5 US Troops, at least 9 Iraqis Dead
Violence up 36 Percent in Iraq
The incidents of violence on Friday and Saturday in Iraq that appeared in the newspapers were a very small proportion of the whole. The press did tell us that guerrillas killed 5 US troops in separate incidents on Friday and Saturday. The US continued to bomb Fallujah, killing 9 and wounding 16.
Rajiv Chandrasekaran of the Washington Post has gotten hold of some daily violence reports on Iraq done for the US Agency for International Development by Kroll Security International. They demonstrate that my point on Friday about most of Iraq being dangerous was correct, but apparently I should have colored in more of the map red than I did. There are continuing acts of violence in Amarah and Samarra. Muthanna province should not have been white. Attacks are occurring everywhere but the three majority-Kurdish provinces in the far north, on a regular basis, some 70 a day nation-wide. These include car bombings, rocket propelled grenade attacks, machine gun attacks, etc. In June there had been 40 to 50 such attacks per day, so the situation is getting worse. He writes:
‘ After his speech to a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday, Allawi described Baghdad as “very good and safe.” In fact, during the period for which security reports were available, the number of attacks in the capital averaged 22 a day.
On Wednesday, there were 28 separate hostile incidents in Baghdad, including five rocket-propelled grenade attacks, six roadside bombings and a suicide bombing in which a car exploded at a National Guard recruiting station, killing at least 11 people and wounding more than 50. ‘
For the original of the poll results (from June and July, a long time ago) cited by President Bush recently see see the International Republican Reserch powerpoint slides.
Some of the results don’t favor Bush policies.
Crime, unemployment and infrastructure are the biggest concerns people have. (This is because they are the biggest problems people actually face daily).
70% want Islam and Shariah as the basis of the state, and 73% want to ensure the Islamic identity of the state. (I had misremembered this as 80% but anyway wasn’t far off).
64% of the population think security is the number 1 issue. (As we have seen, it is getting worse).
Slide 23: 3/4s of Iraqis feel government is there to take care of people, and are basically socialists in outlook.
On a different subject, a report on the treatment of the Turkmen minority in northern Iraq is in this report.