Al-Qaeda Escalates Violence in Iraq

Just as expected, the level of violence took a surge in the past several days as al-Qaeda altered its approach to confronting US forces. An explosion in central Baghdad resulted in the death or wounding of at least 70 people. US Army intelligence claims Iran is behind the latest bombings. Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, leader of the Higher Islamic Council in iraq said the US must produce more evidence to support their allegations against Iran. He just returned from cancer treatment in Iran. Al-Qaeda is reportedly switching to infiltration of the Awakening Councils which have taken a more aggressive role in fighting insurgents. Prime Minister Mailiki came under attack from Sadr supporters who claim he is attempting to crush their organization under orders from the United States. Meanwhile the Iraqi Parliament and arguing about whether to change the law and allow former Sunni members of the Saddam Hussein government to serve in governmental positions.

The Bush administration emphasizes the importance of the “Surge” as curbing violence. There is no question it has reduced the level of violence in major cities, but it may well be that insurgents will alter their approach by focusing more upon outlying areas and engage more actively in guerrilla war activities. In the meantime, there is scant evidence the Iraq government is able to be an inclusive institution which brings together people from disparate backgrounds and organizations.