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Lowest U.S. casualties not indication of better security conditions in Iraq

Fatih Abdulsalam, Azzaman

August 5, 2008

The Unites States has received reports that its combat casualties in Iraq dropped to their lowest level in July with glee.

The Pentagon and the White House saw it as an indication of the success of their military tactics and that security conditions were improving in the country.

But is it possible to measure the situation in Iraq within U.S. parameters of success and failure?

The killing of only four U.S. service personnel in July, the fewest combat casualties for any month since Americaĺs 2003 invasion of the country, will only remain an American measure which cannot be extended to the conditions in Iraq.

Lowest ever U.S. casualties may speak volumes for the U.S. but it has little meaning for Iraqis.

The drastic drop in U.S. casualties coincides with a drastic surge in Iraqi casualties.

Joint U.S. and Iraqi military operations are proceeding in several provinces, leaving behind a trail of destruction and many casualties. The U.S. keeps no tally of the Iraqis it kills. Neither does the Iraqi government.

There is no indication of an end to these military operations. U.S. military commanders say many more are in the offing.

The military tactics pursued by the U.S. in the past five years have illustrated that military campaigns in which heavy weapons like warplanes, artillery and armor are deployed, have become the means to solve problems, though experience has shown that they have drastically failed to do so.

Iraqis have no security guarantees because those carrying arms are still afraid for their own security.
U.S. troops, Iraqi armed forces and the countryĺs marauding militias see their weapons as the only means for survival.

The U.S. relies on its own security parameters to judge its performance in Iraq, the country it invaded and destroyed.

But Iraqis need other parameters for their own security ľ no more militiamen on the streets, no more invasions of cities and towns by U.S. and Iraqi troops, no more infighting between U.S.-raised militias and other Iraqi groups.
Iraqis have other parameters in mind. They long for national reconciliation which the mighty U.S. military machines has failed to bring about and the Iraqi government has been dodging all efforts to have it materialized.

So long as these parameters are not met, there will be no success in Iraq.

The U.S. can use the lowest ever July casualties and declare victory. But victory over whom!

Coercive security measures are proceeding ahead unabated. Baghdad is being bisected by concrete walls. Tribes are being armed and Iraqis are fighting Iraqis. The death squads are dormant and not finished.

And the Pentagon sees reports of the lowest ever U.S. casualties in July as an indication of success.

:: Article nr. 46229 sent on 06-aug-2008 03:53 ECT


Link: www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2008-08-05\kurd.htm

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