Best Defense

‘Iraq civilian death toll almost doubles’

Yes Joel, I know this is a fraction of what was happening in late 2006 and early 2007. But that doesn’t make it a good sign. U.S. government officials dispute the numbers; not sure how they would know. The political impasse is worrying Iraqis. "Everything is stopped," one told the Washington Post. "There’s no work, ...

MARWAN IBRAHIM/AFP/Getty Images
MARWAN IBRAHIM/AFP/Getty Images

Yes Joel, I know this is a fraction of what was happening in late 2006 and early 2007. But that doesn’t make it a good sign. U.S. government officials dispute the numbers; not sure how they would know.

The political impasse is worrying Iraqis. "Everything is stopped," one told the Washington Post. "There’s no work, no jobs. People are waiting. People are just buying food and saving money because they are afraid the situation will get worse in the future — worse than in 2006 and 2007." People also are bummed by the lack of electricity, especially in the brutal height of Iraq’s punishing summer. And someone keeps blowing up the houses of police officers in the Fallujah area.

President Obama is gonna talk today in a speech to vets in Atlanta about how all this is no longer gonna be our problem.

I wonder if we had done a census in Iraq in say 2005 if that would have settled some of the political issues that have led to Iraq’s impasse.   

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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