I don’t think so, although the bombings of the German, Eygptian, and Iranian embassies yesterday that killed over 40 people are not good signs. Either was the massacre of 24 Sunnis over the weekend by men in “Iraqi army uniforms” in a town south of Baghdad. So, the question has been raised: will Iraq fall back into a full blown civil war? From Ned Parker at the L.A. Times:
The bloodshed raises fears that the security situation could unravel before Iraq’s next government is formed, as armed groups and political parties look to exploit the uncertain period after last month’s national elections. The conditions are reminiscent of early 2006 when Al Qaeda in Iraq took advantage of the transition between elected governments to blow up a major Shiite Muslim shrine and ignite a civil war between the country’s Shiite majority and its Sunni minority, which dominated the government of President Saddam Hussein before he was toppled in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
In my view, what we’re seeing is not the beginning of another civil war, but the continutation of a civil war that never really ended–it just become much less intense. In the next few months, the intensity of the conflict is likely to increase again, though I don’t think it will return to 2006-2007 violence. That being said, the violence is very significant. If the bar for violence wasn’t already set so high in Iraq, alarms would be going off in and around the Beltway telling us that the conflict was not even close to being resolved. (And it’s not, but we’re going to ignore the alarms, no matter how loud they get.)