Several months after the March 7 election, Vice President Joe Biden was in Iraq to demand that the various political parties ensure a “fast and peaceful” transition to a new unity government, and predicting that there was “approaching stability” in the nation after over seven years of American occupation. His upbeat attitude probably would’ve been taken more seriously had the visit not been marred by a number of attacks across the nation, and indeed attacks on the Green Zone he was in.
It is hard to imagine that any new government in Iraq could be counted as “fast” four months after the vote, and the prospect of a “peaceful” transition after multiple assassinations, political arrests and months of rising violence seems increasingly remote. Even the notion of a unity government is looking increasingly unlikely, as the three major political blocs are each demanding their own favorite choice be given the prime ministership under such an arrangement.
Biden made a similar prediction of imminent progress in the war during a visit last year, a claim he insists has been vindicated despite the rising violence. He added that every time he visits the nation it “keeps getting better.”
Vice President Biden may not have noticed, during his brief visit, that sectarian violence is on the rise and political infighting is tearing the nation apart. He can’t however have failed to notice the number of mortars which hit the Green Zone while he was there, though this apparently didn’t count in his estimation of progress.