They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Iraq: Not a civil war, but several civil wars

More than four months after the launch of the U.S. government's new Iraq strategy aimed at curbing violence in this war-torn country, the situation here shows no clear signs of improvement. Indeed, a recent report by a British think tank warns that Iraq is a "failure" on the verge of "collapse and fragmentation."

... According to figures by the Iraq Body Count -- a group which maintains a database of media-reported civilian deaths attributable to military action and sectarian and criminal violence since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion -- in January, the month before the start of the Baghdad security plan, 2,800 people were killed.

In February the monthly total dropped slightly to 2,720, while in the first 27 days of this month, 2,500 civilians have been killed, showing no major decline in violence.

Citing the complexity of the situation in Iraq, the report by the prestigious Chatham House think tank notes that "there is not one civil war nor one insurgency, but several civil wars and insurgencies" going on simultaneously.

In the central parts of the country, Shia and Sunni Muslims are fighting each other. In the mixed areas of the north a conflict, though still small, has broken out between Arabs and Kurds. The western parts of the country are witnessing Sunni tribes fighting the al-Qaeda terror network, and in the south Shia political groups are fighting for power and control of oil-rich areas like Basra.

Added to this is a relentless insurgency by various groups against the Iraqi government and foreign troops. Link