Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Surging Iraq violence
By Dan Murphy, Staff writer / August 16, 2011
Policemen and residents gather at the site of a bomb attack in Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad, on Aug. 15. Ali Abu Shish/Reuters
The death toll in Iraq yesterday, with at least 70 murdered in attacks across the country, was bad enough. But the scope of the killing carries worrying echoes of the way sectarian warfare ramped up across Iraq starting in late 2003, leading to the country's civil war. [...]
The sheer scale of the activity yesterday makes it hard to dismiss events as the work of a handful of terrorists. Car bombs at a market in the southern city of Kut killed about 40. A suicide attack killed three policemen at the government counterterrorism center in Tikrit, the hometown of executed former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Four Iraqi soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in the Sunni town of Baquba, north of Baghdad. Separate car bombs in Baquba and nearby Khan Bani Saad killed eight.
In the Shiite holy city of Najaf, a suicide car bomb attacked the police headquarters, seeking to open the way for other militants. Seven people were murdered in that attack. There were multiple attacks in the ethnically and religiously mixed city of Kirkuk, with extensive damage done to a Syriac Orthodox Christian church there.
The Minister of Higher Education's convoy was attacked in Baghdad's wealthy diplomatic neighborhood of Mansour. Capping the day's violence off was an attack in Youssifiyah. The Associated Press reports that a group of men in military uniforms entered a mosque there during evening prayers yesterday, dragged out seven men and then murdered them.
Those killings were reminiscent of hundreds of murders in the area between 2004-07, when Youssifiyah – a town 12 miles south of Baghdad – lay squarely within a mixed Sunni-Shiite area that foreigners and locals referred to as the the triangle of death. Murders by men in uniform were common, whether insurgents dressed as security officials or actual police and soldiers moonlighting as death squads.
If the cities of Iraq burn, causing the U.S. to abandon the land out of frustration at the failure of reconstruction, two more judgments on Babylon will have occurred, just as the prophet Jeremiah predicted. Invasion, capture, execution, burning and abandonment. Then civil war with the Kurds, plundering, flood and drought, leading to utter desolation. So decreed the prophet, before tossing the scroll of judgment into the Euphrates twenty-six hundred years ago.

Could his prophecy be coming true today?

If the cities burn...

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