Friday, March 09, 2007

Iraq Progress is Happening, Like it or Not

Important information to know, but isn't generally known --

March 1, 2007, 2:14 PM EST

Key figures about Iraq since the war began in March 2003:


Confirmed U.S. deaths as of March 1, 2007: 3,159.

U.S. wounded as of March 1, 2007: 23,677.

Iraqi civilian deaths:

Estimated at more than 57,000, with one controversial study contending as many as 655,000. Since the Baghdad security crackdown was formally launched on Feb. 14 [2007], there has been a sharp drop in the number of victims of sectarian death squads. The number of bodies found has dropped by nearly 50 percent -- to 494 last month as of Feb. 26, compared with 954 in January and 1,222 in December. [Indi note: Included in the Iraqi civilian death figures are those who have died of natural causes, 'normal' crimes, and traditional tribal killings. There has been little effort to differentiate between war related deaths and non-war related deaths. The Muslim custom of burying the dead within 24 hours or before sunset and a reluctance to perform autopsies skews the death figures considerably. There is a number of civilian deaths we can all agree upon and that is 'too many'.]

Assassinated Iraqi professors: at least 188. [Indi note: USAToday put the number at 300 in 2004. This higher number may be suspect as many academics were drafted into the Iraqi army and died in the course of battle. Also, some may have been killed in revenge killings because professors typically were Ba'ath party members in order to work or by conviction.

Journalists killed on assignment: 93.
[Indi note from CPJ:

By Nationality:
Iraqi: 75
• European: 11
• Other Arab countries: 3
• United States: 2
• All other countries: 5

By Circumstance:
Murder: 60
• Crossfire or other acts of war: 36

Insurgent action: 70 (Includes crossfire, suicide bombings, and murders.)
• U.S. fire: 14 (CPJ has not found evidence to conclude that U.S. troops targeted journalists in these cases. While the cases are classified as crossfire, CPJ continues to investigate.)
• Iraqi armed forces, during U.S. invasion: 3 (All are crossfire or acts of war.)
• Iraqi armed forces, post-U.S. invasion: 1 (Crossfire)
• Source unconfirmed: 8


More than $360 billion. Combined with the conflict in Afghanistan and operations against terrorism elsewhere, the cost has topped at least $500 billion.
[Indi note: Keep in mind this is an AP compilation. The AP often insists there is no relationship between hostilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the other anti-terrorist operations around the world - except, of course, the involvement (instigation?) of US troops.]


Prewar: 2.58 million barrels daily.

Feb. 18, 2007: 2.05 million barrels daily.
[Indi note: Not bad considering the bad guys keeps blowing up the pipelines. Also, the past and present oil production figures are largely guesswork because, as ABC News broadcast a few weeks ago, the gauges for measuring oil flow are all broken and have been since the plants were built. Working gauges interfered with governmental theft operations. Much of the US aid money will be used to repair the broken metrics.]


Prewar nationwide: 3,958 megawatts. Hours per day (estimated): 4 - 8.
[Indi note: This figure is deceptive. Pre-war power was diverted to Baghdad and other key areas and the total pre-war usage figures are now being averaged over the entire country. Prewar Baghdad received electricity 24 /7/365.]

Feb. 21, 2007, nationwide: 3,640 megawatts. Hours a day: 9.3. [Indi note: This number really does represent the power available over the entire country much of which got no electricity under Saddam.]

Prewar Baghdad: 2,500 megawatts. Hours per day (estimated): 16-24. [Indi note: The electricity usage in pre-war Baghdad was artificially inflated because Saddam Hussein had electricity from other parts of Iraq diverted to Baghdad. Many parts of Iraq received zero m.w. of electrify pre-war and some place were not even wired for electricity. Post Saddam, towns which once had no electrical access now do have electricity though for only a few hours a day. Still it's better than what they had - nothing.]

Feb. 21, 2007, Baghdad: megawatts not available. Hours a day: 5.3. [Indi note: Iraq is still plagued by sabotage to the antiquated energy infrastructure. As the world prices of metal increases, the value of copper wiring is more attractive to thieves who are rolling up thousands of meters of electrical wiring to sell on the black market to be shipped to recycling plants in Europe.]


Prewar land lines: 833,000.

Jan. 2, 2007: 1,046,027.
[Indi note: That's 213, 027 land line user after the fall of Saddam.]

