From Gen. Patraeus’s press conference today:
Schools, health clinics and marketplaces have all been attacked. Car bombs have targeted hundreds of innocent Iraqis, including dozens of Sunni Arabs leaving a mosque in Al Anbar province. Suicide vest bombers killed over three dozen students at Mustansiriyah University in Baghdad. Fourteen Iraqi policemen were killed execution-style while bound and blindfolded last week. The Iraqi vice president was wounded by an assassination attempt, though thankfully and impressively, he remains undaunted and is already back on the job.
And in recent days, Shi’a pilgrims were killed in a barbaric manner by thugs with no soul, but the pilgrims continue to march. …
It is not in our power to turn back the clock to the day before the Al-Askariya Mosque was bombed. We can, however, in partnership with our Iraqi colleagues, help improve the security situation and enable the Iraqi people to control the demons responsible for the vicious sectarian violence of the past year, demons that tore at the very fabric of Iraqi society.