Reuters reports on a country in utter chaos:
A country in chaos, a terrorised population under siege in neighbourhoods polarised on sectarian lines or on the move in their hundreds of thousands to escape worsening violence. That was the picture of Iraq depicted in a new U.N. human rights report on Wednesday.
The report said the number of Iraqi deaths spiked in October in surging sectarian violence that has its epicentre in Baghdad, while more than 100,000 people are leaving Iraq every month and some 2 million have fled their homes since the 2003 invasion.
The report raised questions about the sectarian loyalties and effectiveness of Iraq's 300,000-strong U.S.-trained security forces ahead of next week's meeting between U.S. President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to discuss speeding up the handover of security control to Iraq.
"There are increasing reports of militias and death squads operating from within the police ranks or in collusion with them," it said. "Its forces are increasingly accused of ... kidnapping, torture, murder, bribery ... extortion and theft."
Its findings cast doubt on Maliki's recent assertion that Iraqi forces would be able to reduce violence within six months if they had control, saying in Kirkuk alone, half of the 5,000 police force and 13,000 soldiers were not reporting for duty.
Thank you, President Bush. Do take a bow in the above manifestation of your avowed ‘bringing of democracy’ to the Middle East.