Thursday, November 09, 2006

150,000 Iraqis killed by insurgents

150,000 killed by insurgents since the March 2003 invasion? 3 times that wounded? I know the Iraqis are the main targets of the insurgents, an attempt to dissuade them from joining Iraqi police and military forces and fighting with coalition troops, but that number seems way too high...

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Nearly simultaneous car bombs struck two markets in predominantly Shiite areas of Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 16 people. Iraq's health minister said about 150,000 have been killed by insurgents since the war started, giving the government's first overall casualty estimate.

[...] The health minister [Ali al-Shemari] also said the United States should hand Iraqis full control of its army and police force. Doing so, he said, would allow the Iraqi government to bring the violence under control within six months.

"The army of America didn't do its job ... they tie the hands of my government," al-Shemari said. "They should hand us the power, we are a sovereign country," he said, adding that as a first step, U.S. soldiers should leave Iraq's cities.

Hey, al-Shermari, we'd love to hand the Iraqis full control of the police and miltary to you if you could function without our support. The American people certainly don't want to be in Iraq any longer than we have too. But listening to the Health Minister, you ought to know the full story.

He neglected to explain how he reached the 150,000 which is three times most other estimates. He is also a member of Muqtada al-Sadr militia which was the apparent impetus of a raid on his office last August and the arrest of several of his guards.

Think that it's possible that he has his own agenda?

Labels: , , ,