Bush’s “surge” has escalated ethnic cleansing. Shiites have cleared the western half of Baghdad of thousands of Sunnis, who once dominated the area. Newsweek reports:
The surge of U.S. troops — meant in part to halt the sectarian cleansing of the Iraqi capital — has hardly stemmed the problem. The number of Iraqi civilians killed in July was slightly higher than in February, when the surge began. … Rafiq Tschannen, chief of the Iraq mission for the International Organization for Migration, says that the fighting that accompanied the influx of U.S. troops actually “has increased the [internally displaced persons] to some extent.”
The Iraqi Red Crescent Organization and the U.N. reported last month that the “number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has soared since the American troop increase began in February.” Despite the mass exodus of large numbers of Iraqis from conflict zones, the Iraqi health ministry reports there still have been more civilian deaths this month than in previous months.
The National Intelligence Estimate confirmed that where some “conflict levels have diminished,” it was due to ethnic cleansing. The new report by an independent 20-member military commission headed by Gen. James Jones puts this reality in a stark visual presentation. See the chart below (from p. 34 of the Jones report):
The chart reports some decreases in the intensity of “ethno-sectarian violence” in certain Baghdad districts (Note: This is based on military data). But where there have been decreases, they are due largely to the fact that “mixed Muslim” areas are being overrun by either Shia or Sunni enclaves.
The map above demonstrates that Shias have been gradually taking over all of Baghdad (noted by the green mass that now covers much of the city), wiping out Sunni communities that stood in their path. Center for American Progress analyst Brian Katulis estimated that Baghdad, which once used to be a 65 percent Sunni majority city, is now 75 percent Shia.
Next week, when Gen. Petraeus reports “progress” in reducing sectarian violence in Iraq, what he means is that there has been great “progress” in the Shia ethnic cleansing campaign.