Have no idea how I attached this graphic to a post about Kerry, but I never claimed to be perfect. Come to think of it, I've never claimed to be average.
Anway, this graphic illustrates how the US government sees Iraq. It's slowly slipping toward chaos. Inevitably would be a better adverb.
Sorry for the poor quality of the graphic, but we work with what we have. On the left is peace. On the right is chaos. The arrow at the center is when the bomb was exploded in the golden mosque at Samarra.
The bombing of the al-Askari Mosque in Samarra began at 7 a.m. on February 22, 2006 when insurgents dressed as Iraqi police officers entered the shrine and captured five guards. The attackers then placed two bombs inside the dome and detonated them, collapsing most of the dome and heavily damaging an adjoining wall.
The attack left the shrine's famous golden dome in ruins. The shrine has enormous significance for Shiites, and its destruction in the midst of growing sectarian violence ignited a nationwide outpouring of rage and panic that sharply underscored Iraq's religous divide. Following the attack, thousands of demonstrators gathered near the shrine, waving Iraqi flags and calling for justice.
There have been no claims of responsibility, though Sunni extremist groups are suspected. A government statement reported that "several suspects" had been detained. This attack and the violent retrbution that followed it seemed to push Iraq closer to civil war. President Talabani was quotes as saying that "we are facing a major conspiracy that is targeting Iraq's unity. We should all stand hand in hand to prevent the danger of a civil war."
Iraq's top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, appealed for calm and called for a week of mourning. The appeal came amid widespread Shiite demonstrations and reports of reprisal violence around Iraq.