In an attempt to buy more time for his escalation, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said recently that “Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq was just now hitting its stride and was showing some gains in tamping down sectarian violence in Baghdad.”
Most recently, some military officials alleged that “half of Baghdad is now under control” due to the escalation. “I see progress, a steady progress, in every neighborhood that we’ve cleared and then established a full-time presence,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil, Jr., commander of Multi-National Division Baghdad.
But a new report from IraqSlogger reveals that the U.S. presence in Baghdad has shown virtually no progress in stemming the gruesome sectarian death squads pervading the capital. Between June 18 and July 18, “[u]p to 592 unidentified bodies were found dumped in different parts of Baghdad“:
Most of the bodies found by the police — an average of 20 a day — are bound, blindfolded and shot execution style, victims of sectarian violence carried out by both Sunni and Shi’ite death squads. Many also bear signs of torture or mutilation, according to medical sources in Baghdad. Despite official Iraqi and U.S. statements to the contrary, the reports indicate that the number of unidentified bodies in the capital has risen again to pre-surge levels over the last two months.
The report also gives credence to the futility of the escalation, reporting that U.S. troops have largely ignored these violent areas. “Media reports indicate that the U.S. military usually focuses on districts where they are attacked — such as the Sunni districts of Adhamiya, Jami’a and Khadhraa’ — rather than districts witnessing gruesome sectarian reprisal killings.”
Just this morning, the President claimed, “no enemy in Iraq is more ruthless than al Qaeda.” Actually, there are several.