Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Iraq : 2007 Saw A Storm Of Myth-Making Of War Successes

Depending on which mainstream media reports you choose to believe, 2007 was the year that the US alliance 'won' the war on Iraq or at the very least it saw great progress being made in bringing stability and peace to Iraqi towns and cities and the political process.

Middle East expert Juan Cole disagrees. He has compiled a Top Ten Myths On Iraq. Here's some excerpts :
Myth: The US troop surge stopped the civil war that had been raging between Sunni Arabs and Shiites in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

Fact: The civil war in Baghdad escalated during the US troop escalation. Between January, 2007, and July, 2007, Baghdad went from 65% Shiite to 75% Shiite. UN polling among Iraqi refugees in Syria suggests that 78% are from Baghdad and that nearly a million refugees relocated to Syria from Iraq in 2007 alone. This data suggests that over 700,000 residents of Baghdad have fled this city of 6 million during the US 'surge,' or more than 10 percent of the capital's population. Among the primary effects of the 'surge' has been to turn Baghdad into an overwhelmingly Shiite city and to displace hundreds of thousands of Iraqis from the capital.

Myth: The US overthrow of the Baath regime and military occupation of Iraq has helped liberate Iraqi women.

Fact: Iraqi women have suffered significant reversals of status, ability to circulate freely, and economic situation under the Bush administration.

Myth: Iraq has been "calm" in fall of 2007 and the Iraqi public, despite some grumbling, is not eager for the US to depart.

Fact: in the past 6 weeks, there have been an average of 600 attacks a month, or 20 a day, which has held steady since the beginning of November. About 600 civilians are being killed in direct political violence per month, but that number excludes deaths of soldiers and police. Across the board, Iraqis believe that their conflicts are mainly caused by the US military presence and they are eager for it to end.

Go Here For The Full List From Juan Cole

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