Motorcycle bombings in Baghdad killed at least 20 people today, the latest in a string of bombings across Iraq which have killed more than 250 civilians over the past week. It seems the situation in Iraq is continuing to deteriorate.
But not if you’re President Barack Obama, who today dismissed concerns about the hundreds of dead civilians and insisted that “despite some of these high-profile bombings, Iraq’s security situation has continued to dramatically improve.”
Obama’s eagerness to ignore the reality on the ground in favor of the narrative that things in Iraq are going swimmingly seemed to be the same message military officials are presenting, but doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny. Violence has been rising since March, and April was the deadliest month in Iraq in over a year. June appears poised to challenge it.
It seems hard to imagine that the administation is going to be able to keep up the pretense of dramatic improvements in Iraq if mosques full of worshippers continue to be destroyed and markets are bombed on a near daily basis. While the disastrous violence of previous has indeed set the bar of “progress” remarkably low, high-profile violence is still a reality.