American forces in Iraq are in the process of winding down their operations in order to allow Iraq troops to assume control of security. Militants assume Iraq security personnel will not be as vigilant as Americans so they are resorting to more elaborate ways of placing explosives in cars as part of the suicide car bombing approach. Explosives are being placed in secret car compartments of other places that are not ordinarily searched. This past week, bombs struck Baghdad hotels frequently used by westerners. Ironically, as al-Qaeda employs creative ways of placing bombs in cars, the use of dogs to sniff them out will not be used by Iraqi troops because of Muslim tradition that avoids contact with dogs.
The tragedy of Iraq is an inability on the part of Shiite leaders to reach out to Sunnis and work for reconciliation. Instead, Sunni political leaders are forbidden to run for public office. Surprise, more and more Sunnis who opposed al-Qaeda are becoming more friendly to their former enemies. Old traditions are maintained in an era requiring new thinking.