Interesting piece from Ranj. Mostly for what it does not say "US presence in Iraq is still very much a raison d'être for Iraq’s extremist/terrorist groups" he writes - OK so who are they? Saudi backed Islamists? Syrian backed Baathists? Who is responsible for this obscenity. We need less beating about the bush and more calling to account in my view:
At least 39 people were killed and over 100 injured when a series of
bombs rocked Baghdad yesterday in attacks that follow Sunday’s
near-simultaneous suicide car bombs that killed 40 people and wounded
The immediate assumption will be that these attacks either send a
political message or seek to exploit the post-election, some would
stay uncertain, political climate as blocs make and break alliances
for the purposes of forming a government.
It is, however, too easy to assume that every attack comes with some
sort of a political message. The objective for terrorists now seems to
be to deploy high-casualty, high-profile mass-terror attacks focused
around the quality of both the outcome and target rather than the
quantity of bombs. Attacks in Iraq also now tend to be more of a case
of striking at chance rather than at will.
The ultimate aim is of course to undermine Iraq’s political and
democratic system. (In other words, irrespective of the elections and
foreign interference in Iraqi affairs, these bombings may have still
taken place). And doing so requires dictating public perception; that
is, have the public loose faith in their government and its security
forces. Terrorists, however, tried this before the elections but
failed since the democratic process went ahead successfully and Prime
Minister Nouri al-Maliki went on to perform strongly, despite initial
observations that suggested the pre-election bombings will hurt his
Iraq is entering a sensitive period, during which, in tandem with the
settling of the political framework, US combat troops are expected to
withdraw by the end of August. The US presence in Iraq is still very
much a raison d'être for Iraq’s extremist/terrorist groups and they
may do anything and everything to prolong it.
Outside of these groups, there will be those in Iraq’s political
circles, wary of hostile domestic and external forces that have
influence far superior than their own, who will also seek a strong US
presence believing this to be a necessary and imperative
counter-measure against these other powers.