- The rate of attacks is at an all time high
- weapons cache finds are at an all time high
- Attacks are still directed overwhelmingly at occupying forces, but as the Iraqi police and army are trained and put into combat situations, they are taking a bigger brunt of the violence.
- Attacks on civilians remains the smallest wedge of all attacks.
- Resistance attacks are still concentrated in four provinces where the occupiers are most active, of course, and least present where the occupiers have given authority to regional parties.
- The areas under almost complete insurgent control are the areas most likely to have working electricity, which is telling.
- Support for a divided Iraq remains extremely low, predictably highest among the Kurds.
- One welcome new trend is a dramatic decrease in sectarian incidents reported. Sadly it continues to be the case that those attacks on civilians, whether sectarian or insurgent in nature, are those with the highest death yield, and civilians continue to bear the brunt of attacks.
- The report attributes the high profile attacks (suicide attacks and car bombings) that take large civilian casualties to “AQ”, but this fits too easily into the occupation narrative: the truth is that there are a number of groups – still a minority of resistance fighters – who are using these tactics.
Most telling of all is that most of these results contradicts the mainstream narrative that if the occupation forces were to leave, Iraq would degenerate into a bloodbath and that Al Qaeda would take control.
One surprising claim is that huge areas of Iraq are either completely or partially read for transfer: that is, areas under complete or partial insurgent control are being designated as fit for a withdrawal of US troops. Diyala, Salah ud-Din, Baghdad, and Ninewah are all considered on the road to transfer. I doubt that this amounts to an admission that control has already effectively been handed over to the resistance in many cases, but clearly there is a rollback of operations being prepared, sure to be seen (correctly) as an ignominious defeat, even if the occupiers only withdraw as far as the Green Zone – which is itself under increasingly effective attack (and guess who the American government blames for that).
Electricity in Baghdad has been one of the more chronic infrastructure problems plaguing the Iraqi city. Indeed, over the last year or so, the number of hours Baghdad residents could expect electricity has actually dropped.
Don’t worry, the Bush administration has a plan to deal with all of this. Take steps to improve the power supply? Don’t be silly; the administration has decided to stop reporting on Baghdad’s electrical problems.
As the Bush administration struggles to convince lawmakers that its Iraq war strategy is working, it has stopped reporting to Congress a key quality-of-life indicator in Baghdad: how long the power stays on.
[T]he State Department, which prepares a weekly “status report” for Congress on conditions in Iraq, stopped estimating in May how many hours of electricity Baghdad residents typically receive each day.
It’s the quintessential Bush move — when struggling with discouraging news, it’s easier to hide it than fix it.