December 23, 2011. Thousands of Sunni Muslims in Samarra, Ramadi, Baiji, and Qaim have taken to the streets. Many of them carry signs and banners protesting the Shi'ah-dominated government of Nouri al-Maliki and expressing support for threatened Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi.
December 22, 2011. Dozens of people were killed as bombs exploded in several Baghdad neighborhoods. While some of the attacks had the earmarks of Sunni militants linked with al-Quaeda, others were aimed at Sunni and mixed neighborhoods. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blamed the attacks on his political rivals, while Sunni leaders claimed that the bombs were part of a organized campaign to plunge Iraq back into the bad old days of violence, before the Americans had brought peace and stability to Iraq.
December 20, 2011. US officials expressed concern that all the billions of dollars spent on building up Iraqi security, the judicial system, and the media are now being used to stage political show trials that will exacerbate sectarian tensions.
December 19, 2011. The Shi'ite dominated government of PM Nouri al-Maliki issues warrant for the arrest of Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi. the al-Maliki government made the arrest order a prime time television special. The warrant cannot be executed because the vice president was in Kurdistan, which the Baghdad government does not control.
December 18, 2011. Last US troops leave Iraq.
Watch this space
Thomas Fleming is the former editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is the author of The Politics of Human Nature, Montenegro: The Divided Land, and The Morality of Everyday Life, named Editors' Choice in philosophy by Booklist in 2005. He is the coauthor of The Conservative Movement and the editor of Immigration and the American Identity. He holds a Ph.D. in classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Before joining the Rockford Institute, he taught classics at the University of Miami of Ohio, served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Education, and was headmaster at the Archibald Rutledge Academy. He has been published in, among others, The Spectator (London), Independent on Sunday (London), Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, National Review, Classical Journal, Telos, and Modern Age. He and his wife, Gail, have four children and four grandchildren.