Sunday, January 30, 2005

U.S. Casualities in Iraq

President Bush declared major combat in Iraq over on May 1, 2003, but casualties have continued to mount. As of Aug. 27, 2003, deaths since Bush declared the end of the war exceeded those during the invasion.

Via the WSJ Online, comes this depiction of U.S. Casualities in Iraq:

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Wall Streeet Journal Interactive

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175 Attacks on Election Day

The WSJ reported that voter turnout varied by town, and was strongest in Shiite and Kurdish areas.

U.S. officials recorded more than 175 attacks:


Baghdad:  A rocket killed a civilian and a sailor at the U.S. Embassy Saturday. On Sunday, mortars killed two people and eight suicide attacks killed at least a dozen near polling stations. An insurgent blew himself up near the home of Iraq's justice minister. Voter turnout was brisk in Shiite and Shiite-Sunni neighborhoods, but polls didn't open at all in some Sunni areas.

Hillah:  A bomber detonated his explosives on a minibus carrying voters to the polls in Hillah, killing himself and at least four other people.

Balad, Kirkuk and Mahawil:  Mortars hit several voting sites.

Basra, Mosul, Samarra and Baqouba:  Voting stations saw explosions early in the day, but no casualties were reported. By midday, hundreds of people were voting in Samarra and eastern Mosul, though the city's west saw guerrilla fighting that muted turnout.

Bayji, Fallujah and Ramadi:  Polling stations were all but deserted in these Sunni strongholds.

Northwest of Baghdad:  A British transport plane crashed. Up to 15 British troops are believed to have died.

City by City
WSJ, January 30, 2005

Despite Violence,  Iraqis Head to Polls In Large Numbers
FARNAZ FASSIHI in Baghdad, YOCHI J. DREAZEN in Irbil, Iraq, and NEIL KING JR. in Washington
WALL STREET JOURNAL, January 30, 2005,,SB110706335615640226,00.html

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Iraqi Ethnic Group Voter Participation

Which ethnic groups will be voting in significant percentages -- or boycotting? :



Note:  There is a very good guide to the "Hows and Whys" of the Iraq election at the link below.

Iraqi election guide

Christian Science Monitor

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US on Bush's handling of Iraq War

AMERICANS' VIEWS on President Bush's handling of the Iraq war peaked in April 2003, not long after the U.S. invaded Iraq, but their opinion has turned decidely more negative since. Ahead of the Iraq war through early March 2003, a series of Harris Interactive surveys asked whether people were "confident Bush would make the right decision regarding an attack on Iraq."

Since late March 2003, people were asked, "Overall, how would you rate the job Bush has done in handling the issue of Iraq over the last several months?"

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This chart tracks positive and negative responses to the questions since September 2002.


Bush's Iraq Rating
WSJ / Harris Poll

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Violence in Baghdad

Security in Baghdad, including the green zone (once the safest place for US operations), has become increasingly tenuous :

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Closer look at Baghad
New York Times

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Violence shifts locale as election approached

We can see over how the violence has shifted emphasis between Spetember 2004 and January 2005.

Each pictogram represents attack concentrations.

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The insurgency continues to expand their reign of violence and death across Iraq.


Insurgency Attacks
New York Times

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Iraq's Security-challenged Provinces

Denis D. Gray of AP notes:   "However, at least six provinces – Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala, Salahuddin, Kirkuk and Nineveh – have been the scene of significant attacks on U.S. troops and Iraqi authorities in the past month. The only areas not plagued by bloodshed are the three northern provinces controlled by Kurds. The situation in many areas, however, is unknown since journalists' travel is restricted by security fears."

Juan Cole observes the situation is "even worse than Gray allows. As recently as August, the British expended 100,000 rounds of ammunition in Maysan province at Amara, saying they had the most intense fighting since the Korean War! Likewise there was heavy fighting in Wasit (Kut) and Najaf."

In the map below, we see security-challenged provinces are in red, and those that saw recent heavy fighting are purple. I ask you if this looks like the problems are in "three of 18 provinces," or whether it looks to you like elections held only in the white areas (as Donald Rumsfeld seems to envision) would produce a legitimate government:




Iraq Elections a Disaster in the Making
by Juan Cole, September 25, 2004

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Iraq Attacks by district

Security concerns remain paramount as insurgents mount continued attacks across the nation:



Elections in Iraq
New York Times

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Iraq's Complex Government Structure

Some interesting details about the structure of the newly elected government:




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Iraq election guide
Wall Street Journal

Life in Post Saddam Iraq

The Next Phase
NYT, Janaury 30, 2005

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Iraq Insurgency Map

There are no official figures on Iraqi civilian deaths, but unofficial estimates range from at least 15,000 to almost 100,000 since the March 2003 invasion. (More than 1,300 US troops have been killed in the same period).


The insurgency appears to be growing. In Sunni areas north and west of Baghdad, insurgents led by the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are reported to have joined forces with Saddam loyalists and are increasingly targeting Shia civilians.


Security & Insurgency

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