By MARC McDONALD
The U.S. mainstream media, as well as the American public, grew tired of the Iraq War a long time ago.
Americans got weary of the depressing, mind-numbing stories of daily violence and bombings. So sometime around 2008, we just started tuning out the Iraq War. After all, we had other, more pressing issues. Like Paris Hilton's latest hairstyle. Or Britney's new boyfriend. Or Charlie Sheen's new porn star lovers.
Never mind that we Americans had been responsible in the first place for plunging Iraq into the violent hell that now consumes that nation. And all for a war based on lies and bullsh*t.
Gradually, the Iraq war just disappeared off of our radar screens. Oh, sure, we the American people, were still paying billions of our tax dollars a month, for ongoing war costs. And, of course, our troops were still dying there.
But by and large, we just lost interest. Never before in U.S. history has a war been so invisible to the American public (at least invisible to the people who aren't actually shedding their blood on the battlefields of Iraq).
But guess what?
The Iraq War is baaack.
A new savage cycle of violence is again wracking that country. And it's going to make it awful difficult for Americans, as well as the MSM, to tune out this ongoing fiasco much longer.
Consider the violence and bloodshed that has torn through Iraq in just the past month:
1. On Monday, five U.S. service members were killed in a rocket attack near Baghdad in the worst single toll for American troops in the country in at least two years.
2. Elsewhere in Iraq on Monday, violence killed 16 people, including 12 struck by a car bomb driven by a suicide attacker in Tikrit.
3. On Friday, attacks killed 24 at a Tikrit mosque and hospital where victims were being treated.
4. On Thursday, 10 people died in at least three explosions near provincial government offices in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi.
5. On May 27, an Iraqi official in charge of keeping former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party out of government was assassinated in Baghdad.
6. On May 23, a car bomb killed five policemen and two bystanders in the city of Kirkuk.
7. On May 22, at least 18 people were killed and 80 wounded in a series of roadside and car bomb bombing attacks in Baghdad.
8. On May 19, back-to-back bomb blasts in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk killed at least 27 people and wounded another 70 Thursday, officials said.
9. On May 5, a suicide bomber attacked a police training center in Hilla, killing at least 30 people and wounding 75 Thursday. 95 people were killed or injured in a series of other bombings that day.
And so it goes, on and on, day after day. And keep in mind, the above examples are only the tip of the iceberg. Dozens of smaller violent attacks occur daily.
The spiralling violence makes it difficult to believe that the U.S. will honor its agreement to pull out the remaining 46,000 combat troops by Dec. 31.
The problem is, if the troops do stay, it's difficult to imagine how the Iraq War doesn't descend into even greater chaos. Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is already rallying thousands of his supporters on the streets and vowing to lift his ongoing cease-fire and battle U.S. forces should they remain in Iraq after Dec. 31.
The latter pretty much seems inevitable, given the increase in violence in Iraq over the past few months. It's clear that the Iraq War will be grinding on and on, for a long time to come.