Bombs rip through Iraq on 10th anniversary of US invasion

posted at 10:01 am on March 19, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Today is the 10th anniversary of the second US invasion of Iraq, which deposed Saddam Hussein and created years of division and controversy in the US.  Terrorists marked the occasion with a series of bombings that killed at least 56 Iraqis in Baghdad, aimed mainly at Shi’ites:

Insurgents unleashed deadly attacks Tuesday against Shiite areas in Baghdad, killing at least 56 people and wounding some 200 more, according to officials. The blasts highlight increasing sectarian tensions in Iraq a decade after the U.S.-led war began.

The morning attacks, mostly by car bombs, targeted mainly small restaurants, daily laborers and bus stops in the Iraqi capital within a one-hour period.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attacks bore hallmarks of al Qaeda in Iraq.

The deadly wave of bombings came as the country marked a decade since the U.S.-led war began with the March 19, 2003 invasion. Violence has ebbed but insurgent attacks are still frequent across Iraq.

According to Reuters, this appears to be part of a consistent al-Qaeda campaign to “take back” Iraq after the departure of American combat forces:

No group claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s blasts, but Iraq’s al Qaeda wing, Islamic State of Iraq, has vowed to take back ground lost in its long war with American troops. Since the start of the year the group has carried out a string of high-profile attacks.

Gunmen and suicide bombers stormed the well-protected Justice Ministry building in central Baghdad on Thursday, killing 25 people in an attack by the al Qaeda affiliate.

A decade after U.S. and Western troops swept into Iraq to remove Saddam from power, Iraq still struggles with a stubborn insurgency, sectarian frictions and political instability among its Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish factions.

Syria’s civil war is further fanning Iraq’s volatility as Islamist insurgents invigorated by the mainly Sunni rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad try to tap into Sunni Muslim discontent in Iraq.

The problem, then, wasn’t really the presence of American troops.  It was the presence of al-Qaeda, which continues to be the issue.  As Western nations prepare to lift restrictions on selling arms to Syrian rebels, the influx of arms aimed at toppling Bashar Assad might end up undermining the democratic government in Baghdad.  That’s something to keep in mind when dumping weapons and support into yet another Arab Spring moment without having boots on the ground to control the outcome.

Regardless of whether the invasion of Iraq was a good idea or not, the continuing occupation by the international coalition and then partnership with the US and the new republic of Iraq at least prevented the nation from becoming a failed state run by terrorists and radicals.  The same cannot be said of Libya after the remote-control decapitation of the Qaddafi regime.  Allowing the same result in Syria would be a mistake that the West will regret for decades to come.


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Iraq…
I thought we exited in a responsible manner..

/

Electrongod on March 19, 2013 at 10:07 AM

mohammedianism

tom daschle concerned on March 19, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Iraqis killing other Iraqis without us guarding or subsidizing the mess. What’s not to like?

Archivarix on March 19, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Smart powah!

hillsoftx on March 19, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Bush’s fault!!!!!!
-lsm

cmsinaz on March 19, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Death and destruction from the sand. Go figure. Maybe in another five thousand years they’ll figure out why and pave a road or put in a Baskin-Robbins or something.

Limerick on March 19, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Shia vs. Sunni?
More popcorn, please.

rbj on March 19, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Wow, it’s been a decade. All politics aside, it was a crazy moment crossing into iraq from northern Kuwait. Marine artillery pounded targets for 20 minutes – you could see the flashes as the 100 lbs shells exploded on the various objectives. Once it stopped we rolled through the breach in our AAVs (Amphibious Assault Vehicles) not knowing what to really expect. We’d been wearing our NBC (chem warfare suits) for a couple days thinking Saddam actually had WMDs and were going to use them. The next three weeks were crazy, something out of a movie and when we rolled into the northern section of Baghdad it got even crazier.

Regardless of politics and how I now fill about the war, the experiences are something I will never forget and will tell my sons and grandchildren one day.

MoreLiberty on March 19, 2013 at 10:22 AM

It’s almost as if Bark’s declaration that AQ was all but nonexistent was bull.

Bishop on March 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Death and destruction from the sand. Go figure. Maybe in another five thousand years they’ll figure out why and pave a road or put in a Baskin-Robbins or something.

Limerick on March 19, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Iraq isn’t Afghanistan. There are good freeways with overpasses like you might find in any large US city. Their infrastructure – when compared to Afghanistan – is very sophisticated at least in Baghdad.

MoreLiberty on March 19, 2013 at 10:25 AM

heck of a job there bush and Obama and the globalists elites.

