The death toll in Iraq yesterday, with at least 70 murdered in attacks across the country, was bad enough. But the scope of the killing carries worrying echoes of the way sectarian warfare ramped up across Iraq starting in late 2003, leading to the country's civil war.
The sheer scale of the activity yesterday makes it hard to dismiss events as the work of a handful of terrorists. Car bombs at a market in the southern city of Kut killed about 40. A suicide attack killed three policemen at the government counterterrorism center in Tikrit, the hometown of executed former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Four Iraqi soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in the Sunni town of Baquba, north of Baghdad. Separate car bombs in Baquba and nearby Khan Bani Saad killed eight.
In the Shiite holy city of Najaf, a suicide car bomb attacked the police headquarters, seeking to open the way for other militants. Seven people were murdered in that attack. There were multiple attacks in the ethnically and religiously mixed city of Kirkuk, with extensive damage done to a Syriac Orthodox Christian church there.
Iraq is fast becoming the next forgotten war. In addition, Afghanistan is also fading into the shadows, even though American troops are still dying there. Americans are tired, they don't care anymore while the economic and entertainment news of the day dominates the headlines.