Lovely and happy Iraq needs a new national anthem
Iraq is all smiles now and the future, according to a report in Friday's Guardian by Gary Younge, things have long been expected to just keep getting better and better:
President George Bush was warned in July that Iraq could descend into all-out civil war, according to a classified estimate which summarised the views of a number of US intelligence agencies.Patrick Cockburn had this to say in today's Independent
Even the best-case scenario for Iraq is a political, economic and security situation described as tenuous.
The National Intelligence Estimate predicts three possible scenarios: tenuous stability, political fragmentation, or civil war.
The 50-page document, prepared in July before the latest upsurge in violence brought a sharp increase in Iraqi civilians killed and attacks on American troops, has yet to be officially released.
A spokesman for the national security council, Scott McCormack, confirmed its existence and remained upbeat, but refused to discuss the details...
Meanwhile, even Republican senators described the administration's reconstruction efforts as "beyond pitiful" and "exasperating from any vantage point," when the White House sought to divert $3bn from reconstruction to security.
Where freedom was promised, chaos and carnage now reign. A suicide bomber in a car blows himself up in the heart of Baghdad killing 13 people. Air raids by US near the city of Fallujah kill scores more. And so ends one of the bleakest weeks in Iraq's grim recent history.
Between them, suicide bombers targeting Iraqi police and US air strikes aimed at rebels have killed some 300 Iraqis since last Saturday - many of them were civilians. The escalating violence throws into doubt the elections planned for January and the ability of the US and interim Iraqi government to control the country.
The repeated suicide-bomb attacks and kidnappings in the centre of Baghdad are eroding whatever remaining optimism there might be about the success of the government of Iyad Allawi, the Prime Minister, in restoring order in an increasingly fragmented country.
Violence and abductions are ensuring that even tentative efforts at economic reconstruction have ground to a halt. Earlier in the week, the US diverted $3.4bn (£2bn) of funds intended for water and electricity projects to security and the oil industry. Many Iraqi businessmen and doctors have fled to Amman and Damascus because of fear of being taken hostage. The abduction of one British and two American contractors this week will make it very difficult for any foreigners to live in Baghdad outside fortified enclaves...
The US Air Force has stepped up its policy of trying to assault insurgents from the air while the army avoids ground attacks that could lead to heavy US casualties. In this case, the air strikes were against a compound in the village of Fazat Shnetir 12 miles south of Fallujah. The US military said they had attacked a meeting of militants loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi planning fresh attacks on US forces.
The residents of Fazat Shnetir were later seen digging mass graves to bury the bodies in groups of four. A health ministry spokesman, Saad al-Amili, said that 44 people were killed and 27 injured in the Fallujah attacks with 17 children and two women among the wounded. The floor of the Fallujah hospital was awash with blood. Relatives cried out with grief and called for vengeance.
The truth about who is being killed by the US air strikes is difficult to ascertain exactly because Islamic militants make it very dangerous for journalists to go to places recently attacked. Bodies are buried quickly and wounded insurgents do not generally go to public hospitals. But, where the casualties can be checked, many of those who die or are injured have proved to be innocent civilians.
It is high time the Iraqis suck it up and get their act together by adopting Steve Earle's "Some Dreams"
as their new national anthem, because Iraqis need to thinking along the lines of:
'Cause some dreams don't ever come true
Don't ever come true
Don't ever come true
But some dreams do
There you have it!