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Iraq: Those democratic ideals aren't that crash hot

Amidst reports of growing anger in Washington between those seeking an end to the American presence in Iraq and the White House seemingly committed to "staying the course" [whatever that means!] it looke like the US has done little to instil true democratic values and ways in Iraq. Remember, it was because Saddam was a tyrant and democracy and democratic values had to be restored in Iraq that the Coalition of the Willing embarked on the folly they did.

As this United Press International report reveals, it seems the Iraqis don't really want the bad news out there:

"The Iraqi government is withholding official statistics on violent deaths from the United Nations, making it difficult to assess human-rights conditions.

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq said in a statement its quarterly human-rights report, released in Baghdad Wednesday, does not contain official statistics of violent deaths that are normally collected by the Health Ministry and the Medico-Legal Institute because the Iraqi government "decided not to make such data available to UNAMI."

The mission said it regretted this measure because its reports "have been regarded as a credible source of information regarding developments in the human rights situation in Iraq." UNAMI stressed it would continue to urge the Iraqi authorities to provide such information.

In its previous quarterly report in January, UNAMI said 34,452 Iraqi civilians were killed -- an average of 94 every day -- and 36,685 injured in violence during 2006. The publicity of the alarmingly high numbers apparently upset the Iraqi authorities, who tried to discredit these statistics, saying the numbers were much lower."

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