May all beings everywhere, with whom we are inseparably interconnected, be fulfilled, awakened, and free. May there be peace in this world and throughout the entire universe, and may we all together complete the spiritual journey.
— Lama Surya Das
It may be true, for instance, that today’s car bombs are significantly less destructive than in previous years and that greater numbers of roadside bombs are found before detonation — data that analysts often tout when they want to make the case that security is returning to Iraq. However, the fastest-growing class of violence comprises the “intimidation and murder” categories, including close-quarters shootings, under-vehicle bombs, fatal stabbings, punitive demolition of property, and the kidnap of children.
These are the categories of violence that are least noticed and least often counted by the Iraqi press or by foreign government agencies, yet they may be the most vital indicators of where Iraq is headed. Fewer people may be dying each month, but they are increasingly the right people — in other words, illustrative violence against community leaders that has broad impact within communities and helps insurgents regain freedom of movement.”