This year's U.S. troop buildup has succeeded in bringing violence in Baghdad down from peak levels, but the death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago.After reading a report like this I wonder how the Iraqis can not be grateful that we removed an evil dictator? They have this great democracy now and even though many will never live to get that purple finger again, daily life is better now than under Saddam. Who needs clean water and electricity when you have a real democracy?
Some of the recent bloodshed appears the result of militant fighters drifting into parts of northern Iraq, where they have fled after U.S.-led offensives. Baghdad, however, still accounts for slightly more than half of all war-related killings _ the same percentage as a year ago, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.
The tallies and trends offer a sobering snapshot after an additional 30,000 U.S. troops began campaigns in February to regain control of the Baghdad area. It also highlights one of the major themes expected in next month's Iraq progress report to Congress: some military headway, but extremist factions are far from broken.
In street-level terms, it means life for average Iraqis appears to be even more perilous and unpredictable.
The killing fields of Vietnam are now in Iraq but the "surge" is working or at least that is what they will tell us in September.