Iraq: July 23, 2004


The Sunni Arab rebellion and al Qaeda terrorist campaign have killed about a hundred Iraqi security personnel and civilians in the last four weeks. That's more than twice as many deaths as American troops have suffered. The government is becoming less coy about calling the violence an uprising by Sunni Arab supporters of the Baath Party and Saddam Hussein.  American combat deaths in July are running at a rate that will total about sixty for the month. The peak months so far have been last April, with 135, November 2003, with 82 and last May with 80. Iraqi soldiers and police, however, have become more aggressive, and numerous, in their attacks on the rebels, terrorists and criminals. The gangsters play an important role in the Iraqi unrest. Criminals create most of the violence against civilians, and provide, for a price, essential services for the anti-government forces (both Sunni Arabs and al Qaeda.) While the police have been neutralized (by terror and threats) in some Sunni Arab areas, for most of the country, the police are in control. And in those contested areas, more police and security forces are going in and taking back control of the streets. In the core area of Sunni Arab control, around Fallujah, American combat patrols continue to smoke out the armed opposition and kill them. Iraqi police and security forces are moving in to take over once U.S. troops have killed, or intimidated, enough of the armed opposition. Iraqi police are very popular among most Iraqis, as they see the cops as evidence of less crime and safer streets. In the Summer, safe streets are particularly important, as that's when many people go out to socialize,  shop or just cool off. 

In addition to the "Sunni Arab heartland" west of Baghdad, there are also large Sunni Arab minorities in the north around the Kurdish dominated cities of Kirkuk and Mosul. The Sunni Arabs in the north are rather more desperate because many of them face expulsion by more numerous and better armed Kurds. In the last two decades, Saddam Hussein had forcibly removed hundreds of thousands of Kurds from Kirkuk and Mosul, and giving or selling their property to Sunni Arabs migrants from further south. The Kurds want their property back, and many Sunni Arabs want to fight to keep what they have.


Article Archive

Iraq: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close