20 Bodies Found Another 5 Us Troops

20 Bodies Found
Another 5 US Troops Killed
68 Attacks on US and Coalition Forces Per Day

The bodies of twenty men were found in black bags in southwest Baghdad on Monday. They had beards and may have been Sunni Muslim militants. [Knight Ridder is now identifying them as Shiites.] There has been a behind the scenes civil war going on in Iraq between Sunni and Shiite militants. In another incident, a man was killed while shaving, according to the Baghdad al-Zaman. Militant Salafis object to Muslims shaving their beards.

Salam Lutfi, the commander of the Lion Brigades, an Interior Ministry police commando unit, was assassinated on Monday. The commando units of this ministry have been accused of being comprised by hardline Shiites originally trained in Iran.

Robert Reid of AP writes,

“About 50 U.S. service members were killed in Iraq in July — at least 16 in the past week. According to American military figures, insurgents attacked U.S. and coalition forces an average of 68 times a day during the month. By comparison, the average daily rate of attacks for July last year was 47. Since the announcement of the new Iraqi government on April 28, more than 2,100 Iraqis — most of them civilians — have been killed, according to an Associated Press count. The actual figure is likely much higher.

Lets see. The rate of attacks for July 2005 was 68 per day.

In the past week alone, 16 dead.

The rate of attacks for July 2004 was 47 per day.

Three things may be concluded. The US just is not winning this war. The various tipping points, including the Jan. 30 elections, haven’t actually caused the situation to “tip.” And, we’re not being told about very many of the 68 attacks per day.

Reuters reports that:

“Two separate bombings on Sunday killed five U.S. soldiers during patrols in Baghdad districts, a U.S. military statement said on Monday. One soldier was killed and two soldiers were wounded when their patrol hit a landmine in al-Doura, south of Baghdad. Four soldiers were killed when their patrol struck a roadside bomb in southwest Baghdad.”

Al-Sharq al-Awsat/ AFP: The notables of Salahuddin province, with its capital in Tikrit, have asked PM Ibrahim Jaafari to reconsider the depth of the new government’s “debaathification” program. They say almost all residents were Baath Party members.

Same source: The Sadr Movement, lead by Muqtada al-Sadr, has accused the US military of torturing one of his associates, Shaik Ahmad Shaibani, while he was in custody.

Al-Zaman, the “Baghdad Times,” says that Iraqis of all stripes are telling it that they have two demands with regard to the next meeting of Arab leaders, in a couple of days at Sharm el-Sheikh. The first is that the Arab countries should be more vocal and active in condemning acts of terrorism in Iraq, and should do more to stop the infiltration of foreign jihadis. But their other demand was that the Arab nations should pressure the United States to announce a timetable for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

The Iraqi National Congress of Ahmad Chalabi has praised Iran as a source of stability in Iraq.
Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka hasn’t gotten the Coalition of the Willing talking points on Iraq. He said that

‘ postwar nation-building efforts in Iraq have “failed totally,” but expressed hope that the country’s different religious groups can work together to build an independent nation. Prime Minister Marek Belka, whose country has been a close U.S. ally since the invasion of Iraq, said the United States and its allies made a mistake by basing its postwar plan for Iraq on the same model used for Germany after World War II. “It failed totally,” Belka said at a panel discussion on nation-building at an international forum in Sweden. “Many mistakes, major mistakes, have been committed.” Poland has commanded a multinational force in Iraq since September 2003, although the force’s size has shrunk from 9,500 troops to 4,000. ‘

It is certainly true that the Coalition Provisional Authority based its reconstruction plans in Iraq on postwar Germany. They often just had old plans in Germany translated into Iraqi terms. One CPA document, hastily done, talked of the necessity to support the value of “Iraqi deutschmarks.”

It is also certainly the case that this template was inappropriate and failed miserably.

US military forces in Fallujah searched hundreds of homes and made some arrests when they found bomb making material in one domicile.

One American military commander is depending on local tribal sheikhs to provide security, in return for spending development money to hire his tribesmen. The tactic has yielded some successes in his area but may undermine governmental, pluralist institutions.

Attempts to revive the lifeways of the Marsh Arabs in southern Iraq may founder on the problem that the displaced Marsh Arabs have quickly become urbanized and may no longer wish to live and work in a swamp.