Despite violence drop, officers see bleak future for Iraq
One bright spot has been the reduction in the number of bodies found on the streets, considered a sign of sectarian violence. That number was 44 percent lower in July, compared to December. In July, the average body count per day was 18.6, compared with 33.2 in December, two months before the surge.Matt Yglesias notes that General Petraeus took full credit for the reduction in violence and had a pretty chart to prove his point.
But the reason for that decline isn't clear. Some military officers believe that it may be an indication that ethnic cleansing has been completed in many neighborhoods and that there aren’t as many people to kill.
One officer noted that U.S. officials believe Baghdad once had a population that was 65 percent Sunni. The current U.S. estimate is that Shiites now make up 75 percent to 80 percent of the city.
Now you will note that all the maps of Baghdad show the same sectarian regions. Matt also found that General Jones had a similar map for his presentation.
You will note that the maps of Baghdad show an evolving picture of the sectarian makeup of Baghdad that reflects the ethnic cleansing is nearly complete.
You can conclude from this that violence should indeed be decreasing as the Sunnis have all been driven out or killed. Is the Bush administrations plan to "stay the course" until all the Sunnis are dead or gone?
Note: You can click on the maps for a larger image.