The start of the Iraqi Civil War?
Fighting raged in at least five cities in Iraq today as suspected Sunni Muslim insurgents launched coordinated attacks that killed about 70 people and wounded hundreds.The media is getting pretty sloppy with their analysis of Iraqi violence preceding June 30. What exactly does it mean to "derail" the transfer of sovereignty? It seems pretty clear that the goal is not to "derail" the transfer but to undermine public confidence in the new government and its security institutions, particularly the national Iraqi police.
American and Iraqi officials said the attacks � in Falluja, Ramadi, Baquba, Mosul and Baghdad � were mostly aimed at Iraqi security forces, and could be the opening salvo in a violent push to undermine the June 30 transfer of sovereignty. . . .
American officials also began warning foreign workers in Iraq that they were expecting a massive car bomb campaign in an attempt to derail the June 30 handover of power.
And according to The Guardian today, the police are helping out matters themselves.
Up to 30,000 Iraqi police officers are to be sacked for being incompetent and unreliable and given a $60m payoff before the US hands over to an Iraqi government, senior British military sources said yesterday. Many officers either deserted to the insurgents or simply stayed at home during the recent uprisings in Falluja and across the south.The NYTimes thinks the militants are "Sunni Muslim insurgents", and a map of the attacks today suggests just that. The Guardian offers something more specific: jihadis led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Mosul and former Ba'athists in the Sunni Triangle. If remnants of Saddam's army really are coordinating with the jihadis, it looks like Cheney's twisted nightmare fantasy really has come true -- a prophesy self-fulfilled.
Fourteen months after the war and just a week before the Iraqis take power on June 30, the sources revealed serious shortfalls of properly trained police and soldiers and vital equipment.