Jun 01, 2013
Iraq violence broke another sad record in May, with at least 1,000 people killed in ongoing political and sectarian violence during the month.
With the previous month of April nearly as bad, the warnings that Iraq is already fighting an undeclared civil war are given new credence with each passing day that carries news of a bombing or masss killing.
Nearly 2,000 people have been killed in the last two months as al Qaeda and Sunni Islamist insurgents, invigorated by the Sunni-led revolt in Syria and by Sunni discontent at home, seek to revive the kind of all-out inter-communal conflict that killed tens of thousands five years ago.
"That is a sad record," Martin Kobler, the U.N. envoy in Baghdad, said in a statement. "Iraqi political leaders must act immediately to stop this intolerable bloodshed."
Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki later met leaders from across Iraq's sectarian divide in Baghdad to try to broker talks on the crisis, which previous negotiations have failed to solve.
The renewed bloodletting reflects worsening tensions between Iraq's Shi'ite-led government and the Sunni minority, seething with resentment at their treatment since Saddam Hussein was overthrown by the U.S.-led invasion of 2003 and later hanged.
As journalist John Pilger recently wrote, the US and UK have walked away from the crimes of its invasion and war in Iraq, but Iraqis "don't have that choice."
The "mess" left by George Bush and Tony Blair in Iraq is a sectarian war... [but] Bush has retreated back into his Mickey Mouse "presidential library and museum" and Tony Blair into his jackdaw travels and his money.
Their "mess" is a crime of epic proportions, wrote [Hans von Sponeck, former assistant secretary general of the United Nations and senior UN humanitarian official in Iraq], referring to the Iraqi ministry of social affairs' estimate of 4.5 million children who have lost one or both parents. "This means a horrific 14% of Iraq's population are orphans," he wrote. "An estimated one million families are headed by women, most of them widows". [...] In Iraq the catastrophe ignited by Britain has brought violence and abuse into millions of homes.
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