I came across this
via Juan Cole's blog, Informed Comment:
It is unclear just how many Christians live in Iraq. At the beginning of the war, most estimates put Iraq's Christian minority at 800,000 people, or three per cent of the population. Christian activists say that tens of thousands have fled the country since the start of the war, but accurate numbers on the Christian migration are unavailable.
I stumbled across this
horrific possibility by way of Truthout:
There's some evidence that the murderous chaos unleashed by Shi'ite death squads may not be "an accident" but part of a carefully crafted American strategy, as the Bush administration has constantly added fire to the ethnic furnace as the best diversion to not address Iraq's tremendous social tensions. An atomized and terrorized society is much easier to manipulate, while at the same time the non-stop bloodshed is the perfect justification for "staying the course". ... Already in June 2003, proconsul L Paul Bremer's coalition hands were hiring Saddam's Mukhabarat pals for "special ops" against the Sunni Arab resistance, while "torture central", Abu Ghraib, was again operating in full force under American management. In the Shi'ite south, the Badr Organization - the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq's (SCIRI's) militia - as well as Muqtadar's Mahdi Army were gaining ground. The Badr was finally formally incorporated into the Interior Ministry, where Sunni units had also been carving up their own turf (under the protection of Allawi). The former Ba'athist Sunnis - and later the Shi'ites - benefited from the invaluable knowledge of American "counter-insurgency" experts who organized death squads in Colombia and El Salvador, as well as retired American Special Forces soldiers.
And there's this, which suggests twice as many civilians as insurgents are dying
RAMADI, Iraq -- U.S. Marine airstrikes targeting insurgents sheltering in Iraqi residential neighborhoods are killing civilians as well as guerrillas along the Euphrates River in far western Iraq, according to Iraqi townspeople and officials and the U.S. military.
Just how many civilians have been killed is strongly disputed by the Marines and, some critics say, too little investigated.
The Marines say the civilians are being killed by insurgents. The 200 million pounds of bombs the Marines dropped are all perfectly targeted.
So of course the Marines would be strongly in favor of bringing in UN and journalistic observers, right? Just so that the world can be certain that the insurgents are the killers?