Has Iraq gone back in time ?

iraq bombs    ‘Just when you thought that Iraq was the sideshow and Afghanistan the main event, the far-too-familiar sound of sirens screeching and the bereaved wailing in the streets of Baghdad remind you otherwise…..Yesterday’s attack inevitably raises the question: how fragile is Iraq?”

With 155 dead and over 500 injured, Sunday’s attacks are some of the bloodiest the country has seen in years. It was only four months ago that we at WHYS were asking  if you were celebrating National Sovereignty Day in Iraq as the withdrawal of US troops began across the country. But were Iraqi’s security forces ready to secure their country?  Was the world too quick to hail mission accomplished in Iraq?
Some believe the bombings may have been an attempt to derail efforts to reform election law. But Gabriel Gatehouse, the BBC’s man in Baghdad says the attacks weren’t unique or unexpected.

Thomas Friedman agrees.

‘Watching Iraqi politics is like watching a tightrope artist crossing a dangerous cavern. At every step it looks as though he is going to fall into the abyss, and yet, somehow, he continues to wobble forward. This next step is particularly important… Transform Iraq and it will impact the whole Arab-Muslim world. Change Afghanistan and you just change Afghanistan.’

Has the world’s attention been too heavily focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan to the detriment of Iraq?

This blog thinks so.
‘American lawmakers and bloviating think tankers among the Washington establishment have long since shelved Iraq like a neat little box, cross-posted under the categories of “Model COIN Operations” and “Why George Bush Was Right.’

19 Responses to “Has Iraq gone back in time ?”

  1. 1 Ronald Almeida
    October 26, 2009 at 11:19

    Buildings can be rebuilt. Peoples minds I am sure have progressed with the experiece of the recent past both good and bad. Lives lost of course are gone leaving pain in the hearts of their loved ones.
    No outsider could ever understand. Yet I will endevour to console them in the follwing words that come from an old Japanese saying : ‘Pain makes man think,
    Thought makes man wise and wisdom makes life bearable’.

  2. 2 Roberto
    October 26, 2009 at 11:24

    RE “” Has the world’s attention been too heavily focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan to the detriment of Iraq? “”

    ——— Most of the world is too concerned with either day to day subsistence or managing families in the face of dwindling career opportunities to know of much less be concerned with Iraq.

    Those interested in Iraq are Iraqis, a few western power brokers, and neighboring leaders who have a financial or political stake in the future of Iraq. A precious fraction of the world’s population.

    And of course the terrorists who mean to throw a monkey wrench into any plan.

    Iraqis are gonna have to step forward and solve this anarchy if there is to be any future that they recognize..

  3. 3 Nigel
    October 26, 2009 at 12:19

    If the core disease is not fixed the symptoms will continue. Analgesics are not enough.

  4. 4 T
    October 26, 2009 at 13:49

    Th States will never leave Iraq. It’s ironic that just when you think they will, the “benchmarks” always change. Do people there know that there’s a war going on?

  5. 5 scmehta
    October 26, 2009 at 14:17

    “Has Iraq gone back in Time?” That’s precisely what the terrorists and extremists wanted you to say or ask. A single gun-totting or a suicide-bomber terrorist may wreck havoc or kill scores of innocent people, any where in the world, because the unsuspecting won’t know as to when and where that evil may strike at them; but, that doesn’t mean that the indefatigable human spirit has given in to any evil designs or threats. Whatever it takes, Iraq is and always will be a success in establishing a free, just and strong democracy.

  6. 6 Dennis Junior
    October 26, 2009 at 14:27


    **Has the world’s attention been too heavily focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan to the detriment of Iraq?**

    Yes, the attention of the world’s regarding Afghanistan/Pakistan has harmed the Progress of Iraq….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  7. October 26, 2009 at 14:52

    couple responses.

    1) The U.S. began forgetting about Iraq in 2007. That’s when press reports started to take dramatic drop from 25% of all news stories in the U.S. to about 10% by the end of the year. By 2008 it dropped to only 1-2% of all stories. The U.S. got distracted first by the presidential campaign and then the recession.

    2) Afghanistan only really began becoming an issue in the U.S. media and politics this year as Obama tries to decide on a new strategy.

    3) As for your title, “Has Iraq gone back in time?” No it hasn’t. Too many press reports only focus upon the violence in Iraq with absolutely no context. Overall deaths in Iraq in 2009 are at the lowest since the war began. At the height of the sectarian war in Jan. 07 2,806 Iraqis were killed. By Jan. 08 that dropped to 742, and 275 by Jan. 09

    The number of weekly attacks is also down. From March 09 to Oct. 09 they have only averaged around 200 per week. From Nov.08 to March 09 they only avg. about 250 per week. During the sectarian war they averaged 1400-1650 per week.

