Recent days has seen a dramatic uptick in explosions in Baghdad.
In the first nine days of November, there were at least 19 bombings in Baghdad, compared with 28 for all of October and 22 in September, according to an Associated Press tally.
The story is written from the perspective that it’s somehow amazing such things are happening, given the preceding decrease in violence across Iraq. The corporate media typically ignores the real causes of that decrease: U.S. payments to local Iraqi militias to not attack U.S. troops; ethnic cleansing throughout Baghdad that included mass movements of both Sunnis and Shiites to more “pure” neighborhoods; Moqtada al-Sadr’s temporary truce against American forces. The escalation of the U.S. occupation had little to do with the decrease in violence.
Additionally, and this is something the corporate media almost seems to get correct, the U.N. mandate authorizing the U.S. occupation is due to expire at the end of December. The U.S. is working to extend that authorization and a number of groups within Iraq are working to prevent that from occurring.
The occupation needs to end – the sooner the better. Americans don’t want to occupy Iraq anymore. Iraqis don’t want their country to be occupied anymore. Staying there serves less of a purpose than honest, intense diplomacy across the region – something the Bush “administration” has steadfastly put on the back-burner. I anticipate a different approach by the Obama administration. Having Obama’s team in charge tomorrow wouldn’t be soon enough.