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Baghdad's Bloodshed A Taste of Middle East Chaos To Come


A wave of car bombs planted in predominately Shia Muslim neighborhoods throughout Baghdad killed at least 47 people today and injured dozens more. The BBC has the bloody details:

Monday’s blasts struck during Baghdad’s morning rush hour, with reports of 13 bombs, most of them in Shia neighbourhoods.

Groups of labourers gathering ahead of the working day were among the bombers’ targets.

One of the deadliest attacks was reported from the eastern Sadr City district where seven people were killed and 75 injured in a crowded vegetable market.

Another six were reported killed in Shuala, a mainly Shia area of north Baghdad.

The city neighbourhoods affected also included New Baghdad, Habibiya, Sabaa al-Bour, Kazimiya, Shaab and Ur, as well as the Sunni districts of Jamiaa and Ghazaliya, the Associated Press news agency reports.

In addition, a bomb also went off in the usually calm Kurdish city of Irbil, killing at least six.

There were 4 major attacks in Baghdad and surrounding areas throughout September, killing at least 200 people. The toll for 2013 is north of 5,000, according to UN data, with 4,500 of those casualties occurring since April.

While this sectarian violence is tied to Iraqi politics and its many dysfunctions, the main force behind this violence appears to be Al Qaeda, the local branch of which has taken to calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq. This is the same organization that sending the most radical fighters into Syria and appears to be gaining the upper hand among the rebels.

Ultimately, the United States will not be able to countenance an Al Qaeda with a secure foothold in the Middle East, so something will eventually have to be done—if not by this administration, then the next. Staying out of Syria doesn’t mean that the United States will be able to completely disengage from wars in the Middle East, no matter how much we wish it to not be so.

[An Iraqis walks on the rubble of the Al-Hussein mosque following an explosion in the district of al-Musayyib, south of Baghdad, on September 30, 2013, where 27 people were killed and at least 35 wounded in a suicide attack during a Shiite Muslim funeral being held inside the mosque. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.]

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  • Pete

    “Ultimately, the United States will not be able to countenance an Al Qaeda with a secure foothold in the Middle East, so something will eventually have to be done.”

    Neutron bombs?

  • rheddles

    “Ultimately, the United States will not be able to countenance an Al Qaeda with a secure foothold in the Middle East…”

    Why? They kill a lot more middle easterners than Americans. As long as they stay off the continent of North America, I doubt most Americans will have a problem. If they come back here, the middle east will have a problem. Maybe Putin can help them.

  • qet

    It amazes me that there are so many people–and I can’t tell if Via Meadia is one of them or not–who continue to entertain the fantasy that there exists a policy or policies that can be implemented by the US, by the US and EU, by the US and UNSC, or by the “international community,” that would forestall, defuse, transform etc. the violence throughout the ME wrought by the Islamists. Does no one read history any more, or use common sense? The violence perpetrated by the Islamists emanates from passion and conviction. The passionate and convinced fanatics will obliterate the secular moderate bourgeois democrats every time. The Jacobins did it to the Girondists and al-Qaeda and the rest are doing to it to whomever might be described as moderate, secular and democratic in the ME. The continued expressions by US “opinion leaders” in the liberal media that US policy ought to be directed to establishing the weak secular, moderate and democratic elements in ME society (all 10 of them) resembles more and more each day Einstein’s definition of insanity.

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