Iraqi cemetery workers suffering due to lack of business

..because the death toll in Iraq has been decreasing significantly. More than a 30% drop in deaths actually in the past 6 months. How about that?

A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al
Salam cemetery here by at least one-third in the past six months, and
that's cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living
digging graves, washing corpses or selling burial shrouds.

[...]

Dhurgham Majed al Malik, 48, whose family has arranged burial services
for generations, said that this spring, private cars and taxis with
caskets lashed to their roofs arrived at a rate of 6,500 a month. Now
it's 4,000 or less, he said.

The Poor guys. They should form a Union and demand more attacks from the government or something. Oh and Iraq is not improving. No sir. It's a failure. And it won't get better. That's what the media you watch tells you, right?

Yeah. Make sure you listen to it. It doesn't lie at all!

0 comment on Iraqi cemetery workers suffering due to lack of business

  1. tedders
    October 17, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    4000 per month? Hell that’s 133 a day. Sounds like business is booming still.

    Reply
  2. XYlo
    October 17, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    I’m glad Iraqis are beginning to see that killing each other sucks.

    Reply
  3. Mahmud
    October 17, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    Well, it could suggest that the security situation is improving, or more likely that ethnic cleansing is relatively complete, more Shia’s have moved from areas of mixed population density to more ethnically homogenous enclaves, resulting in local militia’s and neighborhood groups providing security.

    http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/EGUA-783MAF?OpenDocument

    It may reduce the body count in the short term, but it doesn’t exactly do wonders for inter-communal reconciliation.

    Reply
  4. JT
    October 17, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    4000 per month? Hell that’s 133 a day. Sounds like business is booming still.

    That’s not all violent deaths; old age, illness, etc. are also included.

    The Lancet Study, for instance, included all kinds of deaths in their body count. They even included terrorists in that number. US troops have been killing Al Qaeda in wholesale numbers.

    Reply
  5. tedders
    October 17, 2007 at 7:21 pm

    They even included terrorists in that number. US troops have been killing Al Qaeda in wholesale numbers.

    Well you know those cemetery workers need to work too!!! ; )

    Reply
  6. leo
    October 17, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    Mahmud @ 3,

    What you saying is certainly possible and you are not the first I hear it from.
    I was not able to find facts to confirm or deny this point of view.

    Then there is this surge and ‘Anbar Awakening’. Coincidence?

    Reply
  7. Joanne
    October 18, 2007 at 2:58 am

    Pretty sad when it makes you happy when people die and need burying, just so you can make a buck!

    Reply
  8. Mahmud
    October 18, 2007 at 5:29 am

    “What you saying is certainly possible and you are not the first I hear it from.
    I was not able to find facts to confirm or deny this point of view.

    Then there is this surge and ‘Anbar Awakening’. Coincidence?”

    Hardly? if the figures regarding Internally Displaced Personss are within a ball park of being correct (typically the number varies greatly, it could even be an underestimate, since there are a variety of ways of counting these figures), it suggests that there has been a major population transfer, and a number of Iraqis fleeing to neighboring countries. in the link i referenced by the IOM, there was this statement

    “Eighty-six percent of those assessed said they were targeted due to their religious or sectarian identity.”

    Which strongly suggests that the refugees and IDPs came from mixed areas.

    Anbar awakening and ‘the surge’ are likely doing two things,

    1) they are increasing the arms and training of the iraqi police force (which has, from several different sources a strong sectarian shia component)

    2) they are increasing the arms and training of Sunni militias in Anbar, there are several credible reports that these groups participated in the ethnic cleansing of Shia’s from Anbar province

    (if you want links i’ll provide them)

    These two dynamic would suggest that each enclave would become both more ethnically homogeneous (guys with guns weeding out ‘infiltrators’) and that they would be more resistant to outside attack through car bombings, suicide bombings, death squads, etc. Thus a decrease in body count.

    The main problem is that this leads to Cantons and a patchwork of ethnically homogeneous areas, which make it very difficult to build either a state or create long term security. As well, since cities such as Samara which has a significant Shia population and major religious significance are in Sunni majority areas, you have the potential for another flashpoint.

