power vacuum during what has been a violent summer in the country.
No one took immediate responsibility for the Sunday explosions, which took place about 10:30 a.m., but the first — a suicide car bomb detonated outside of Asiacell in the west Baghdad neighborhood of Mansour — had all of the hallmarks of an operation carried out by Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and its Sunni insurgent allies.
Al Qaeda has repeatedly blown up mobile phone transmission towers around the country, many of them owned by Asiacell. The group also bombed the company’s office in the northern city of Mosul in 2008.
On Sunday, an Iraqi police officer at the scene said the office in Mansour had also been bombed at least once in the past.
The police said 10 people were killed and 58 others had been wounded in the attack outside the mobile phone store.
At this point, I’m not sure what it is that further involvement by the United States would accomplish. This is an Iraqi problem, and the fact that they cannot even form a stable government at the moment leads one to wonder why we’re leaving 50,000 troops behind to defend a government that doesn’t really exist.