US Military Exaggerated Deaths from Shiite Militias;
EFPs used by Sunnis in Sunni Areas;
No significant Drop in Casualties with Security Plan
Sunni Arab guerrillas account for 90 percent of deadly attacks on US troops in Iraq, concludes Drew Brown of the McClatchy wire service. He shows, as well, that explosively formed projectiles were used with deadly effect against US Bradley fighting vehicles and Abrams tanks in al-Anbar Province, Taji, Muqdadiya, and West Baghad, all Sunni areas. This datum proves that Sunnis and not just Shiites are deploying EFPs and it shows that Sunni Arabs have workshops where they can mill the components. The US military had seemed to be arguing bass ackwards that all EFPs came from Iran. Iran is not giving them to Sunnis in Ramadi, that is ridiculous. The key components can be fashioned by people who have experience making explosives for use in the petroleum industry, which is a lot of Sunni Arab Iraqis.
The recently discovered cache of weapons in Diyala province should be viewed with great suspicion. The Mojahedin-e Khalq or MEK base is in Camp Ashrafiya in that province, and they have been boasting in Washington of having had a great success in convincing the US military that the Explosively Formed Projectiles came from Iran. Yeah, and they are likely the ones importing them. MEK is a manipulative cult that wants to get up a war between the US and Iran, and is linked in with the Neoconservatives.
AP reports that guerrillas detonated a bomb in the Bayaa market area, killing 10 and wounding 20. In Baghdad, 10 bodies were found on Wednesday, down from 30 on Tuesday. A mortar attack on another Iraqi neighborhood killed 9, and there was scattered violence in other cities. In Basra, a British soldier was killed by Shiite militiamen.
An Iraqi official leaked government figures on Iraqi civilians killed in January and February, and tried to spin the US press by saying that there had been a significant drop in such casualties.
But this official reported deaths for 1-31 January and compared them for the toll 1-27 February. Uh, the per day total isn’t that different, it is just that February is a short month and the figures were given through the day before it ended!
1990 divided by 31 is 64 per day.
1646 divided by 27 is 61 per day.
While human life is precious and a drop of 3 a day is welcome, I wouldn’t call that drop significant.
Moreover, the Iraqi government health ministry grossly undercounts the true civilian death toll from violence; UN numbers are higher.
The new Iraqi oil bill will have to get past Sunni and Sadrist parliamentarians, as well as get past the oil workers’ union. It has been roundly denounced by these political forces who fear it will give away much of the country’s wealth for the next 20 years and will reinforce sectarian divisions.
Karen Kwiatkowsky on the Bush administration’s aspirations for long-term military bases in Iraq. You can’t always get what you want (bases in Iraq), but you can get what you need (bases in Kuwait and Qatar).