WMD Found At Last

There’s those chemical weapons: “A truck bomb exploded in the volatile Iraqi city of Ramadi on Friday, killing at least 15 people and releasing chlorine gas into the air, police and security sources said.” Turns out that while I wasn’t looking, “There has been a spate of chlorine truck bomb attacks in recent months, mainly in western Anbar province.” Note also that US forces are taking heavy casualties during the “surge” era such that “at least 18 American service members have been killed this month.” Read down in the article for a whole cavalcade of continuing violence incidents.

So far, the “surge” has coincided with Iraq’s traditional seasonal lull in violence. As we move deeper into the higher-violence months and armed groups continue to adapt to the new surged environment, I think we can expect the violence level to steadily tick back up. Meanwhile, on the political front the superficial improvements in the security situation have not lain the groundwork for political reconciliation but, rather, made Shiite parties once again intransigent and more confidence of continued US backing and eventually crushing their foes.