Thursday, September 28, 2006

Iraq: ‘From bad to worse’--Michael Jansen in Jordan Times

"Washington cannot afford to cut its deployment or pare budgets. Violence of all kinds from a variety of quarters is rising throughout Iraq. According to a recent UN survey, fatalities reached an unprecedented high of 3,590 in July. Although there was a dip to 3,009 in August, the office of the UN Assistance Mission said the daily death toll averages 100. The monthly figure for January was 710. Of the combined total of 6,599 for July and August, 5,106 were killed in the capital. But official figures are almost certainly well below the true total because many bodies are not found and many deaths are not reported.

"Deterioration in the security situation has led to greater Sunni alienation from the US and its allies. An opinion poll conducted by the US Department of Defence reveals that 75 per cent of Arab Sunnis now support the insurgency. In 2003, only 14 per cent backed violent opposition to the occupation. Two other polls show that 65-71 per cent of Iraqis want US-led foreign forces to immediately pull out of the country.

"According to a State Department report, “majorities in all regions except Kurdish areas state that the Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) should withdraw immediately”, adding that “the MNF-I’s departure would make [Iraqis] feel safer and decrease violence”.

"The main reason Iraqis seek the departure of foreign forces is the US failure to establish a viable authority in the country and to stem the rising tide of insurgent, jihadist, ethnic and sectarian violence which threatens to engulf all the citizens of Iraq.

Michael Jansen--no relation--in Ali Abunimah

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