Days like Monday, however, bolster the arguments of those who say that not only was America’s military involvement in Iraq a mistake — which it was — but that the nation’s strife between people of the Sunni and Shiite sects will doom it to generations of continued bloodshed.
Spasms of violence rippled Monday across Iraq. At least 86 people died, Sunni and Shiite alike, as car bombs targeted bus stops and markets early in the morning. Ten car bombs exploded in Shiite-controlled areas of Baghdad, killing at least 48 people. In the last week, more than 230 Iraqis have perished in that nation’s worst outbreak of violence in more than eight months.
Iraq’s 10-year transition from a war-torn land to a civilized nation with a new Shiite-led government remains fleeting, at best. Each month brings progress measured in the ebbs and flows of bombings and civilian victims. The removal of U.S. troops from Iraq in December 2011 has not caused a full-scale civil war, as was widely feared, but it has illustrated the deep flaws in the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has failed to solve the Sunni-Shiite dilemma within his nation.
As Baghdad resident Malik Ibrahim told The Associated Press, “How long do we have to continue living like this, with all the lies from the government? Whenever they say they have reached a solution, the bombings come back stronger than before.
“We’re fed up with them and we can’t tolerate this anymore.”
Iraq is hardly the globe’s only nation oozing with violence between those of different religions or political thoughts. Syria’s civil war rolls on. Pakistan was rocked by politically motivated bombings last week. Tunisian Islamists fought Sunday with police. The U.S. military remains in Afghanistan. Iraq is but one of many.
Nevertheless, it is a symbol of the modern world’s predicament: A planet of immense resources and technology, yet a planet plagued by seemingly unrelenting tremors of violence.