This week's bomb attack on the freight port of Umm Qasr was something new, but it appears to be an extension of the terrorist strategy of targeting Iraq's commercial infrastructure.
Seen in the context of the growing number of attacks on northern pipelines – at least 37 attacks in the past 2 months alone – it is clear that the intention is to choke Iraq's trade and destroy its oil revenues.
But while the aim may be to damage the government, the effect is to harm all Iraqis, not least those directly affected by the violence.
And the tactics needed to tackle this threat may lead to more restrictions on the movement of people and goods, further diminishing the quality of life and hampering the development of the country.
Attempting to destroy Iraq's trade helps no-one, and prolongs the suffering of ordinary Iraqis.