Iraq: November 20, 2004

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The war in Iraq is costing the United States some $160 million dollars a day, with over 90 percent of this being spent by the army. The Iraqi government has been able to get about $32 million a day in revenues from oil exports. However, about half of that goes to repairing damage done by Sunni Arab attacks on oil facilities, and paying for security. The oil industry has a private security force of 14,000 armed men, and pays $70,000 a day to various tribes to encourage them to prevent attacks on oil pipelines that go through their territory.

American troops now control all of Fallujah and have found extensive evidence of terrorist and criminal gangs using the city as a headquarters. Evidence was found of torture chambers, and video sets used for filming the execution of kidnap victims. Moreover, the body of a woman, thought to be foreign aid executive (Care International) Margaret Hassan, was also found in Fallujah. A video of her murder was recently released by her killers, and it appears that the killing was done in Fallujah. Without Fallujah as a safe area for keeping hostages, killing them, and getting away with it, the terrorists have to do their dirty work in cities where there is a strong police presence, and nearby American troops. Thats whats happening in Baghdad, Mosul and other cities right now. The gangs are trying to control neighborhoods in these cities, and are not succeeding.

The government has ordered the police and army to enter mosques and arrest clerics who continue to preach violence against the government. This has led to a familiar drill where American troops surround a mosque, and Iraqi commandos go in and arrest those wanted, and often find weapons and other incriminating evidence. 

Opinion surveys continue to show the majority of Iraqis determined to have elections, democracy and an end of terrorism and Sunni Arab dictatorship. Iraqis are not happy with the way the international (especially Arab) media portrays and anti-government forces and terrorists as freedom fighters. Iraqis know exactly what the fighters are fighting for, and it isnt freedom. The violent gangs want to revive Sunni Arab rule over the Shia Arab and Kurd majority. Even many Sunni Arabs dont care for this outcome, because only a minority of Sunni Arabs benefit when someone like Saddam Hussein is in charge. 

 

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