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Bomb blasts rock Baghdad

December 8th, 2009
11:26 AM ET

A coordinated series of bombings, including three car bombs, killed more than 100 people and wounded scores of others in central Baghdad this morning – the worst wave of violence to hit the Iraqi capital in more than a month. 

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/08/iraq.story.jpg

="Terror rocked the Iraqi capital on Tuesday killing over 100 people. "]

The car bombs, which detonated in quick succession, struck the Labor Ministry, a court complex and the new site of Iraq’s Finance Ministry.

The attacks highlighted the insurgents’ continued ability to strike important and highly visible targets in Baghdad as U.S. forces plan their withdrawal, turning security over to Iraqi forces.

Although overall violence has dropped sharply around Iraq over the past year, insurgents have increased attacks at government sites.

What does a devastating, well-coordinated attack like today’s mean for the future of Iraq under Iraqi forces? Can Iraqi forces control their embattled capital? Should U.S. forces still withdraw?

Violence in Iraq dropped sharply after former President Bush’s so-called “surge” of American troops.

Does that mean that the answer is more troops?

President Obama announced recently that 30,000 more U.S. soldiers will be sent to Afghanistan, the country Obama is now targeting over Iraq.

Is Obama right to turn his attention to Afghanistan while such deadly violence still rages in Iraq? Send us your comments

Filed under:  General
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. bcfernandes

    The basic problem is man's selfishness. As long as people do not action to eradicate it then such violence will continue. There should be an atmosphere of humane in our activity. Otherwise this world is lost for ever.

    December 8, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  2. Sig Bengner

    The Iraqi opposition ran out of ammunition, look at the statistics a month before "The Surge" Bush sent more troops, making everyone believe it had something to do with the troop increase. Just an other Bush BS Afghanistan is a country which has never been concered and will not fall because of extra 30.000 troops.
    Who trained the Mujahideen to fight against the Russians?? Who boycotted the Moscow Olympics??
    Bush has done everything wrong in Iraq, including sending more troops. As far as i'am concerned, i believe Bush, Rumsfeld and Blair are war criminals and should be sent to The Hague. In Nuremberg, german generals got hung for less than what this trio did. Where is the justice

    December 8, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  3. Robert Tulloch

    "So called surge"?? Everything worded to call into question Bush.
    How sweet.

    December 8, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  4. kamran zafar ch.

    I believe as America is the only super power in the world so it is her prime responsibility to solve all these problems. If America withdraws its forces from Iraq leaving lives of innocent Iraqi people at risk and leaving Iraq as a breeding ground for Al-Qaeda again will threaten america and other European countries. So, I believe, It's in the best interest of world that america not only stays there but also increase its troops making sure all the Al-Qaeda elements are destroyed and a long lasting peaceful environment prevails.

    December 8, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  5. Daniel Weissman

    Despite today's attacks, for all intents and purposes, the war in Iraq is over. There will be a car-bombing every now and then, but the existential threat to the Iraqi state once posed by the sectarian civil war no longer exists. The powerful, unified forces of AQI and JAM have been defeated. Iraq is now internally governable by its own people, and the civilian police force, not the Iraqi Army, has begun taking the lead on counter-terrorism matters, like in most democracies.

    An existential threat does, however, exist in Afghanistan, now more than ever. Therefore, it is right for the President to shift our limited military resources to where they are most actively needed; we have won the war in Iraq, and now need to focus on (A) winning in Afghanistan, and (B) defending postwar Iraq from Iran.

    December 8, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  6. Terry William Kenner

    The war was always in Afghanistan and with the Taliban (and subsequently Al-Qaeda), not in Iraq. The war in Iraq was entirely President Bush's bumbling policy or strategy or whatever you care to call the quagmire that has the stench of Vietnam all over it and that he, Chaney, Rumsfeld, et al, created. President Obama has correctly placed his sights on the real target, giving it the greatest share of his attention. While we never should have entered Iraq, we did and we have a moral obligation to finish the job as best as humanly possible. But not at the expense of our national security, nor the security of the entire free world. This is how I hope President Obama views the current state of affairs in that region and from his actions this indeed seems to be the case.

