The surge has only bought time for the US in Iraq. There will be no reconciliation without complete withdrawal
Wednesday January 9, 2008
"......The reality of the surge is this: the number of people displaced from their homes has quadrupled to over 2 million, and detention without trial has risen dramatically (the US alone holds 25,000 prisoners). Another 2 million have fled the country since the occupation began - and about 30,000 have returned, mostly because of lack of cash and visa restrictions. In oil-rich Iraq, electricity is now available in Baghdad for only eight hours a day, half the level before the invasion; unemployment is over 60%; food rations are being cut; corruption is rampant; and 43% of the population now lives on less than a dollar a day.
The surge has bought time for the US but achieved nothing to prepare the way for an end to the occupation. On the contrary, Bush recently signed an agreement with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for a long-term presence in the country. On Monday, a spokesman for what is regarded as the largest Sunni-based resistance group in Iraq, the Islamic Army, rejected any cooperation with the awakening councils and pledged to "resist the US forces as long as they are in Iraq". Meanwhile, focus-group surveys carried out for Petraeus in five Iraqi cities last month found that all sectarian and ethnic groups believe the US invasion is the primary cause of violence in the country and regard the withdrawal of all occupying forces as the key to national reconciliation. Those who preach democracy for Iraq should listen to its people."