Dozens die as Iraq inches closer to civil war

Written by: Mike Demertzis
Explosions rocked Bagdad Thursday and civilians were reminded of their fractured society. As pools of blood, broken glass and the stench of burned flesh surrounded an elementary school, an ambulance exploded in front of a government office a few miles away and dozens more died.

The sixteen attacks this morning were attributed to the Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi
that is accused of terrorism, while he hides in a simi autonomous region of Kurdistan. The current Prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is adamantly accusing Sunni officials of attempting to derail the fragile coalition government and fuel sectarian discord.

While Maliki tries to retain political control, his political rivals have warned him against accusing any specific insurgent groups that have previously been associated with suicide attacks.
The Kurds are also trying to not only maintain but expand their territory in Northern Iraq, which was formed outside the central governments control.

Washington, although alarmed at the sudden violence targeting mostly civilian neighborhoods,
stated the attacks were not necessarily tied to the recent troop withdrawal but planned over a period of time, and urged the Iraqi officials to overcome differences that may destroy progress already made.

Vice President Joe Biden called President Jalal Talabani offering to mediate talks in hope of bringing peace to the troubled government. Meanwhile civilians are mobilizing and forming armed groups to try and protect their neighborhoods. Many are accusing government officials
of secret ties with foreign countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which is intensifying the unrest and inching the country toward civil war.

Although the final regiment of U.S. troops rolled out of Bagdad last Sunday, there are over seventeen thousand American officials and contractors still in the green zone, and will remain for a few more weeks. A terrorist penetrated the zones outer defense this morning and detonated his car in front of the Parliament building killing himself and 5 others. American officials are worried of the Iraqi security forces ability to adequately protect the green zone while they continue to vacate the secured compound. This was the first breach since April of 2007.

These types of sophisticated attacks are the distinguishing mark of Al Queda and are reminiscent of the bloodshed that was an everyday occurrence a few years ago. The current violence in neighboring Syria , Egypt and Libya are also having an impact on Iraq due to its diverse sects. We can only hope that the Iraqi people will set aside their immediate differences, unify the country and put an end to the madness.

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