The number of Iraqi civilian deaths reached a new high of 3,709 for the month of October and torture continues to be rampant, according to a UN report released today.
The war is clearly far from over. It seems there is no exit from Iraq for British and American troops. The report said the influence of armed militias is growing and torture continues to be rampant despite the government's commitment to address human rights abuses.
"Hundreds of bodies continued to appear in different areas of Baghdad handcuffed, blindfolded and bearing signs of torture and execution-style killing," the report said. "Many witnesses reported that perpetrators wear militia attire and even police or army uniforms."
Bush is due to meet the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Jordan next week in an attempt to come up with a plan which will end the chaos. With Bush and Blair finally admitting that the situation is out of control and with little sign of peace it seems likely their respective successors will be left to deal with this mess and will be unable to bring the troops home.
Interestingly Iraq and Syria have now restored full diplomatic relations after a break of 24 years. Syria is offering to try and help the Iraqi government get things under control. However the US and Iraq have been heavily criticising them for the spread of insurgents into Iraq and the recent assassination of Lebanese Christian leader and cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel is also being blamed on Syria by many.
This is a shaky situation and up until now Syria were demanding the withdrawal of US troops claiming they were inciting more people to rise up against them and destabilising the area. Now even the Syrians are saying that US withdrawal is not an option in the immediate future.
Meanwhile President Bush continues to declare that inviting Iran and Syria to help stabilise Iraq is unacceptable. In his usual brain dead xenophobic style he is against talking to them, and says he still expects "victory", whatever that means.
The US and British public are both now firmly in favour of bringing the troops home. Many people who were previously in favour of the war have now admitted they were wrong and yet no-one seems to have any idea how to get out of the situation. Clearly life has not improved for most Iraqi´s, beyond the murder and torture there has been widespread displacement of the population and the infrastructure of the country is a complete mess.
Ultimately it is a mess which cost millions of pounds and thousands of lives. It was never about improving things for Iraqi´s though that´s simply the lie they sold. The stated aims of reducing the terrorist threat and bringing democracy to Iraq have clearly failed. If anything the terrorist threat has grown because of the Iraq war and if a truly democratic Iraq returns a government that the US don´t want they are unlikely to last long. Whatever unfolds it seems our armed forces won´t be coming home anytime soon.