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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You can believe that all is well in Iraq ala Gen. Peter Pace, VP Cheney or Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.

OR
BAGHDAD, March 12, 2006

(CBS/AP) The feared resumption of mass sectarian violence erupted Sunday in a Baghdad Shiite slum when bombers blew apart two markets shortly before sundown, killing at least 44 people and wounding about 200.

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A car bomb detonated in a marketplace in the southern Baghdad suburb of Dora on Tuesday afternoon, killing 20 people and wounding another 25, police said.

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" Gen. Pace also claimed that the Iraqi police and armed forces "have maintained good calm" in the violence that followed the bombing. In fact, the Associated Press...
BAGHDAD, 13 March 2006 — Insurgent attacks yesterday, including a series of three car bombs, left a trail of devastation across Baghdad killing at least 52 people as politicians rushed forward the opening of Parliament.

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From the Arab Press 3/16/06

At least 36 people were killed and 104 wounded when three car bombs exploded Sunday evening at crowded markets in the Sadr City Shiite district of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said quoting hospital figures.

16 more died and around 25 were hurt, mostly in Baghdad, in further car and roadside bombs, mortar and gunfire attacks, the official said.

A security scare at Baghdad International Airport prompted the US embassy to bar US government employees from taking outgoing commercial flights “.

The Shiite-led government fears new attacks might target Shiite pilgrims streaming to the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, in the south of the country, sparking a new wave of violence.

A recent spate of unrest that left over 500, mostly Sunni, dead followed the bombing of a revered Shiite shrine in Samarra, north of Baghdad, on Feb. 22.
 

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[q]US Fatalities Down Since Media Declared Civil War

The US has lost 12 soldiers so far this month in Iraq.
In the month of February, the US lost 58 of its finest in the War in Iraq.

As sad as these numbers are, we are seeing a low number of US fatalities since the media declared a Civil War in Iraq.

The average US fatality number for the last month and a half in Iraq is 1.63 which makes it the lowest average since March of last year and one of the lowest fatality periods since early in the war.

If the figures for March continue (0.92 average for the month so far) they will be the lowest number of fatalities for US forces in Iraq in over two years (0.79 fatality average in February of 2004).

Also today the BBC is reporting that the UK will withdraw several hundred troops from Iraq and possibly up to one tenth of the total forces stationed there:

The reduction will be "several hundred and probably around 800", said BBC defence correspondent Paul Wood.

The minister will also reveal to the House of Commons plans to relocate forces from certain parts of the country over the next few months.

Lt Gen Nick Houghton, the UK's senior commander in Iraq, had told a newspaper they could withdraw by 2008.

The BBC correspondent said the forces to be withdrawn could comprise Army trainers of the Iraq security forces.
Later in the day British Defense Secretary John Reid said in a press conference that Britain will cut its forces in Iraq by 10 percent - a reduction of about 800 troops - by May because Iraqi security forces are becoming more capable of handling security.

Update: I have not seen official figures of civilian casualty counts in the last week or so since the Golden Mosque was bombed back on Wednesday, February 22, 2006.

However, the weekend after the mosque attack the media grossly exaggerated the death counts in Iraq with the Washington Post leading the way. The WaPo reported the "toll in the deadly surge had reached 1,300". Iraqi Officials, however, disputed the number as "inaccurate and exaggerated" and reported that 249 had been killed in the resulting violence.

The official counts did continue to rise but there was quite a bit of difference in the original reports!
[/q]

http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2006/03/us-fatalities-down-since-media.html
 

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The media declared civil war, huh. The phrase I kept hearing and reading was the "fear that the attack on the Golden Mosque will bring Iraq to the brink of civil war."

This seems to be the semantics war for bloggers. If one defines civil war in terms of the American historical experience of armies of thousands fighting pitched battles to capture territory, it doesn't look like that in Iraq. My dictionary defines civil war as "war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country" then Iraq is already there. The term sure seems to upset the Bush Administration who don't want it used.