At this point I don’t care if the entire middle east kills each other.

unseen on March 19, 2013 at 10:25 AM

O to be on TV at 10:30am to talk about Syrian Chemical attack. Govt. blaming Rebels/Rebels blaming Govt.

CoffeeLover on March 19, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Regardless of politics and how I now fill about the war, the experiences are something I will never forget and will tell my sons and grandchildren one day.

MoreLiberty on March 19, 2013 at 10:22 AM

thank you for putting on the uniform and doing what your country asked of you

unseen on March 19, 2013 at 10:27 AM

MoreLiberty on March 19, 2013 at 10:22 AM

A big Texas hat tip to you, good sir. I sent my son, several times. Should have we? Dunno, but you all went for all of us and for that the nation bows.

Limerick on March 19, 2013 at 10:27 AM

It’s almost as if Bark’s declaration that AQ was all but nonexistent was bull.

Bishop on March 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Obama declaring AQ dead is like Los Zetas demarcating a no-drugs zone.

Archivarix on March 19, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Shia vs. Sunni?
More popcorn, please.

rbj on March 19, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Never wish harm on innocents.

unclesmrgol on March 19, 2013 at 10:30 AM

You’re expecting the BO Administration to understand the implications of their actions. They don’t look back, hence the slogan “FORWARD”. The only question is when they add “Comrades!” to the slogan…

MarkT on March 19, 2013 at 10:30 AM

MoreLiberty on March 19, 2013 at 10:22 AM

I did not agree with that order but respectfully raise my hat to those who carried it.

Archivarix on March 19, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Syrian chemical weapons attack? Wonder where they got those?

sandee on March 19, 2013 at 10:41 AM

The problem, then, wasn’t really the presence of American troops. It was the presence of al-Qaeda, which continues to be the issue.

Never in the history of the world have American troops ever been the problem. Our leaders may have sent them to wars they weren’t humanly capable of winning, but it was the evil they were fighting that was the problem – not the troops. I’m befuddled why this needed to be pointed out.

TimRobotic on March 19, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Bush’s fault!!!!!!

-lsm

In what universe is this NOT Bush’s fault?

YYZ on March 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Really, an attack on the anniversary of a major milestone? Are you sure they just weren’t protesting a video?

bsinc1962 on March 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

…happy anniversary?

KOOLAID2 on March 19, 2013 at 10:47 AM

In what universe is this NOT Bush’s fault?

YYZ on March 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

The one that realizes different sects of Muslims have been slaughtering one-another for centuries, long before Dubya hit the scene.

You did notice this part, right? Notice the absence of military targets:

The morning attacks, mostly by car bombs, targeted mainly small restaurants, daily laborers and bus stops in the Iraqi capital within a one-hour period.

Bishop on March 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM

…happy anniversary?

KOOLAID2 on March 19, 2013 at 10:47 AM

In what universe is this NOT Bush’s fault?

YYZ on March 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

OT: I seem to recall that Bush had a fair amount of support on this war.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/343341/imorning-joei-revisits-dems-who-supported-iraq-war-they-were-against-it-andrew-johnson

BuckeyeSam on March 19, 2013 at 10:57 AM

That’s all they are focusing on yyz
Always a little dig about the WMD
Nevermind all the dems saying the bloody thing….this was collaborative effort

cmsinaz on March 19, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Ask the Toronto Zipper if the muzzie attacks on American shipping in 1777 were ‘Bush’s fault’.

slickwillie2001 on March 19, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Obama Wipes (Parts Of) Israel Off Of The Map…Again

Resist We Much on March 19, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Nothing new. For decades, the Dems have refused to recognize an Israel larger than the original UN borders. I’m surprised the media don’t still refer to Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as ‘the occupied territories’.

Liam on March 19, 2013 at 11:01 AM

As they have for the last 14 centuries, when there are no infidels about to murder, the Islamists set about slaughtering each other over fine points of “religious” doctrine.

Fourteen centuries of bloody war with the world and yet so many on the Left though they live in the Dar al Harb can’t find any significant distinctions between Islam and Christianity.

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.

The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.

No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.

– Sir Winston Churchill, The River War

(emphasis mine)

novaculus on March 19, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Bishop on March 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM

He, and his foreign policy advisers, should have seen this coming.

I did, and I’m only a stupid carpenter.

Cleombrotus on March 19, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Never in the history of the world have American troops ever been the problem. Our leaders may have sent them to wars they weren’t humanly capable of winning, but it was the evil they were fighting that was the problem – not the troops. I’m befuddled why this needed to be pointed out.

