Marine Toll Rises To 18 Jaafari Says

Marine Toll Rises to 18
Jaafari Says Iraq at War

Guerrillas killed 4 more Marines later on Wednesday, one in Ramadi and 3 in Baghdad. This means the one-day total for August 3 was 18, not 14, because of the massive bomb that killed 14 early Wednesday at Haditha.

Although a US military spokesman said that the insurgency was not expanding, there are more attacks per day on US and other Coalition troops in summer 2005 than there had been in summer 2004, and the rate of US soldiers’ deaths in the past three weeks has been unprecedented.

Hannah Allam and Richard Chin report that Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari unveiled a 12-point plan for better border security and the creation of further elite commando units of the Iraqi security forces. What Jaafari didn’t say was that 12-point plans cannot guard borders. As for elite commandos, they take years to train.

The Scotsman adds a key para from Jaafari’s remarks: ‘ “We will not hesitate in saying this: we are in a state of war,” Mr Jaafari said. “It is one of the most dangerous types of war, because it is not conventional, or a war of borders.” ‘

Al-Sharq al-Awsat: Hundreds of demonstrators came out in the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala south of Baghdad to protest lack of water and electricity. Their placards demanded that the elected provincial councils supply better services. In south Najaf, demonstrators protested the cut-off of water service during the past week. Muhammad Ali, 40, complained that residents had had to send their children by car to get water from two miles away, and that there had been auto accidents as a result. He threatened that if water service was not returned, the demonstrators would cut off the road between Najaf and the nearby city of Diwaniyah.

Water and electricity shortages are usually caused by guerrilla sabotage, though what has knocked part of Najaf out of its water supply is not clear from the article. This kind of demonstration has typically been staged in recent weeks by followers of Shiite nationalist cleric Muqatada al-Sadr. Similar demands were made in the southern city of Samawa recently.

The Iraq War has sparked a new nuclear arms race, argues Anne Penketh of the Independent.

Iraq is suffering from high rates of post traumatic syndrome in the general civlian population, a Baghdad psychiatrist says. Yes, but they have to have been pretty traumatized by the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War, and the sanctions years, into which Saddam had dragged them, too. In some ways they’ve had no mental peace since 1979.

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