By Hussein Al-alak – The Iraq Solidarity Group
McClatchy Newspapers reported on 26/4/2007 that the United States Government is discounting the use of car bombs as being one of “the main killers of Iraqi civilians”.
The President explained his motives on Tuesday, that “If the standard of success is no car bombings or suicide bombings, we have just handed those who commit suicide bombings a huge victory”.
According to the report by McClatchy “the number of people killed in explosive attacks is rising, the same statistics show – up from 323 in March, the first full month of the security plan, to 365, through to April 24.”
In response to the US President, James Denselow, an Iraq specialist at the London-based Chatham House, claimed that “Since the administration keeps saying that failure is not an option, they are redefining success in a way that suits them.”
The Bush statement came days after the Associated Press reported on the 24/4/2007 that "A suicide car bomb struck a patrol base northeast of Baghdad on Monday, killing nine U.S. soldiers and wounding 20 in the single deadliest attack on American ground forces in more than a year."
Reuters reported on 25/4/2007 that "Eleven British soldiers have now been killed in Iraq this month, the highest number of casualties suffered by British forces in a single month since March 2003 when 27 were killed in the opening days of the U.S.-led invasion."
It was reported by Margaret Griffis of the Anti-War.Com website on the 28/4/2007 that on Saddam Hussein’s 70th birthday, “At least 66 people were killed and at least 164 wounded when a parked car blew up as people were heading to evening prayers in the holy city of Karbala.”
Griffis also reported that three US soldiers were killed by a road side bomb, in Southeast Baghdad, with one soldier also being reported dead and two wounded by another car bomb attack just south of the capital.
According to the Associated Press on 28/4/2007, “There have been 99 members of the U.S. military who have died this month and at least 3,346 who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.”
The Independent reported on 27/4/2007, that Private Paul Barton of the 1st Battalion, the Staffordshire Regiment, “has broken ranks within days of returning from Iraq to speak publicly of the horror of his tour of duty there, painting a picture of troops under siege, ‘sitting ducks’ to an increasingly sophisticated insurgency.”
"Basra is lost, they are in control now. It’s a full-scale riot and the Government is just trying to save face", said Private Barton, claiming that "I want people to see it as it is; not the sugar-coated version."
“Just last month, Private Steve Baldwin, 22, a soldier in the same regiment, spoke to The Independent about the way he had been ‘pushed aside’ since being injured by a roadside bomb which killed three others during the Stafford’s’ first tour of Iraq in 2005.”
The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus reportedly said to the Washington Post on the 22/4/2007 that, "I don’t think you’re ever going to get rid of all the car bombs,"…"Iraq is going to have to learn – as did, say, Northern Ireland – to live with some degree of sensational attacks."
The Iraq Index, compiled by the Brookings Institution in Washington, released on 21 December 2006, estimated that “sensational attacks” have resulted with up to 40 percent of Iraq’s professionals having fled the country since 2003, with doctors and the pharmacists topping the list.
The Association of Psychologists of Iraq has warned about the damage that has been caused to Iraq’s children, with “learning impediments” having been brought on by the fear of guns, bullets, death and a general “fear of the US occupation”.
The basis for this report was the dramatic increase in parents seeking out psychological help for their children but the Iraqi Government has more recently been slammed by the United Nations for failing to co-operate with the provision of statistics for this year’s number of dead.
"It was a matter of regret”, said a spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, “that the Iraqi government did not provide UNAMI with access to the Ministry of Health’s overall mortality figures for the reporting period."