Ethnic cleansing made the Surge look easy
Satellite images taken at night show heavily Sunni Arab neighborhoods of Baghdad began emptying before a U.S. troop surge in 2007, graphic evidence of ethnic cleansing that preceded a drop in violence.
The images support the view of international refugee organizations and Iraq experts that a major population shift was a key factor in the decline in sectarian violence, particularly in the Iraqi capital, the epicenter of the bloodletting in which hundreds of thousands were killed…
“By the launch of the surge, many of the targets of conflict had either been killed or fled the country, and they turned off the lights when they left,” said geography professor John Agnew who led the study. “Essentially, our interpretation is that violence has declined in Baghdad because of intercommunal violence that reached a climax as the surge was beginning.”
Some 2 million Iraqis are displaced within Iraq, while 2 million more have sought refuge in neighboring Syria and Jordan. Previously religiously mixed neighborhoods of Baghdad became homogenized Sunni or Shi’ite Muslim enclaves.
“Our findings suggest that the surge has had no observable effect, except insofar as it has helped to provide a seal of approval for a process of ethno-sectarian neighborhood homogenization that is now largely achieved,” Agnew’s team wrote in their report.
Agnew’s team used publicly available infrared night imagery from a weather satellite operated by the U.S. Air Force.
Personally, I think another significant factor could have been instituted at the surrender of Hussein’s military. Uncle Sugar kicked off the “Surge” by paying $10 a day to Sunni ex-military and Ba’athist militia members. They’re doing as well or better than they did when “loyal” to Saddam.
Of course, their loyalty to us is just as conditional.