April 25, 2009
"It is just like a massacre took place. Where are the security precautions that the security officials are talking about?"
Laith Ali, an Iraqi citizen who owns a shop in northern Baghdad, on the uptick in violence in Iraq over the past few days as President Obama prepares to start withdrawing U.S. troops
"I think that these suicide bombings are, unfortunately in a tragic way, a signal that the rejectionists fear Iraq is going in the right direction."
Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, commenting on the recent violence during a surprise visit to Iraq
"You can't un-ring a bell. We're drawing down in Iraq, so the enemy forces in Iraq have been energized by that."
Christopher Holton, vice president of the Center for Security Policy, criticizing Obama's Iraq policy in light of the violence
Clinton arrives in the Iraqi capital a day after two suicide attackers kill at least 65 people near a major Shi'ite shrine in Baghdad and less than 48 hours after a similar attack kills dozens in a northern town, as violence seems to surge just nine weeks before Obama is supposed to begin withdrawing troops. A series of bombings and suicide attacks have claimed more than 250 lives in April so far, but Clinton seems to downplay the violence during her surprise trip, saying the attacks will not derail the progress made since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that ousted former leader Saddam Hussein. Others are concerned that the violence will only spread as U.S. troops start leaving.