US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said the one word that would best describe the situation in Iraq was “fear.” And with good reason.
from Juan Cole:
2007 saw the deadliest July for US troops since the Iraq War began. It also saw a 23% rise in Iraqi deaths over June. July is like a blast furnace in Iraq, with temperatures approaching 120 degrees F. in the shade. Guerrillas typically lie low in this unfavorable environment, compared to other seasons, and so the casualty rates go down. Instead, this year the killing season has gone on as if it were spring.
Number of US troops killed in Iraq, July, 2006: 43.
Not only were the US deaths unprecedentedly high in July, the March through June death statistics were also very high.
AP adds: “Iraqi deaths rose, with at least 2,024 civilians, government officials and security forces killed in July, about 23 percent more than the 1,640 who died violently in June, according to Associated Press figures compiled from police reports nationwide.”
Pentagon spokesmen are attempting to portray this near doubling of July troop deaths as a sign of improvement on the security side, counting from June rather than looking at past July figures– and I fear some corporate media are falling for it.