President Bush and General Petraeus insist the surge has worked and violence is being reduced in Iraq. Although figures for violence did decrease in the past few months, figures since January of this year reveal an ever increasing rise in the level of suicide bombings. Yesterday, a suicide bomber struck a funeral in northern Iraq killing at least 42 people and wounding dozens. The funeral was for two slain brothers who are working with the local Awakening Council, a group of Sunni Muslim tribesmen who are cooperating with the Americans. The blast was the deadliest since March 6th when a bombing in central Baghdad killed 68. US officials believe al-Qaida militants have moved north after being pushed out of Baghdad and the western province of Anbar.
Part of the dilemma in Iraq is an inability to gain cooperation among the vrious factions which results in Shiite militants fighting Sunni militants and vice versa. The Bush administration, despite rhetoric to the contrary, continues relying most importantly on a military solution when a diplomatic one stands a better chance of creating stability in Iraq.