Prewar cell phones: 80,000. [Indi note: Deceptive figure requiring explanation. Cell phones were prohibitively expensive to the average Iraqi and tightly controlled by the government. Primarily only government officials and military officers had cell phones. After the fall of Saddam, private citizen still had no access to cell technology because what little cellular infrastructure there was had been destroyed. The land line infrastructure had also been destroyed - the really big explosion we all remember from the first night bombing was the telephone company building. As the numbers show, the growth of cell phone usage outstrips the replacement of land line phones. Iraq skipped the old fashioned phones and went straight to cell phones.]

Jan. 2, 2007: 8,712,027. [Indi note: That's 8,632,027 more cellphone users after the fall of Saddam.]


Prewar: 12.9 million people had potable water.
[Indi note: Compare this number to the number of prewar Iraqis with sewer service. Then ask yourself what kind of water the other half of the population was drinking.]

Dec. 31, 2006: 15.1 million people have potable water. [Indi note: Now compare this number with the current Sewerage; nearly an equal number of Iraqis with both clean drinking water and sewer service.]


Prewar: 6.2 million people served.
[Indi note: Iraq Population - 24,001,816 estimate in July 2002, 25% of population with sewer service.]

Dec. 31, 2006: 10.7 million people served. [Indi note: Iraq Population - 26,783,383 estimate in July 2006, 40% of population with sewer service.]


Feb. 28, 2007: Approximately 2 million people. An estimated 712,000 have been internally displaced in the past year, most since the mosque bombing in Samarra on Feb. 22, 2006.
[Indi note: Internally displaced includes the thousands of Sunnis who lived in Shia neighborhoods who traded homes with Shias living in Sunni neighborhoods. The local sect impressed upon their opposite sect neighbors to get out or die. A natural process of house swapping took place. It isn't like all of these people are living in U.N. provided tents in the desert. They are housed, but not in their prewar homes. It's a bad thing, but better than being killed.]


Prewar: 500,000 Iraqis lived abroad.
[Indi note: Obviously, the majority of these Iraqis would be the dissidents who would have been killed by the Ba'athist regime of Saddam Hussein had they remained or returned to Iraq. Living abroad was not their first choice.]

Feb. 28, 2007: Approximately 2 million live abroad. [Indi note: Another deceptive figure. It's not like 2 million people have picked up and moved to completely different parts of the planet. Many of the 2 million have gone to Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, and some have gone to Iran. Others have left their home cities to live with relatives in other Iraqi cities. It's unfortunate, but internal migrations are not unusual in war especially in civil wars between parties who are sworn by their god to kill the 'other'.]


Sources: The Associated Press, U.S. State Department, U.S. Defense Department, U.S. Department of Energy, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, The Brookings Institution, Iraq Body Count, The Lancet, Iraqi ministries of health and education, U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq, U.N. High Commission for Refugees, Committee to Protect Journalists, Economist Intelligence Unit, National Priorities Project, International Telecommunication Union.


AP researcher Julie Reed in New York contributed to this report.
Copyright 2007 Newsday Inc.

Sources for my own notes:
Stuff I already know. If you don't trust my knowledge, go look it up yourself.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


The Flomblog said...

Tjank you for bringing this to my attention. I will be using this in class!

Mike's America said...

I like how you describe the sources for your own notes.

I'm getting tired of playing librarian for moonbats who don't bother to read the supporting documentation too.

If you look at the Brookings Institute Iraq Index you'll find some other interesting facts:

Like gas lines growing in the Capital, which might suggest disatisfaction with the regime.

But if you also look at skyrocketing car ownership and the huge increase in number of miles driven you get a better picture of what is happening.

Same with the electricity shortage. Somehow, even with that handicap, use of computers, cell phones, satellite TV has increased many, many times over 2003 numbers.

Indigo Red said...

Feel free to use anything here Flom. My nephew is using this blog for a high school paper he's writing about the war.

Thanks, Mike. I got tired of having to source my stories, too. Giving credit is one thing, but this is not a newspaper. This is how I see the world and I don't have to provide sources. Doing so really slows down the process.

However, the sources provided by the professional journalist (probably an intern) are very interesting.

One of the things I want to know is this - if the Iraqis are so poor, how do they manage to pay USD 25,000 to ransom their family members, buy the Mercedes, bribe the border guards with another USD 35,000? Where do they get all this money? And how do I get in on the gig?

Gayle said...

This is a very important post, Indigo Red. It also looks like it was a lot of work.

I'm going to be taking a couple of weeks off and will post to that effect on Monday. When I return I may steal this line from you: "Stuff I already know. If you don't trust my knowledge, go look it up yourself." I love that! :)

Mike's America said...

Why is Gayle taking a couple of weeks off?