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Morning roundup: Iraq, Tunisia, and the Arab soul

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0915 ET

A suicide bomber killed about 15 in the second major attack on the Iraqi police in as many days. This one came at the police training center in Baquba, about 50 miles north of Baghdad, according to Reuters.

Yesterday's attack killed about 50 at a police recruiting center in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown. An obvious reminder that the Iraq war isn't over, whether the US pulls out on time at the end of this year or not. Tikrit and Baquba have been repeatedly "pacified" over the past 7 years -- I wrote about a major US army effort to clear Baquba of Sunni insurgents in 2005. As shocking as it sounds, places sometimes don't stay pacified.

There's been some call/speculation in the press about the US military extending its stay in Iraq in response to these kinds of attacks, even though suicide attacks by Sunni Islamists have been a sort of background radiation to the Iraq war (both the one to get foreign troops out and the one being contested between Iraqis for local power). They've occurred in areas where US troops patrolled in force and in areas where they rarely went. They occurred before the surge, during the surge and after the surge.

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