63 dead in Baghdad bomb attacks

And the New York Times is worried how this plays out for Obama politically?

The attacks came a day after Mr. Maliki threatened to abandon an American-backed power-sharing government created a year ago. The prime minister's words at a televised news conference on Wednesday threw a fragile democracy into further turmoil after the departure of American troops, potentially tarnishing what has been cast as a major foreign policy achievement for President Obama.

How is Iraq a "major foreign policy achievement" for Obama? He opposed the war, he opposed the surge, he opposed keeping Americans in Iraq - and supported a withdrawal of our forces without taking into consideration the situation on the ground. Yes, but we musn't "tarnish" our Dear Leader's meager foriegn policy record with the blood of people we might have saved.

Regardless, this kind of thing is going to be happening much more frequently now that US forces are gone.

A wave of coordinated explosions ripped across Baghdad early on Thursday, killing at least 63 people, wounding more than 180 and jolting a country already unsettled by a deepening political crisis and the absence of American troops.

Using car bombs and improvised explosives, insurgents attacked markets, grocery stores, schools and government buildings in a dozen neighborhoods in the central and eastern parts of the capital.

The attacks were the most significant violence in Iraq since the last American troops pulled out of the country earlier this week. So far, the withdrawal and the bitter fighting between Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a Shiite, and his political foes in Parliament have not been accompanied by a rise in violence. But Thursday's attacks raised the specter that the crisis inside the government could spill into the streets.

Meanwhile, Maliki is threatening political armageddon unless the Sunni VP, al-Hashemi, is turned over to the tender mercies of Iraqi justice. Maliki claims the Veep operated a Sunni death squad during the late unpleasantness and is threatening to release the files to prove it. Of course, there are other files that show Maliki was doing the same thing through the interior ministry but somehow, I don't think we're going to get a glimpse of those papers.

Iraq is two steps away from being a failed state. And Maliki is not the guy that can keep it all together.

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