July 17, 2012:
The security forces, under attack by gangsters and terrorists using bribes and threats (of murder or kidnaping), are becoming less effective. This has made it possible for Sunni terrorists (al Qaeda and several local groups) to keep operating. At the same time, the widespread corruption has led to continuing shortages of basic services (security, electricity, water, sewage, education, roads, and so on) that have triggered more popular discontent and demonstrations. The Sunni terrorists promise that all will be different if the Sunnis are in charge again. But that was not the case when Saddam and his Sunni minority ran the country for over thirty years. A growing number or Iraqis are giving up and seeking to go to the West. Even the corrupt Shia politicians are coming to realize that their stealing and mismanagement are running the country into the ground.
Terrorism deaths have increased since the last American troops left at the end of 2011. There are still armed Shia militias that are willing to resume their use of death squads to drive Sunni Arabs out of their neighborhoods, or even out of Iraq. There is a Sunni Arab majority in thinly populated western Iraq (Anbar province), and these would be difficult to drive out. The tribes out there have branches in Jordan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia and have called on those foreigners for help in the past and received it. The more radical Iraqi Sunni Arabs have long sought to generate enough violence by killing Shia and provoking Shia death squads to strike back in order to force neighboring Sunni states to invade Iraq. That failed in 2007, when the U.S. persuaded most Sunni Arabs to back the Shia dominated government and that government was able to shut down the Shia militias and their death squads.
The Sunni terrorists are pushing this plan again because last time there were over 100,000 U.S. troops in the country and Sunni Arab neighbors were not going to overcome that to take down the Shia death squads and the Shia Iraqi government. This time, the American troops are gone (although there are several thousand former U.S. military personnel working as trainers or security operatives). The Sunni Arab plan is still flawed, mainly because of the growing hostility between Shia Iran and the oil-rich Sunni Arab states across the Gulf. These nations are mostly majority Sunni. The United States is the most powerful ally these Sunni states have and they are not interested in driving the Americans out. Not with Iran on the brink of obtaining nuclear weapons.
July 16, 2012: In western Iraq the head of al Qaeda terrorist operations in south Baghdad killed himself when cornered by police.
July 13, 2012: Kurdish controlled oil wells in the north began exporting their oil, via truck, to Turkey. A pipeline is under construction and will open in a year or two. The Iraqi government protested but lacks the military power to stop the Kurds. In addition, the Kurds have the backing of Turkey, and no Arab army would last long against the Turks.
July 12, 2012: British prosecutors charged six people with selling phony bomb detectors, particularly to Iraq. Since 2008,
Iraqi police have been using the ADE 651 bomb detector that simply does not work. In early 2010, the Iraqi government agreed to investigate the purchase of $85 million worth of ADE 651 explosives detectors. Iraqi officials bought thousands of these hand held devices, for up to $60,000 each. But the British manufacturer is being prosecuted in Britain for fraud, when it was discovered there that the ADE 651 was a scam. The device contains useless components, and repeated tests showed that it could not detect anything. Apparently, a large chunk of the money Iraq paid for the ADE 651 was kicked back to the Iraqi officials who approved the sale. Last year an Iraqi general was arrested for taking bribes to approve the purchase of this device but not much else happened. The ADE 651 is very cheap to make and the manufacturer made a huge profit even after paying large bribes. The Iraqi officials who received the millions in bribes are still in power and not willing to prosecute themselves.
July 11, 2012: Nawaf Fares, the Syrian ambassador to Iraq, fled to Turkey and announced he was joining the Syrian rebels. This was somewhat surprising, as Fares had long served the Assads as a well-paid government official. But he was a Sunni from eastern Syria and now proclaims the Assads doomed. He also criticized the Iraqi leader (premier Nuri al Maliki) for supporting the Assads (at the behest of Iran) even though it was the Assads that provided sanctuary for al Qaeda for over a decade and particularly during the major campaign against the new Shia government in Iraq from 2004-8. The Shia Assads have been backed by Shia Iran since the 1980s and the Sunni Fares is seeking to escape responsibility for misdeeds committed during years of service to the Assads.
July 7, 2012: Police and soldiers captured the al Qaeda leader for operations in Baghdad. There is tremendous from the top (senior politicians) and the bottom (most Iraqis feel the terror attacks put everyone at risk) to take down the terror gangs. There are only a few of these operations. The Islamic terrorists live to kill enemies of Islam. That includes most Iraqis (who are Shia) and especially police, intelligence, and army commanders. Another prime target is Sunnis who work for the government, particularly the security forces.
July 6, 2012: In western Iraq a suicide bomber attended the wedding of his cousin, the head of a Sunni anti-terrorist militia. The bomber set off his explosive vest killing himself and his cousin (including the victim's wife and three of his children and four other cousins). About 40 people were injured.
July 2, 2012: Turkish warplanes attacked three PKK (Kurdish terrorist) bases in northern Iraq.
July 1, 2012: There were 282 Iraqis killed last month by terrorists. Al Qaeda took credit for most of the attacks.