A car bomb in the Iraqi city of Baqouba killed at least 40 people on Tuesday, making it the bloodiest
day in Iraq since February. Fourteen others were killed in a car bomb in Rahmadi, while four people
were reported killed in an attack on a police convoy in Baghdad. Speaking to The Real News analyst
Pepe Escobar, Phillis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies said that the notion that the surge in US
troop levels has worked is “nonsense.” Bennis tells The Real News Network there are three things
responsible for the reduction in violence: A unilateral ceasefire by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr last
year; the creation of “awakening” councils, under which fighters take “large US bribes” to stop fighting;
and, perhaps most disturbingly, the fact that violence ended because it achieved its purpose–ethnic
cleansing and the segregation of neighborhoods by ethnicity.

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Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow and the Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC.  Her books include Understanding ISIS & the New Global War on Terror, and the latest updated edition of Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer.