American and Iraqi intelligence officials disagree over who is responsible for the current flurry of terrorist attacks. The Americans believe that it is al Qaeda, reinforced by cash and recruits via Syria, but controlled by terrorist leaders within Iraq. The Iraqis believe that it's Saddam supporters, and their leadership is in Syria, who are the source of cash and reinforcements. The recent confrontation with Syria is seen, by the Americans (and some Iraqis) as a political ploy to help get Iraqi president Maliki re-elected. U.S. intelligence resources are still greater than what the Iraqis have, and the U.S. is reluctant to share too much with the Iraqis, lest crucial information about U.S. sources and methods be sold to the terrorists. The corruption in Iraq is still massive and out-of-control.
The security forces report that they broke up 18 terrorist cells last month, and arrested dozens of known or suspected terrorists. But still there were several major attacks, that left over 300 civilians dead. The government blames Syria for allowing Iraqi terror groups there to send in more suicide bombers and cash, to keep the attacks happening.
Members of parliament are calling for more efforts to curb corruption (which is stifling the economy and crippling the government). International surveys indicate that Iraq is the third most corrupt country on the planet. It's gotten so bad that even the public schools are mired in corruption. There are no indications that the corruption will be appreciably diminished anytime soon.
U.S. combat casualties are down to single digits per month. In six years of action, 3,470 American troops died in combat in Iraq. Another 900 died from non-combat causes. The Iraqi police and soldiers are taking nearly all the casualties now, but are discouraged by the current spurt of terror attacks.
September 12, 2009: Two bombs went off near a Shia shrine in Baghdad, killing four people.
September 11, 2009: Three died from a car bomb in Kirkuk.
September 10, 2009: A truck bomb went off in a Kurdish village southeast of Mosul, killing 19 and wounding many more.
September 8, 2009: Bombings and shooting left 19 dead across the country.
September 6, 2009: Several shooting in Mosul left six dead.
September 5, 2009: The government several thousand additional police to the Syrian border, and accused Syria of responsibility for most of the terrorism in Iraq. The government insisted that 90 percent of the foreign terrorists entering Iraq, did so via Syria (which continues to deny everything.)
September 3, 2009: A terrorist bombing of a Shia mosque in the south killed four people, while Syria demanded that Iraq provide proof that Saddam supporters were in Syria, directing terror attacks in Iraq.
September 2, 2009: Four Iraqi soldiers were sentenced to death for their part in a January 28th bank robbery, that involved the murder of eight bank guards. But higher ranking Shia security officials, apparently responsible for planning and ordering the robbery, will not be prosecuted. This is common knowledge, and the government is taking a lot of heat for it.