Thursday’s attacks in Baghdad, on the parliament, supposedly one of the safest places in the country, and the destruction of a major bridge on the Tigris, have upped the need for the government to get results in the fight against Iraqi insurgents and their allies.
With eight dead and 20 injured, the attack on parliament was not the deadliest the country has had to face recently, but the fact a suicide bomber seemed able to slip through five bodysearches to detonate his device in a busy restaurant has shaken the security forces.
President Bush condemned the attacks in Baghdad’s supposedly safe green zone. Baghdad residents seem increasingly resigned to more of the same: “The news today didn’t really shake us or the people in the street. It makes us laugh, in fact, the most critical places like parliament are now being exploded, places that represent the people; it’s now a violated place”, said one man.
It appears Iraq’s political class has few defenders: as another man said it was almost comical that an attack had taken place in the heart of the new democracy. If parliament could not be safe, how could the people? Although the on-going American security “surge” seems to have cut the number of sectarian shootings, there has been no lull in bombing incidents.