    Reply
  9. Kafir
    October 18, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    This guy shouldn’t worry, once we get the place pacified, we’ll start throwing up McDonald’s and KFC’s everywhere and we’ll have the Iraqis dying of heart disease in no time. :-)

    Reply
  10. leo
    October 18, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    Mahmud @ 8,

    Thank you for the info and opinion.

    Reply
  11. Brian H
    October 18, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    Mahmud @8;
    I see you slip in that little (big) lie, that the arms are going to Sunni militias. There is lots of documentation of the refusal of MNF forces to even provide ammo for private guns owned by the local protection forces they support, much less guns. News flash: they already have their own! Further, every individual in those local forces is vetted, and the local sheikhs required to personally vouch and sponsor for them. Cases of groups going rogue have occurred, and the MNF response is arrest and dismissal.

    The implicit alternative you have is to restrict all security roles to Shia. That worked well earlier, didn’t it? I guess you approve of the widespread sectarian corruption of the Ministry of the Interior, and the NP which are mostly JAM in uniform, etc.

    Demonizing the Sunni is just a way to continue the fun of non-stop sectarian cleansing. Which, btw, has been reversed in many neighborhoods where security has returned, especially when the traffic barriers are safe to take down. Nobody can force Iraqis to trust each other, but fortunately a lot of them (you) are willing to do so.

    Reply
  12. Mahmud
    October 18, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    “I see you slip in that little (big) lie, that the arms are going to Sunni militias. There is lots of documentation of the refusal of MNF forces to even provide ammo for private guns owned by the local protection forces they support, much less guns. News flash: they already have their own!”

    Thats a silly argument if I’ve heard one, towards provided towards these groups in Fungible can be shifted towards other uses, such as obtaining different and better weaponry. If they are given money and buy weapons, the outcome is still t he same, more armament, ammunition and others for the same group of people.:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/09/world/middleeast/09surge.html?_r=1&pagewanted=4&ref=world&oref=slogin

    “Under the project, financed by the American military, the local tribes are paid $10 a day per man to provide security in their areas.

    Despite protestations from United States commanders that they are not arming those “volunteers,” local American officers confirm that the sheiks can spend the contract money as they wish, diverting money from wages to buy weapons, radios or vehicles if they choose.”

    “The implicit alternative you have is to restrict all security roles to Shia. That worked well earlier, didn’t it? I guess you approve of the widespread sectarian corruption of the Ministry of the Interior, and the NP which are mostly JAM in uniform, etc.”

    No, I don’t. Pointing out the flaws with the current policy does not indicate support of the preexisting policy. At its core, the fundamental problem with Iraq is that there is a host of bad and worse policy alternatives. At the end of the day you need fatigue to overcome the warring parties and you need a hurting stalemate before groups are willing to make difficult compromises. International troops prevent that from occurring, by insulating all sides from the consequences of their actions.

    “Demonizing the Sunni is just a way to continue the fun of non-stop sectarian cleansing.”

    As someone who is half sunni, I did no such thing.

    “Which, btw, has been reversed in many neighborhoods where security has returned, especially when the traffic barriers are safe to take down. Nobody can force Iraqis to trust each other, but fortunately a lot of them (you) are willing to do so.”

    There has also be an astounding level of bad blood between the two communities, and enormous flows of refugees. You are not seeing those groups return until there is a more stable political resolution to the problem. Syria, Egypt and Jordan are stuffed with Iraqis for a reason, as are IDPs in Sadr city, Mosul, and the South I would argue that any flow back is an exception, not the rule.

    Reply
  13. Rea
    October 19, 2007 at 8:06 am

    You like this war way too much in my opinion.

    (Let the bashing begin)

    Reply
  14. Jebus Cripes
    October 20, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Riiiiiiiiiiiight. The war is going so well. If cemetery workers are out of work it must mean that there are less dead bodies. OR it could be that there aren’t enough bodies being recovered. Who knows.
    I know
    These guys do
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJuNgBkloFE

    Reply

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