Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita says insurgent attacks have increased in Iraq in the last two weeks — and he says most of the attacks have been aimed at Iraqis. Di Rita describes insurgents as “increasingly desperate” as the Iraqi government gains more support among the people. And he says the attacks may be just the insurgents’ way to “grab headlines with more spectacular attacks.

This is pure spin by the Pentagon which helps to perpetuate the perception that Iraq is out of control and prop up domestic support for the Occupation’s presence in the country. The attacks by the resistance are growing more spectacular as they change tack but the claim that the attacks are aimed at Iraqis is questionable. There has been an uptick in attacks on mosques which look like the work of “pop up” militias funded by the US.

However, M. Junaid Alam studied a report by the prestigious Center for Strategic and International Studies titled “The Developing Iraqi Insurgency: Status at end-2004” and found that attacks on the coalition far outnumbered attacks on any other group (75%), while attacks on civilians comprised only 4.1% of the total as shown on this graph.

As Alam says, this paints a far different picture from the one portrayed in the press of a mindless resistance bent on chaos and destruction. It is also curious that three months on from its publication, this report has yet to be picked up the mainstream press. Is it because it does not chime with the Occupation’s line that the Iraqi situation is beyond hope and the Occupation is the only civilising force in the country? The white mans burden…

In an article appearing in the NYT titled “U.S. Commanders See Possible Troop Cuts in Iraq” a graph showing resistance attacks from March 2003 to March 2005 reveals the same picture. Attacks on civilians were a tiny proportion compared to attacks on the coalition. While there has been an increase in the number of Iraqi security troops trained to fight the resistance during the past few months, the graphs also show that there has not been a corresponding increase of attacks aimed at them during this period, which should put to rest the belief that there has been an explosion of sectarian violence.

The writer also mentions that US intelligence agents in Iraq have admitted to paying people off to make up stories about Zarqawi: “We were basically paying up to $US10,000 ($A13,700) a time to opportunists, criminals and chancers who passed off fiction and supposition about Zarqawi as cast-iron fact, making him out as the linchpin of just about every attack in Iraq,” one agent said. “Back home this stuff was gratefully received and formed the basis of policy decisions. We needed a villain, someone identifiable for the public to latch on to, and we got one.”

You may recall Iyad Allawi ordering Fallujah to give up Zarqawi or face the consequences. You may recall the US declaring after assaulting the town and killing thousands, that Zarqawi had, in all likelihood, fled, but Fallujans will never forget how the US murdered their city.

Left Hook