Horrific day in Iraq as series of bombs kill at least 40
Political paralysis, sectarian violence, terrorism on the rise, a failing economy, blood feuds, and a Vice President in exile having been accused of running a death squad.
Other than that, things are going swimmingly in Iraq.
A truck with explosives hidden in its cargo of watermelons exploded on Tuesday in Diwaniya, a largely Shiite city in southern Iraq, killing at least 40 people, including a 6-year-old boy. It was the deadliest in a string of attacks in central and southern Iraq on Tuesday, continuing a surge in violence that began last month and exacerbating a sense of fatalism in the country.
In general, Iraqis have seen little improvement in their security for nearly three years, despite periodic lulls in violence and the narrative offered by American and some Iraqi officials of steady gains after the departure of the American military more than six months ago.
Antony J. Blinken, the national security adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., wrote in the current Foreign Affairs that since President Obama took office, "violence in Iraq has declined and remains at historic lows - a trend that has continued since the last U.S. troops departed late last year."
According to United Nations statistics, however, more Iraqis - civilians and members of the security force alike - died from attacks in the first six months of 2012 than in the first half of 2011.
To all those who said that Iraq would be hunky dorry once we left, how's that working out for you? And for those who said Iraq would continue to improve if we stayed, ditto. Iraq is Iraq. It is a failed state and it doesn't matter whether we're out or in, the country is a mess.
I am not saying our efforts there were wasted. Saddam Hussein would be a regional threat to our allies if he was still in power and it was good that we got rid of him.
As for the rest -- Iraq is going to have many more days like today.