Friday, September 24, 2004

How Bad is Iraq?

It's time to revisit some information sites that are a little more in touch with what is going on in Iraq than President Bush. Most of these sites have their anti-war bias, but they also are either close to the action or are very well researched.

For front lines, man on the street, Iraqi point of view, the best source I have found is Riverbend (Baghdad Burning)
You know things are really going downhill in Iraq, when the Bush speech-writers have to recycle his old speeches. Listening to him yesterday, one might think he was simply copying and pasting bits and pieces from the older stuff. My favorite part was when he claimed, "Electricity has been restored above pre-war levels..." Even E. had to laugh at that one. A few days ago, most of Baghdad was in the dark for over 24 hours and lately, on our better days, we get about 12 hours of electricity. Bush got it wrong (or Allawi explained it to incorrectly)- the electricity is drastically less than pre-war levels, but the electricity BILL is way above pre-war levels. Congratulations Iraqis on THAT!! Our electricity bill was painful last month. Before the war, Iraqis might pay an average of around 5,000 Iraqi Dinars a month for electricity (the equivalent back then of $2.50) - summer or winter. Now, it's quite common to get bills above 70,000 Iraqi Dinars... for half-time electricity.

For a good indicator of trends of violence it is always best to look at the attached graph. The slope of the "death line" is important. As you can see, it keeps getting steeper, indicating Iraq is a more and more dangerous place for US servicemen everyday.

Us Fatalities in Iraq

As linked to in other recent posts, Juan Cole's site is a great source of information and stories about what is going on in Iraq.

Another Blog that is a good place to engage in discussion about Iraq is called Today in Iraq run by Yankee Doodle.

More later. Gotta go now.