the Karkh federal appeals court in Mansour west Baghdad, a police patrol in front of a technical college in Dora south Baghdad, the headquarters of the state-run Rafidain Bank in downtown where many Finance Ministry workers had relocated after their building was destroyed in an August 2009 bombing, and Iraq’s Judicial Institute in northeast Baghdad. The courthouse was totally destroyed, and overall at least 127 people were killed and 500 wounded.
These bombings follow the August attacks on the Foreign and Finance Ministries, and the October bombings of the Justice Ministry and Baghdad provincial council building. The bombings could have been predicted. Since the beginning of 2009 casualties have gone up and down. November saw the fewest monthly deaths since the U.S. invasion in March 2003. December therefore is going to be a bloody time in comparison even though fatalities are at their lowest level since the beginning of the war. The bombings have followed the same pattern of occurring every other month.
The attacks are meant to undermine the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who has built a large part of his popularity upon bringing relative calm to Iraq. It also allows militants to gain media attention, raise money, and appear much stronger than they actually are. Finally, it effects the operation of the government, which already works at a snails pace. Many basic services were no longer available immediately after the bombings in August and October because the various ministries and bureaucracies were disrupted.
Iraq’s insurgents, who were behind the bombings, have lost most of their standing with the Iraqi public. They can’t even launch these massive attacks every month like they use to. Unfortunately, the country’s society and politics remain so divided that there is still plenty of space for militants to operate and kill hundreds of people each month.
Arraf, Jane, “Baghdad bombings: Iraqis demand security,” Christian Science Monitor, 12/8/09
Aswat al-Iraq, “Today’s blasts leave federal appeal court 100% devastated,” 12/8/09
Londono, Ernesto, “At least 127 dead in string of Baghdad bomb attacks,” Washington Post, 12/8/09
Myers, Steven Lee and Santora, Marc, “Election Date Set in Iraq as Bombs Kill Scores,” New York Times, 12/8/09
Parker, Ned and Salman, Raheem, “At least 127 killed as explosions rock Baghdad,” Los Angeles Times, 12/8/09
Roggio, Bill, “Suicide attacks killed more than 120 Iraqis in Baghdad,” 12/8/09
Strobel, Warren and al Dulaimy, Mohammed, “String of bombings in Baghdad kills 127 people,” McClatchy Newspapers, 12/8/09