    December 8, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  7. Shaun

    According the statistics in 2004 America had an army larger than 2.3 million. That includes the reserves and national guard. They are a very well trained and the best equipped in the wolrd (I'm British and not pro-American by the way). These are READILY AVAILABLE soliders, these aren't conscripts like they used in WW2.

    In 7 years in Iraq coalition forces have lost 4685 men.
    In 9 years in Afghanistan coilition forces have lost 1536 men.

    There are 150k colition troops in Afghanistan (71k US with 30k more soon).
    There are 115k colition troops in Iraq (which is dropping).

    These facts suggest that, even though every loss of life is tragic, this is little more than an outing, a show of strength. The world is a safer place now whether you believe that or not. It's too risky to send thoasands of men into terrain that better fits your enemy – America have learnt there lesson from Vietnam.

    Should we be there? Yes.
    Will we ever beat the Taliban? No. Not unless we were in all-out war with them.

    Just my view on it.

    December 8, 2009 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  8. M Z A

    "We have won the war in Iraq" ????? hahahahah that's a nice joke by Mr Weissman.

    December 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  9. gecko

    All these US efforts are basically futile, they only benefit their own military industrial complex, not the average citizen in those targeted countries or anywhere else in the world. Peace will never be installed by such means. It is quite clear that Islam will prevail in the future because it is much more altruistic. The world will see that greed is not good...

    December 8, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  10. Merlin DuVall

    The radical form of the Muslim religion is the major problem in Pakistan, Afghanistan and somewhat in Iraq. The ‘Taliban War’ is a religious one, between the main form of the Muslim religion and the radical form. That is true of other religions also; however, it is the Taliban’s brand of radicalism that is out in the open for the world to see. The Taliban stubbed their toe in Pakistan and got the average Muslim against them. The practice of suicide is significant because the Muslim religion is against that practice, and the radicals use it to kill anyone close enough. While the military war is necessary to reduce the size of the Taliban ‘Army’, it is the Muslim Religion that must do some house keeping.

    December 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  11. Edmund Schilvold

    @ gecko "All these US efforts are basically futile, they only benefit their own military industrial complex"

    My friend, you are deluded. It sounds like you have been reading too much about conspiracy theories. This is what Norwegian military officers said about the war in Afghanistan in November:

    "Mainstream media's portrayal of the war in Afghanistan is utterly wrong, according to a group of Norwegian military officers who have been watching the developments taking place for more than seven years. Why, they ask, do messages of doom and gloom dominate the headlines when the reality is that huge positive changes ... have occurred, to the extent that the country is hardly the same as it was just a few years ago?

    With their own eyes, they say, they have seen a feudal society move towards a more modern state. The have seen the hopes and expectations of the people they are responsible for protecting grow, they have seen villages and towns gain new life. And they warn of what would happen if the troops were to pull out:

    – If we leave now, the country will descend into hell before we know it. The conditions will become even worse than they were before the war against the Taliban began, say lieutenant colonel Ivar Knotten (47), who returned from Afghanistan in June this year.

    – To me it seems that the battle is now more a battle in Western media than on the ground in Afghanistan. The media say everything is going to hell. That is simply not true."


    As for altruism, it is plain that any Islamic altruism does not apply to non-Muslims. Read the Quran yourself, and you will see that this is the truth.

    May God help you find a better, more constructive path.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  12. suzi

    the US destabilized Iraq when they started the war there..so when they leave Iraq now, it will only threaten the security of ordinary people. Although for Obama is now Afghanistan his prime interest, he shouldnt forget also about Iraq cuz the sitaution there is still critical which could have also consequencies on the US security.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  13. Jörgen Hopfknoller

    I thought by now that some people would beginn to see the economically realism in these wars. They draw away funds badly needed elsewere, USA goes with a record budget deficit this year, i think that stopping useless spending in Afghanistan and Iraq (1 mill $ pro soldier) would contribute far more to world peace and stability than investing in more wars and creating debt and unstability.
    (PS i am not an pacifist, only an political and economical realist)

    December 8, 2009 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  14. TS

    Wow, if you look up ignorant in the dictionary, Sig's post is what you will find....Yes...Nazi Germany's Genocidal Generals were significantly more humane than Bush and Rumsfeld. Also, China has no secret prisons and North Korea is just making nukes for peacefull purposes.

