The overall level of violence in the country continues to decline, despite the occasional terrorist bombing. This has led to continued economic growth, and more Iraqis are using their freedom of movement, and action, to protest government incompetence. The inept performance of elected and appointed officials is more stark in Iraq, where economic freedom has created many spectacularly successful entrepreneurs, and a growing middle class. Thus it is obvious that Iraqis can get things done, and more Iraqis are openly upset at the poor performance of their elected officials. People are also very unhappy about the ability of criminal gangs to kidnap and rob the newly affluent. While the very rich can hire security guards, the middle class is dependent on the police and other security forces. It is believed that the cops are paid off by criminal gangs, and the population is not happy with this.
The government is certainly inept in the way it handles money. With the collapse of oil prices in the last year, officials were slow to adapt. Now there are shortages everywhere in the government, especially in the security forces. This is having an impact on how effective the police are, and how safe the citizens are. Iraqis are fed up with this sort of thing, but slow to realize that it takes a country full of responsible people to create a responsible society.
Iraqis are confused about the sudden surge of terror bombings in western Anbar province. Long an al Qaeda stronghold, over the last two years, the locals have turned, often violently, against the terrorists. The new violence is believed to be partly political, as new parties use violence to make incumbent politicians look bad. People believe that because politics has always been pretty dirty in this part of the country.
October 9, 2009: A bomb went off in western Iraq mosque, killing three people in Fallujah.
October 7, 2009: The roundup of terrorists in and around Mosul has now grabbed over 200 suspects. The Iraqis used the American technique of quickly exploiting information (documents, computer files) from one arrest, so more, and more, could be made. This disrupted the security and communications of the terrorist networks in the north, and the police are doing some major damage to the many small groups that have made the violence possible.
October 6, 2009: Another car bomb went off in western Iraq, killing nine people in Fallujah.
October 3, 2009: In Mosul, police and soldiers have arrested some 150 terrorism suspects over the last week. This operation was the result of improved intelligence operations, a process that has been underway for the past year. The terrorists are sustained by a network of financiers and specialists, and police have been attacking, and infiltrating those networks for several years now.
October 1, 2009: Acting on a tip, police disrupted a prison break attempt in Babil province, arresting the suicide bomber who was to set off a car bomb in front of a prison.
September 30, 2009: The Turkish parliament has extended, for another year, the mandate for the army to operate in northern Iraq, against the PKK Kurdish separatists. The Kurdish government in northern Iraq tolerates these Turkish operations, as does the Arab dominated government in Baghdad.
September 29, 2009: In the western Iraq city of Ramadi, several suicide bomb attacks have killed a dozen three cops over the last few days. The terrorists do this to intimidate the police. It rarely works anymore.
September 26, 2009: In Tikrit, eight of the 16 escaped prisoners have been recaptured.
September 25, 2009: In Mosul, fifteen soldiers died when they set off a controlled explosion to destroy terrorist bombs and bomb materials. The people in charge let the stuff blow before everyone was clear. U.S. engineers, who also do this sort of thing, often criticize the lax Iraqi leadership and habits when doing this kind of dangerous work, and handling terrorist bombs in general. Meanwhile, in Tikrit, six of the 16 escaped prisoners have been recaptured, including three of the five al Qaeda terrorists. The escape was believed to have been made possible because of bribes, and over a hundred police and prison guards have been questioned to find those responsible.
September 23, 2009: In Tikrit, 16 murderers and kidnappers escaped from a prison. Bribery was suspected, and two prison officials were quickly interrogated and fired.