Iraq: August 4, 2003


An increasing number of accurate tips are sending US troops off on raids that are grabbing a larger number of senior Baath Party activists. Even in the Sunni Arab areas, enough people are upset with the violence and destruction of the Iraqi resistance, to pass on information to the Americans. Discreet cash rewards are also paid for useful information, which encourages tips. A sign that this is working is seen in Baath Party attacks on Iraqis suspected of being informers. These attacks seem to cause more informers to step forward.

Local media are returning to Iraq. Satellite dishes are legal and selling well and more newspapers are publishing. Radio stations provide regular service and U.S. psychological warfare efforts continue in the form of dispassionate news. This is rarely seen in the Middle East, but is having an impact, if only because of its novelty. Iraqis can't help but notice that more Iraqis are running things in Iraq, and without the heavy-handedness and corruption so typical of the previous Iraqi government. Calls to reinstate Saddam's government resonate with few Iraqis, even some of those who grew rich off Saddam's favors. Reporters from European and Arab media are having to work harder to find bad news, which is leading to more implausible stories.  

The number of attacks on American troops has declined in the last week. American commanders are under a lot of pressure from Washington to reduce the American death toll in Iraq. 


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