Thursday, November 09, 2006

Iraqi Official: 150,000 Civilians Dead

An AP story has a couple of significant revelations. The first has to do with official Iraqi estimates of civilian deaths: "at least 150,000 civilians have been killed in the war - about three times previously accepted estimates" although this is still less than the estimates by epidemiologists released in October. The second has to do with claims that "the Shiite-dominated government renewed pressure on the United States to unleash the Iraqi army and claimed it could crush violence in six months" -- not exactly what BushCo has been telling us.
[Health Minister Ali] Al-Shemari, while not explaining the death toll estimate, was more precise about the government's increasingly public and insistent demands for a speedier U.S. transfer of authority to Iraqi forces and the withdrawal of American troops to their bases and from Iraq's cities and towns.

"The army of America didn't do its job. ... They tie the hands of my government," said al-Shemari, a Shiite.

"They should hand us the power. We are a sovereign country," he said, adding that the first step would be for American forces to leave population centers.

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