Saturday, April 14, 2007

Perspective: The Missing Returnees

A Sunni boy guards his families possessions after his family was driven out of the Hurriya neighborhood of Baghdad in December.

The Baghdad Security Plan is going so well that Iraqis displaced by sectarian violence are flocking back to their homes in Baghdad, so a number of officials are telling us. The only problem with that: it's probably not true. General David Petraeus, in an interview with the BBC on March 18, said hundreds and even up to a thousand Iraqis had already returned, although he warned the plan is still in its early stages--a hopeful sign. On March 20, a Pentagon official, Major General Michael Barbero, gave a briefing in Washington during which that statistic morphed into hundreds of Iraqi families, which at a conservative multiplier of six to a family, bumps that number well above a thousand people. Meanwhile, Brig. General Qassim Atta al-Moussawi, the Iraqi spokesman for the Baghdad Security Plan, confidently asserted that 2,000 families had returned.

Good luck finding them all.

Read the rest at Newsweek