BAGHDAD -- United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon flew to Baghdad on Monday to discuss the growing violence in Iraq. On Monday alone, there were four car bombings in the capital. At least 26 people were killed.
West of Baghdad, Iraq's army is in a standoff with militants linked to al Qaeda.
The battleground in Anbar province is
less than 40 miles from the capital, so a CBS News team decided to drive out and take a look.
At least 60,000 security forces have sealed off the area. But, under pressure from the United States and its allies, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has decided not to order a full-scale assault against the al Qaeda-linked fighters because, he said, he wants to avoid bloodshed.
Instead, he is offering local tribesmen just over $400 a month to drive the militants out themselves.
It’s much the same strategy the U.S. military used to defeat militants in the same area in 2005.
And it worked, at least for a while. But now those same terrorists are back.
"They are definitely in the provinces around Baghdad, hitting Baghdad every single day without hesitation and without the government being able to get them, apprehend them and get them to justice," said opposition leader Ayad Allawi, a former interim prime minister.
Allawi says bad government has let terrorism sink deep roots.
"What we have is corruption and more corruption and continuous corruption. We don't have an army and police that can protect us from al Qaeda," Allawi said.
Iraqis were reminded of that again Monday, when
in spite of police and army checkpoints everywhere, terrorists were able to
detonate four bombs in busy streets, killing more than two dozen innocent