    December 8, 2009 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  15. Daniel Weissman

    @ TS: Indeed. Sig seems like quite the deluded leftist.

    @ Edmund Schilvold: chin chin, couldn't have said it any better myself.

    @ M Z A: It's not a joke and if I were you I would not show myself to be so foolishly dismissive.

    By "win" I mean the USA hasn't lost. A strategic stalemate leading to an internally stabilized, semi-democratic Iraq is tantamount to an American win in Iraq.

    It is quite cynical of you to laugh at the impressive progress that has been made by the Iraqi government/military and Coalition forces in that country. Have you no shame?

    Clearly, the USA went into Iraq for the wrong reasons and became stuck there. However, through perseverance and hard work, that country was not allowed to fall apart, and is now an increasingly stable semi-democracy; much better than we could have hoped for even two years ago.

    P.S. @ M Z A: In the words of Abraham Lincoln "it is better to remain silent and have others think you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

    December 8, 2009 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  16. David Mitchell

    It all comes down to power and greed on both sides of the fence, if there is a fence. One group (country, alliance) forms to counter another; one group wins some another loses some and the beat goes on and as it has since time began.

    The only way (and, it's been tried before, individually by cults, religions, economic systems, etc.) is for the world to unite and work towards designing a community that has access to all the worlds' existing resources, the perfect community or city, state, country and finally world, if you will. It really seems quite simple actually. If we want to live in harmony, peace and tranquillity, we have to find out what the mechanics behind such a system is. It certainly isn't Democracy, Socialism or Autocracy. It begins in the home or from the bottom up not from the top down.
    Little things, like maybe a few pairs of shoes so our kids can walk comfortably to school every day or enough food to eat anound the same table. These things are available; we just haven't figured out a socially acceptable way to distribute them other than thru different economic systems or welfare.
    Afganistan is a perfect place to start. Take a particular town and start building it so that it is self-sufficient. The people in that town know what they need. Let's give it to them and show them how to get more. If they knew how to get what they need, they would already have it. That's the problem, ignorance, at all levels of society, from CEO's down to the homless man or woman on the street. Soup kitchens are great but they don't address the problem.
    I guess you might call it: "Organizational Paralysis". Soup kitchens have no clue as to what other organizational help is out there nor do any of the countless millions of organizations both public and private. Until we figure out how to integrate or connect one to every other, we are doomed to continue along the path of "that's how it has been and that's how it will always be".
    How much could it cost? Just one community in Afganistan! With sucess so easy to obtain, other communities would be flocking there in droves asking how was this possible? Problem solved, world wide!
    You have to start somewhere. Why not in Afganistan?

    December 8, 2009 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  17. gecko

    @Edmund Schilvold

    Well, time will show who is more "deluded", my friend 😉

    "If we leave now, the country will descend into hell before we know it." – so you are saying that US should stay there forever? That is basically what it says – if you leave ANY time there will be hell... and strongly think it was a big mistake to get in there in the first place. Of course people are entitled to their opinions and view things differently, there is no universal truth, and I am not a conspiracy theories advocate, I just see that things don't look too good for the US in both Iraq and Afghanistan. As to the who benefits most from these wars I would suggest you check out the movie "Iraq for Sale", a real eye opener and before you start saying this is BS propaganda you can easily check all the facts mentioned there.

    December 9, 2009 at 10:58 am | Reply
  18. gecko

    @Jörgen Hopfknoller

    "They draw away funds badly needed elsewere, USA goes with a record budget deficit this year, i think that stopping useless spending in Afghanistan and Iraq (1 mill $ pro soldier) would contribute far more to world peace and stability than investing in more wars and creating debt and unstability."

    Indeed, it is really DISGUSTING when there are so many poor people across the world (including those in the US itself) and a SINGLE soldier in Afghanistan costs $1 million per year... (think about how many people it would feed) but then again Halliburton, XE (Blackwater) and the like don't give a damn, their stock goes up...

    December 9, 2009 at 11:09 am | Reply
  19. G

    I think everyone's comments are interesting but I want to ask. Have anyone of you been to Iraq, Afghanistan, or the Middle East? What do the Islamic people think? What do the citizens think about the situation? I am not trying to be accusatory, but do any of you really know the situation in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    December 12, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Reply

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