Reuters reports that
“[a]t least 13 people were killed and more than 100 wounded on Friday when two roadside bombs exploded in quick succession in a crowded Baghdad market, Iraqi police and hospital sources said, in the latest attack targeting Shi’ite Muslims this month.
A wave of bombings in June against mainly Shi’ite pilgrims and shrines has killed more than 130 people and fuelled fears that Iraq could slip back into sectarian bloodletting of the kind that has receded since its peak in 2006-07.”
Through this carnage one hears the echoes of a familiar argument: that Iraqi “insurgents” set off bombs to repel an imperialist invader. It was the in thing to say when the Iraq War began. Those who had even the most basic knowledge of contemporary Middle East history knew that statement to be false the moment it left its peddlers’ reeking mouths. Since then, one hasn’t been able to open the New York Times without reading, albeit in the cozy corners of page 26 or so, about mosque bombings and such by other Muslims. One of the first things Abu Musab al-Zarqawi did when he arrived in Iraq was to declare war on Shia Muslims. As Christopher Hitchens once wrote, obliquely swiping at the multicultural ethos: “Don’t ask why the holy warriors blow up mosques by the way–it’s none of your goddam crusader-Jew business.”
I say let’s continue to ask that question, especially of those who have no answer.