Thursday, March 15, 2007

Latest Iraqi Resistance Stats

There I was impatiently awaiting the latest reports on what the Iraqi resistance is doing, and to whom, and how often, and - lo! - like manna from Washington, they are here. Nothing surprising about it at all. Attacks are at an all-time high, the bulk directed against coalition forces:

"Although most attacks continue to be directed against coalition forces, Iraqi civilians suffer the vast majority of the casualties,'' the report said.

The quarterly report - Stability and Security in Iraq - did not reflect security conditions since the start of the year when the United States increased the number of troops in Baghdad to try break a spiral of sectarian violence.

Echoing a recent US intelligence estimate, it said the term "civil war'' did not capture the complexity of the conflict, which included "extensive'' sectarian violence but also attacks on coalition forces and criminality.

"Some elements of the situation in Iraq are properly descriptive of a 'civil war,' including the hardening of ethno-sectarian and politically motivated violence, and population displacements,'' it said.

"Illegally armed groups are engaged in a self-sustaining cycle of sectarian and politically motivated violence, using tactics that include indiscriminate bombing, murder and indirect fire to intimidate people, and stoke sectarian violence,'' it said.

The latest report is here. You have to wade through acres of horseshit to get to the useful information, including a lot of unsubstantiated assertions (the ones they have proof for are footnoted), extremely optimistic predictions about Iraq's future economic growth, and a lot of evangelising about the benevolence of the occupation. Here's a money quote:

In the past three months, the total number of attacks increased 22%. Some of this increase is attributable to a seasonal spike in violence during Ramadan. Coalition forces remained the target of the majority of attacks (68%), but the overwhelming majority of casualties were suffered by Iraqis. Total civilian casualties increased by 2% over the previous reporting period.

The following charts tell the story. On the one hand, an overwhelming focus on targeting the occupiers, mainly but not exclusively concentrated in the Anbar, Baghdad, Salah ah-Din and Diyala, but with those targeting civilians yielding a very high toll. Death squad activity against civilians has risen by every indice, although you have to marvel at the cheek of these bastards even raising the issue of their allies in the Badr Organisation or blaming the Mahdi Army. Here's something for you to try and find in the document: "Special Police Commandos", or any variant thereof. Not a mention.

A word about the provincial breakdown. The lowest level of attacks are obviously in the Kurdish controlled areas, and the highest levels are where the coalition has been most active. British forces have pulled out of their base in Meysan since August, so it is no longer a primary site of resistance. The number of attacks in Basrah will diminish as British troops pull out of their bases there. Indeed, as I keep pointing out, one excellent way to guarantee diminished violence in Iraq is to reduce the number of foreign troops there, with the optimal figure of zero. It is also worth mentioning that the second largest category of attacks, as may not be easily discernible from the colour-code are those 'Iraqi Security Forces', which effectively operate as death squads for the occupation. One other telling aspect of the report is where it comes to discuss the provision of electricity: it is those areas under Iraqi control that are actually providing most power for more hours in the day, and the area with least power is the capital, the site of the Green Zone and the occupation crackdown:

This is no surprise: reports of insurgent controlled towns and cities constantly indicate that electricity starts working, amenities start functioning, and wages start being paid whenever the occupiers are out.