9-19 Satellite images show ethnic cleanout in Iraq


No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
The real reason the surge appears to have worked, nobody is home.

America just helped turn off the lights for the last ones left in the ethnic cleansing.

Of course Hannity, Rush, Bush and all their supporters in here will continue to spout "Mission Accomplished" in their false war proven to be more false everyday.

9-19-2008 Satellite images show ethnic cleanout in Iraq

Satellite images taken at night show heavily Sunni Arab neighborhoods of Baghdad began emptying before a U.S. troop surge in 2007, graphic evidence of ethnic cleansing that preceded a drop in violence, according to a report published on Friday.

The images support the view of international refugee organizations and Iraq experts that a major population shift was a key factor in the decline in sectarian violence, particularly in the Iraqi capital, the epicenter of the bloodletting in which hundreds of thousands were killed.

Minority Sunni Arabs were driven out of many neighborhoods by Shi'ite militants enraged by the bombing of the Samarra mosque in February 2006. The bombing, blamed on the Sunni militant group al Qaeda, sparked a wave of sectarian violence.

"By the launch of the surge, many of the targets of conflict had either been killed or fled the country, and they turned off the lights when they left," geography professor John Agnew of the University of California Los Angeles, who led the study, said in a statement.

"Essentially, our interpretation is that violence has declined in Baghdad because of intercommunal violence that reached a climax as the surge was beginning," said Agnew, who studies ethnic conflict.

The study, published in the journal Environment and Planning A, provides more evidence of ethnic conflict in Iraq, which peaked just before U.S. President George W. Bush ordered the deployment of about 30,000 extra U.S. troops.

The extent to which the troop build-up helped halt Iraq's slide into sectarian civil war has been debated, particularly in the United States, with supporters of the surge saying it was the main contributing factor, and others arguing it was simply one of a number of factors.

"Our findings suggest that the surge has had no observable effect, except insofar as it has helped to provide a seal of approval for a process of ethno-sectarian neighborhood homogenization that is now largely achieved," Agnew's team wrote in their report.
"The overall night light signature of Baghdad since the U.S. invasion appears to have increased between 2003 and 2006 and then declined dramatically from 20 March 2006 through 16 December 2007," their report said.

They said the night lights of Shi'ite-dominated Sadr City remained constant, as did lights in the Green Zone government and diplomatic compound in central Baghdad. Lights increased in the eastern New Baghdad district, another Shi'ite enclave.

Satellite studies have also been used to help document forced relocations in Myanmar and ethnic cleansing in Uganda.



Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
Forum Director
Oct 9, 1999
Shhhhhhhhhhh. If McCain doesn't even have the Surge, he's got bupkis.


Platinum Member
Jan 31, 2003
This "study" doesn't tell much except that MAYBE Sunni Neighborhoods got electricity under Saddam, and Sadr City got nothing, now Sadr City gets power and Sunni neighborhoods get a lot less. Payback or equality.......Waaaaay more people live in Sadr City, and fewer rich ones at that.

The power grids in most all of Iraq rotate, so their satellite shots need to be over an extended period to properly determine if the shift in the grid is permanent, or as a result of maintenance to the grid or routine roving blackouts.

Outages and blackouts are not uncommon. Some areas of Iraq (mostly Sunni) got power round the clock under Saddam. Other areas got zero power at any time, or when it suited Saddam. Overall, power to previously unserviced areas is up greatly, while in previous 100 percent covered areas, power is sometimes not so good.

Some less sinister reasons for lighting shifts are that, for security reasons you normally turn ON the lights in high crime areas (Sadr city), and that you can punish areas by removing power from their grid. Saddam did it all the time. In this case you take electricity from the Sunni (and mostly Baathist neighborhoods), and use it to improve security in Sadr City. From a police point of view it's a good plan.

Of course those who have actually BEEN there can tell you that the electricity situation is for the most part a mess, with any anbody that wants power, just splicing into the line near their house. Shorts and electrical fires were not uncommon in Mosul. These can blackout entire neighborhoods for extended periods.



No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
So my sarcastic jokes as the surge was "taking effect" about less people dying because they were already dead was not quite so tongue in cheek as I'd thought.

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
Originally posted by: Skoorb
So my sarcastic jokes as the surge was "taking effect" about less people dying because they were already dead was not quite so tongue in cheek as I'd thought.
For once Dave's got something. The surge came into effect abut the same time that ethnic cleansing was ending. The reason that the killing stopped is that there was no one left. While it wasn't wholesale slaughter (there was some of that), it was enough to purge the neighborhoods. Ethnic cleansing is a very effective tool, and we benefited from it. Makes you feel all warm and cozy.

fallout man

Golden Member
Nov 20, 2007
This idea was on the table months ago.

Violence decreases dramatically once there aren't any more heads to cut off.