BAGHDAD -- Militants blew up the two golden minarets of an important Shiite Muslim shrine in Samarra today, evading tight security to again target a beloved site already damaged last year in a blast that unleashed fierce sectarian warfare.
Political and religious leaders scrambled to avert a repeat of the bloodshed, declaring indefinite curfews in at least four cities and issuing appeals for calm. But within hours, there were reports of revenge attacks against Sunni mosques and mortar strikes in Shiite-dominated parts of
Followers of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr, whose Al Mahdi militiamen were blamed for driving last year's surge in bloodshed, suspended their participation in parliament to protest the failure to protect religious sites.
There is not just one civil war in Iraq, there are at least four. (I've read there are up to twenty different fighting factions):
Defense Secretary Robert Gates:
Our strategic stagnation results from the fact that we are fighting four wars, not one. According to Gates: "One is Shi'a on Shi'a, principally in the south; the second is sectarian conflict, principally in Baghdad, but not solely; third is the insurgency; and fourth is al Qaida, and al Qaida is attacking, at times, all of those targets."