I don't care what term is used. I'm more concerned with finding an exit strategy, so our young men and women will stop dying.

It would be fun to watch those who insist on saying civil war, whether it's happening now or just moving that way, fight hand to hand against those appalled by the term, each side using their heavy personal dictionaries as weapons. None of this on-line stuff but old fashioned hard copy books cracking over each others' heads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I posted this and quoted from 4 sources all major-media: CBS, CNN, Associated Press and Arab News....and the rebutal is from a blogger?

Here is a article from the Gulf News the area local paper..
Talabani warns of civil war threat
Reuters:

Baghdad: Iraqi President Jalal Talabani warned political parties yesterday it was vital to accelerate efforts to form a broad government to stop any slide into civil war after bombs killed 52 people in a Shiite Baghdad slum.


From...www.ivaw.net the site of Iraqi Veterans Against War

Hundreds of Iraqis are being tortured to death or summarily executed every month in Baghdad alone by death squads working from the Ministry of the Interior, the United Nations' outgoing human rights chief in Iraq has revealed.

FROM: The Guardian...United Kingdom (Sorry for the length) Tuesday March 14, 2006
Memo from John Sawer, Blair's special envoy to Iraq after Saddam's overthrow to Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom. (edited for brevity)

Subject: Personal: Iraq: What's Going Wrong?

1. A Baghdad First strategy is needed. The problems are worst in the capital, and it is the one place we can't afford to get it wrong. ...

2. Four days in Iraq has been enough to identify the main reasons why the reconstruction of Iraq is so slow. The Coalition are widely welcomed, but are gradually losing public support....

3. Garner's outfit, ORHA, is an unbelievable mess. No leadership, no strategy, no coordination, no structure, and inaccessible to ordinary Iraqis. .... Garner and his top team of 60-year old retired generals are well-meaning, but out of their depth. .
...
4. It is clear that Baghdad is the biggest problem....security, a poor level of essential services and no information flow ...

Security

5. No progress is possible until security improves. Crime is widespread (not surprising as Saddam released all the criminals). Car-jackings are endemic. Last week the Ministry of Planning was re-kitted out ready to resume work; that night it was looted again. The evening air is full of gunfire. There is still a climate of fear on the streets and that is casting a shadow over all else.

6. A big part of the problem is the US Third Infantry Division. They fought a magnificent war and now just want to go home. Stories are numerous of US troops sitting on tanks parked in front of public buildings while looters go about their business behind them. Every civilian who approaches a US checkpoint is treated as a potential suicide bomber. Frankly, the 3rd Inf Div need to go home.

7. The military culture in the capital needs to change before their replacements (another heavy armour division) arrives. .

8. Re-forming the Baghdad police ... needs to be accelerated. The police need to start patrolling with sympathetic soldiers, rather than with one police car sandwiched between four Humvees. Weapons, uniforms, funds, vehicles, access to fuel and a functioning judicial process are all problems.

De-Ba'athification

9. The other fear among ordinary people in Baghdad is that the Ba'athists could still come back. ORHA have made mistakes, appointing quite senior party figures in the trade and health ministries, at Baghdad University and so on. Several political leaders I have seen say a line should be drawn at the "firqa" level of the Ba'ath party and all those at that level and the three above should be excluded, about 30,000 in all.

I edited this for as much brevity as possible. Hopefully you will read it all at IPL>Newspaper>United Kingdom>Guardian.
 

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[q] Four days in Iraq has been enough to identify the main reasons why the reconstruction of Iraq is so slow. [/q]

Four days was just long enough for him to find evidence to reinforce his preconceptions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Preconceptions?
As the post clearly states this is a (edited for brevity by me) memorandum to Prime Minister Tony Blair by his Special Envoy to Iraq, John Sawer. The purpose of the memorandum is to give the Prime Minister of Great Britian a first hand report with recommendations for Great Britian's forces, money and civilian manpower currently in Iraq.

Preconceptions indeed!
 
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