Tag Archives: US surge

Surge Is Working Claims Secretary Rice

Secetary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Iraq’s foreign minister to share what they regard as the good news of the military surge which she insists has reduced violence in Iraq. Rice believes reducing violence has set the stage for long term economic and social ties between the United States and Iraq. Despite a drop in US deaths, Rice admitted there has yet to be sufficient progress in establishing political and economic institutions which can bring stability to the Iraqi people.

The entire issue of “lasting Iraqi ties” is complex. In reality, outside of oil, what exactly would the US seek in economic terms from an independent Iraq? The future of Iraq, for the immediate time period, rests in establishing relations with other nations of their region. In light of strong religious linkages between Iraq’s Shiites and Iran’s Shiites, the economic and social ties will probably be Iran and Iraq. Sorry, Secretary Rice, we Americans have done yeomen work to help Iran gain power in Iraq.

Iraq Death Figures Contradict Bush Claims

According to President Bush, his “surge” has produced dramatic reductions in the level of violence in Iraq and the number of dead people. However, recent figures released from the Iraq Body Count(IBC) which has extensive experience working in that country, concludes that violence outside of Baghdad actually rose until September. its figures recognize a significant drop in violence within the Baghdad area due to the presence of more American soldiers in the city. IBC states that between 22,586 and 24,159 civilians died in 2007, the majority being from the period of January through August. The number of civilian deaths involving US forces rose from between 544-623 in 2006 to between 868 to 1,326 in 2007. Most of these were linked to air strikes which led to the deaths of 88 children.

There is little question placing thousands of additional American soldiers within the Baghdad area has led to a reduction in violence. Of course, what no one knows is will violence zoom again once American troops leave or will it require the presence of those forces for a long term basis in order to ensure security within the Baghdad area? After all, militants are not stupid, why not lie low and wait for the Americans to depart?

Al-Qaeda Escalates Violence in Iraq

Just as expected, the level of violence took a surge in the past several days as al-Qaeda altered its approach to confronting US forces. An explosion in central Baghdad resulted in the death or wounding of at least 70 people. US Army intelligence claims Iran is behind the latest bombings. Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, leader of the Higher Islamic Council in iraq said the US must produce more evidence to support their allegations against Iran. He just returned from cancer treatment in Iran. Al-Qaeda is reportedly switching to infiltration of the Awakening Councils which have taken a more aggressive role in fighting insurgents. Prime Minister Mailiki came under attack from Sadr supporters who claim he is attempting to crush their organization under orders from the United States. Meanwhile the Iraqi Parliament and arguing about whether to change the law and allow former Sunni members of the Saddam Hussein government to serve in governmental positions.

The Bush administration emphasizes the importance of the “Surge” as curbing violence. There is no question it has reduced the level of violence in major cities, but it may well be that insurgents will alter their approach by focusing more upon outlying areas and engage more actively in guerrilla war activities. In the meantime, there is scant evidence the Iraq government is able to be an inclusive institution which brings together people from disparate backgrounds and organizations.

Surge In Iraqi Displaced Matches US Military Surge

The US military surge has been receiving enthusiastic comments from its supporters, but scant mention is being made of the surge in people displaced by the surge. At least a 100,000 people left their homes in the month of October raising the number of Iraqi displaced from 2.2 million to 2.3 million. It is estimated at least 1.5 million have left the country, but there are now increased restrictions being placed on Iraqi refugees in Syria, Lebanon, etc.. which has increased the difficulty of Iraqi going elsewhere to find refuge from the horror which envelops their land. Amal al-Kabuli of the red Crescent claims “the promises made by the government of Norui al-Maliki hto help the displaced people return to their homes has not ben honored.” Promises of paying refugees while they are displaced have also gone unfulfilled.

The famous “surge” undoubtedly has reduced insurgent activity, but what no one knows for certain is what happens when US troops stand down. Will gains made by the surge continue? Will they evaporate? No one knows, but it is clear there are hundreds of thousands of refugees wandering around Iraq.