Sunday, February 04, 2007

New National Intelligence Report Released

Report Suggests That Iraq Has Steadily Worsened

Parts of a new National Intelligence Report were released over the weekend, and it paints a poor picture of the situation in Iraq. The report, part of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), is one of the few honest reports from the U.S. government that can be relied on.

The report indicates what many of us already knew; that the situation in Iraq is much more complex than the big TV news pundits suggest. The report shows that there are several separate struggles taking place within Iraq (this is what I have been stating here for months). It is more than just Sunni-Shia.... There is Al-Qaeda vs. Sunni & Shia (both Sunnis and Shi'ites want Al-Qaeda out.)

Then there are all of the different political factions that are competing for power there. So it's not the simple Civil War that the TV pundits like to talk about. It's more of a free for all.

I don't know how more troops can squelch this kind of violence. The kinds of tactics being used (truck & car bombs, suicide bombers, snipers, IED's and ambushes) are, by their nature, designed to defeat traditional military forces.

Meanwhile, hours after this report was released, Iraq sees some of its worse bloodshed since the war began. Over 130 civilians and soldiers were killed on Saturday, and hundreds of civilians were injured when a truck carrying 2000 pounds of explosives detonated in a crowded shopping area in Baghdad.

Photo: An Iraqi girl mourns the death of her father, an employee of a telephone exchange in Baghdad's Sadr city neighborhood. Four employees of a telephone exchange were shot dead as they arrived for work.
-Getty Images (From approx. 6 months ago). Photo captures the desperation & anguish in the country.

I have not been able to get this picture out of my head since it was released.

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