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Iraq's darkest day
by Kuriakos Mellos
2006-11-28 10:43:21
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Thursday, November 23rd was just another normal day for many of the residents of Sadr City, a largely shi'ite neighborhood in Baghdad. As people woke up to do their normal chores, many headed to the morning markets to get their food for their day, their groceries or just to stroll amongst the crowds. A wedding procession was making its way through the streets, and people were milling about. That’s when the bombs hit.

While authorities disagree on the number of explosives used, the results are still devastating. In what is the worst attack in Iraq since the US invasion began, over 215 people were killed in a brazen attack that gave no mercy. Men, women and children were literally dismantled as the bombs tore through the markets and squares, destroying whole streets.

The shi'ite community reacted immediately, blaming the Sunnis for the attack, and attacking Sunni neighborhoods and Sunni mosques, killing 10. A 24-hour curfew was immediately imposed on the besieged capital, and politicians went to the televisions condemning the attacks and calling for restraint.

Civilians feared that this could have been the tipping point for all out civil war in Iraq. The next day, Friday November 24th, despite the strict curfew that was in place, Sunni mosques were burned along with homes, while clashes broke out in the Sunni Hurriya district. Reports came that some Sunnis were burned alive.

And politicians still refuse to call this civil war? Give me a break. What else constitutes a civil war? The UN reported that over 100,000 Iraqis are fleeing the country a month; the north (Kurdistan) does not even fly the Iraqi flag anymore; and sectarian violence in Baghdad has gotten to the point of being uncontrollable.

What is next for Iraq? It seems that the Iraqi government has lost control of its people, as threats are being made from within of parties leaving the government. The United States can not decide what commitment it wants to make to the country, and Syria and Iran are looking to take increasingly larger roles as they see a power vacuum in the country. The next week or two could very well determine the future in Iraq for many years to come.

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