Things fall apart
Joe Drymala of Change for America makes the point:
Incredible violence, horrific slaughter of children, and the occupying forces are being blamed. Not the terrorists, but the troops. If that is the case, if the Iraqi populace-at-large has more sympathy for the bombers who burned their own schoolchildren alive inside a bus, then I don't see how we can ever win the hearts and minds of the people of Iraq.
It is not yet clear to me that the Iraqi's are blaming the Americans more than the terrorists, but if even a significant minority of the populous is doing just that then we have already lost the "hearts and minds" battle.
This reminds me of the bombing that occurred prior to the Good Friday accord in North Ireland that killed several children. The universal outrage over that act helped push through that accord and led to a more peaceful future for Ireland.
The bombings today, as horrifying as they are, could be used to unify Iraqis and Americans against the monsters who perpetrate this kind of attack. But that requires leadership that is capable of making that point with the Iraqis. You'll forgive me if I have my doubts that our current leaders have any clue how to do it.