    Violence in Iraq is still at unacceptable levels, but reporting on the country is like ambulance chasing. Every time there’s a bombing the press asks whether the insurgency is returning, or the sectarian war is coming back, etc. This makes Iraq appear to be in constant chaos when in fact, the situation there has changed. That’s what the press needs to talk about, not just focus upon the bombings. musingsoniraq.blogspot.com

  8. 9 Colin Sundaram
    October 26, 2009 at 15:20

    26. 10. 09

    It hasn’t gone back on time recently; it has always been going back with dictatorships since time immemorial and once the American troops are withdrawn in full it will once again will become a dictator ruled state with discipline and oder. The West, Bush Jr. and Tony Blair who masterminded the Iraqi invasion to make it a democratic state did not understand the people’s psychie in the Middle East. They are orderly people only under a one man rule. Look at Saudi Arabia, how calm and disciplined the people are there! You bring democracy there and you will see how many suicide bombers will be prepared to go to the Paradize. Why do you live 60 or 70 years and struggle when you can access the heaven when you are only twenty or less with a permanent visa.

  9. 10 Anthony
    October 26, 2009 at 15:55

    Islamic Extremists can’t let go of a grudge, that’s why.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  10. 11 Tom K in Mpls
    October 26, 2009 at 15:58

    Gone back? Under pressure, they looked ahead and didn’t like what they saw. So now powers in different sects/groups/cults/parties are going back to the ways they like. The only answer is to let each power rule their little area. They do not want a forced unity. Let them find their peace in segregation. The same will be true in Afghanistan.

    • October 26, 2009 at 18:44

      What do you mean Tom? City States etc? And all the horror that that would bring.

      • 13 Tom K in Mpls
        October 26, 2009 at 19:40

        Look at their history. It was three countries. Each was a sect. Also why would city states be a problem? Once these people have a sense of control in their lives, most are very friendly and generous. All through history they have been known for education and to be incredible hosts. Socially, there has been little change. Personally, I would expect this to return.

  11. 14 UMOH, A.
    October 26, 2009 at 16:44

    NO, I don’t believe that Iraq has gone back on time. Rather I see this as a bold and unfortunate attempt by a few miscreants to undermine the efforts of the last couple of years. I also believe that it is up to the Iraqis (in the long run) to take their destiny into their hands and stir their ship out of the murky waters of ethnicity and tribalism.

    The world is watching, Praying and Waiting for such a time to arrive and that pretty SOON!

  12. 15 Bert
    October 26, 2009 at 17:27

    More examples of why the US in particular should never have become embroiled in this fiasco. Honestly, it is inconceivable to me that no one in the W. White House could predict the way this Iraq invasion would turn out. I’m still speachless about the “They will welcome us with open arms” nonsense they had predicted. Or more likely, the few who made the decisions were deaf to anything that didn’t echo their preconceived notions.

    Let’s pray that this continuing unrest does not delay our departure. Like Tom K says, they may need to split up into separate fiefdoms. Or they may need to welcome a new dictator.

    October 26, 2009 at 19:52

    This is one baseless war to have ever been started in our times. Up to now I do not know what crime Iraq had committed in order to have been attacked by coalition forces. The end resulst are what is happening now. It is a totally disorganized country governed by warlords. There is no democracy and victory (for who?) is still out of sight.
    There is a lot of lies being peddled that Iraqis a leading a better life than before. This is only true if kee on pacing up and down the Green Zone with a tally sheet that does not account for the area outside. But it could be true that all trouble makers are foreign. Can the US troops camp there fore ever? Its up to them.

  14. October 27, 2009 at 00:47

    The idea that Iraq is actually three separate countries is a myth perpetuated by westerners. In the last really big natonal poll 70% of Iraqis said they wanted a strong central government and 70% said they identified themselves as Iraqi first over ethnicity, tribe or religion. Less than 10% said they wanted Iraq to break apart into separate countries. Even during the height of the sectarian war there was little support for dividing Iraq, and now Iraqi nationalism is making a comeback.

    For more concrete examples the Supreme Council has for years advocated a southern Shiite federalist region, but it’s gone nowhere because there is little support for the idea. In Jan. 09 there was a drive to make Basra a federal region and it only got 1% of the vote.

    The Kurds are the only ones that have a strong identity apart from being Iraqis, Iraqi Arabs however, even though they do have religious identities as well, still think of themsevles as Iraqi first.

    • 18 Tom K in Mpls
      October 27, 2009 at 21:31

      First, I never trust polls, they are easily manipulated and/or misleading. And most westerners believe unity is the only possible path. From the last half of your first paragraph it would seem that the sects want control of all of Iraq for themselves.

      If the violence could be reduced wouldn’t letting the Kurds have their own country work? Or was this idea dismissed due to the other failures? I’m no expert. I try to see past the sensationalist news and make sense of the little bit that is left. Then I try to consider what those of another culture would want. As it goes so far, I see no success yet.

  15. 19 Tan Boon Tee
    October 27, 2009 at 04:07

    It has practically nothing to do with the shift of the world’s focus of attention.

    The Iraqis seem to have blindly embarked on the path of no return, destroying whatever hopes to rebuild the nation.

    By massacring their own kind indiscriminately and incessantly, the Iraqis are playing into the hands of their occupiers who aim to divide to rule.

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