TimRobotic on March 19, 2013 at 10:43 AM

I agree in large part with your sentiment. But, I think if you took some time to study the Indian wars of the 19th century, you’d have to scale back on the overstatement. It’s hard to make a case for fighting evil, when in truth we were simply taking their land, and in many cases, our soldiers were the problem. Read about Sand Creek, and judge for yourself:

http://www.legendsofamerica.com/na-sandcreek.html

I believe you’d have a stronger case if you amended your statement to only include the 20th century and beyond.

Arnold Yabenson on March 19, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Bush’s fault!!!!!!

-lsm

In what universe is this NOT Bush’s fault?

YYZ on March 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

One based on reality.

Solaratov on March 19, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Bush’s fault!!!!!!

-lsm

In what universe is this NOT Bush’s fault?

YYZ on March 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Thanks for admitting you left Planet Earth a long time ago, but we’ve known that for years.

Here’s how I took lester apart brick by brick on the other thread. I’m an Equal Opportunity Educator!

The overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime became official U.S. policy in 1998, when President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act—a bill passed 360-38 by the House of Representatives and by unanimous consent in the Senate. The law called for training and equipping Iraqi dissidents to overthrow Saddam and suggested that the United Nations establish a war-crimes tribunal for the dictator and his lieutenants.

-snip-

…in 1997 a key member of President Bill Clinton’s cabinet (thought by most observers to have been Secretary of State Madeleine Albright) asked Gen. Shelton whether he could arrange for a U.S. aircraft to fly slowly and low enough that it would be shot down, thereby paving the way for an American effort to topple Saddam. Kenneth Pollack, a member of Mr. Clinton’s National Security Council staff, would later write in 2002 that it was a question of “not whether but when” the U.S. would invade Iraq. He wrote that the threat presented by Saddam was “no less pressing than those we faced in 1941.”

-snip-

In the U.S., there was a bipartisan consensus that Saddam possessed and continued to develop WMD. Former Vice President Al Gore noted in September 2002 that Saddam had “stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.” Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton observed that Saddam hoped to increase his supply of chemical and biological weapons and to “develop nuclear weapons.” Then-Sen. John Kerry claimed that “a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his [Saddam's] hands is a real and grave threat to our security.”

Even those opposed to using force against Iraq acknowledged that, as then-Sen. Edward Kennedy put it, “we have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing” WMD. When it came time to vote on the authorization for the use of force against Iraq, 81 Democrats in the House voted yes, joined by 29 Democrats in the Senate, including the party’s 2004 standard bearers, John Kerry and John Edwards, plus Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Sen. Joe Biden, Mrs. Clinton, and Sens. Harry Reid, Tom Harkin, Chris Dodd and Jay Rockefeller. The latter, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, claimed that Saddam would “likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years.”

F-

Del Dolemonte on March 19, 2013 at 6:26 PM

The vast majority of those who served there, and Af/Pak the following can be said:

“They did the best they could-and knew how-with the constraints and tools they were given.”

We went, we had our war, and we came back.

We don’t want praise, or medals, or handouts, or even the incredibly empty “Thank You”.

We just want to get on with and live our lives just as our fathers, grandfathers, and generations before us did.

We had a job to do.
We did it.

Don’t thank us for the rather mundane tasks we did-just like we don’t thank our doctors for being doctors or our bus drivers for their jobs.

We aren’t ashamed, or damaged, or hurt or broken (well not most of us). It was a part of our lives and now (for most of us) it isn’t. It’s over and done with.

It’s reduced to a few lines on a resume or college application and a paper labeled “DD-214″, some old plaques covered with desert dust-those we actually display and care about and are proud of, and certificates, medals, and ribbons mostly shoved in a box, or drawer or closet and not looked at again. Not for years. That’s if we even kept them. And that’s the way we want it.

Don’t badger us about it or harp on it or say how proud of us you are. ‘Cause honestly you don’t get it. You haven’t been there.

You want to “thank us”? Don’t look at us like we’re nuts or are going to explode at any second.
Give us a job, or loan, or a house, or a car just like any other normal person you see every day.

Be patient with us ’cause while you were taking classes and learning how to navigate the stupid college or work bureaucracy we were ducking incoming and being roused by mortar rounds.

Yes I’m a 26 year old college freshman-I’m not stupid or lazy or slow or poor. While you were living it up with your buddies every Friday night-I was keeping mine safe, or checking their wounds, or watching them die.

I’m a veteran, I’m not proud, nor ashamed, nor bothered, nor any other label. I just am.

Posted on behalf of those who went and came back whole,
Those who went and left part of themselves in body or spirit,
And those who didn’t come back at all.

Carry On.

SgtSVJones on March 19, 2013 at 7:47 PM