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September 15, 2007



Ramadan Mubarak to you all. Next year, may Iraqis celebrate it at home, and in peace and true freedom.


I wish you and your a safe and peacful holiday. All I can say is that your pictures of you tiny wedge of Life in a war zone always cause me to have the same two reactions.
First is sadness and then anger. No explanations are needed.
All I can share with you is that there is a steady growing anger towards the leadership of the government here in the USA. What if anything can be done is still uncertain but we can hope.
Nothing momentous here in the states. Be safe and Please keep your postings coming!

RJ Adams

I can only echo the words posted above. What we do here in the US scarcely seems enough. If we could only persuade Mr & Mrs Average American the Iraqis are just as human as they are. Keep posting, and keep safe.



lambert strether

Wow, Conservative music spam. Excellent!

Leila, thanks for this post.

And kudos for venturing outside the Green Zone to do REAL reporting. We appreciate that back here in the States more than you can possibly imagine. Keep up the good work.

Glenn Andersen

Thank you for being brave enough and honorable enough to try to bring the truth to the world.

Rogue Cowboy

Size of the Al Qaeda Terrorist Force in Iraq that can not be contained with 200,000 Iraqi Security Forces that can operate with minimal Allied Support(50,000 US Troops, 5,000 Allied Troops:

The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), which arguably has the best track record for producing accurate intelligence assessments, last year estimated that AQI's membership was in a range of "more than 1,000." When compared with the military's estimate for the total size of the insurgency—between 20,000 and 30,000 full-time fighters—this figure puts AQI forces at around 5 percent.
When turning to the question of manpower, military officials told the New York Times in August that of the roughly 24,500 prisoners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq (nearly all of whom are Sunni), just 1,800—about 7 percent—claim allegiance to al-Qaeda in Iraq. Moreover, the composition of inmates does not support the assumption that large numbers of foreign terrorists, long believed to be the leaders and most hard-core elements of AQI, are operating inside Iraq. In August, American forces held in custody 280 foreign nationals—slightly more than 1 percent of total inmates.

What's the real number of Al Qaeda in Iraq still on the "BATTLEFIELD"? Apparently it is less than 2,000 yet we need 170,000 troops and the help of 200,000 Iraqi Security Forces for another year to keep them at bay until next fall. Then over 50,000 US troops and over 350,000 Iraqi Security Forces will be needed for the foreseeable future.
Give me a break!


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Baghdad Observer is written by McClatchy journalists staffing the Baghdad bureau.

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