“We”re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq with a representative government that was elected by its people.” — Obama
“Nothing appears likelier in Iraq’s future than more jihadist persecution of Christians and other religious minorities, more Sunni-Shi”ite jihad, and more jockeying for power by Iran as it continues its jihad to become the leader of the Islamic world.” — Spencer
Sunni/Shi’ite Jihad Update: “Attacks targeting Shiites kill 72 in Iraq,” by Sameer N. Yacoub for the Associated Press, January 4:
BAGHDAD (AP) “” A wave of bombings targeting Shiites in Iraq killed 72 people on Thursday, deepening sectarian tensions that exploded just after the last American troops left the country in mid-December.
The coordinated attacks targeting Shiites bore the hallmarks of Sunni insurgents linked to al-Qaida, although there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The bombings began early in the morning when explosions struck two Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, killing at least 27 people. A few hours later, a suicide attack hit Shiite pilgrims heading to the holy Shiite city of Karbala, killing 45, said provincial official Quosay al-Abadi. The explosions took place near Nasiriyah, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad. Hospital officials confirmed the causalities.
The blasts occurred in the run-up to Arbaeen, a Shiite holy day which marks the end of 40 days of mourning that follow the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, a revered Shiite figure. During this time, Shiite pilgrims from across Iraq make their way to Karbala, south of Baghdad….
Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government issued an arrest warrant for the country’s top Sunni politician last month. The Sunni official, Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, is holed up in Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdish region in the north “” effectively out of reach of state security forces.
Fears have already been running high that the sectarian tensions could re-ignite Shiite-Sunni warfare that just a few years ago pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war.
The attacks began in Baghdad with the explosion of a bomb attached to a motorcycle near a bus stop where day laborers gather to look for work in the Shiite Sadr City neighborhood. One of those who witnessed the attack said it filled the area with thick black smoke….
That attack was followed by the explosion of a roadside bomb. Police found a third bomb nearby and defused it.
The two Sadr City blasts killed 12 people, according to police and medical officials.
Less than two hours later, two explosions rocked the Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah in the north of the capital, killing 15 people.
Officials said the Kazimiyah blasts occurred almost simultaneously, with at least one caused by a car bomb. Simultaneous explosions are a tactic frequently used by the Sunni insurgents against Shiites….
The attacks were the deadliest in Baghdad since Dec. 22, when a series of blasts killed 69 people in mostly Shiite neighborhoods. An al-Qaida front group in Iraq claimed responsibility for those attacks….