Iraq has mainly been noticeable for its absence in the UK election campaign. In the leaders’ second debate last week, supposedly concentrating on international affairs, there was one innocuous question about the Pope that let everyone agree twice, but none concerning Britain’s biggest foreign policy disaster in at least half a century, though Nick Clegg made it clear that, unlike Gordon Brown’s Labour party and David Cameron’s Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats had always opposed the war.
From Iraq itself the very next day came a reminder of the continuing murderous chaos that the US-UK invasion has unleashed. A wave of bombings killed at least 58 people, most of them blown up near Shia mosques during Friday prayers.
The authorities blamed al-Qaeda. Yes, that is the same al-Qaeda that had been a nonentity in the country before the invasion. They also said they expected more attacks.
More than six weeks after Iraq’s own elections, there are still no officially certified results. Last year more than 4,640 Iraqi civilians met violent deaths. (See also my blogs of July 30, Sept 29, Dec 14, 2009 and Jan 28, 2010.)