14,000 DEAD IN FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2006
DEPUTY PM CLAIMS OCCUPATION FORCES RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE THAN 1200 CIVILIAN DEATHS EACH MONTH
Democracy takes hold in Iraq, at least within the massively fortified Green Zone, and a growing number of politicians from the new government are demanding the US withdraws its troops.
That was to be expected, particularly as a majority of Iraqis want the occupation forces out of their country.
But Iraqi politicians and government ministers are now also publicly attacking the occupation forces, the US in particular, for the horrifying rise in civilian deaths and untold acts of violence against people they claim had nothing to do with the various insurgency groups.
The speaker of the Iraqi government, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, cut loose with a incredible barrage of accusations at a UN sponsored conference in Baghdad last week, where he claimed the citizens of his country are regarded by US troops as less worthy of respect than dogs.
"Just get your hands off Iraq and the Iraqi people and Muslim countries,US military leaders recently floated the possibility that its forces could remain in Iraq up to, and perhaps beyond, 2015.
and everything will be all right. What has been done in Iraq is a kind of
butchery of the Iraqi people.""What we need is reconciliation between Iraqis only, there can be no third party.,.."
He related an anecdote about how American soldiers keep people waiting in lines at checkpoints for hours because they insist on resting their bomb-sniffing dogs.
"The sleep of American dogs is more important than people being stopped in the street for hours," he said.
Construction continues on the 125 acre US embassy on the banks of the River Tigris in Baghdad's CBD, which will become the largest fortified complex of its kind in the world - a city within a city.
The civilian death toll in Baghdad alone is now coming into a clearer light, as Iraqi government ministries and health officials speak out about the 14,000 people who have died in 2006 alone, as a direct result of the ongoing war.
The deputy prime minister of Iraq made an extraordinary claim yesterday, saying the US and Coaltion forces were responsible for half of all the civilian deaths due to "raids, shootings and clashes with insurgents" - more than 1200 civilian deaths a month, on average.
"They came to protect the people and democracy and all the problems we have today are because of them. It is a loss for Iraq..."The United States, meanwhile, has announced a new deployment of thousands more soldiers into the chaos, just as the Iraqi government is due to announce its plans for national reconciliation, which are expected to include deals that would see insurgency fighters escape prosecution in return for disarming.
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