UPI reports some searing insights into the Iraqi situation from senior United Nations officials.

The senseless violence in Iraq continues to create a climate of hate and sectarianism, the United Nations says.

Koichiro Matsuura, director-general of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said in a statement the situation in Iraq has left hundreds of civilians dead.

“These devastating attacks create a climate of hate and sectarianism,” Matsuura said Monday.
[…]
Ashraf Qazi, the secretary-general’s special representative in Iraq, attributed the violence in most parts of the country to a vicious cycle of sectarian revenge-motivated killings.

Qazi urged the government, political leadership and the people of Iraq to “demonstrate an urgent and sincere determination to save their country.”

Concerted efforts by the international community and neighboring countries like Iran and Syria, Qazi said, would be necessary for the government and people of Iraq to address challenges of violence, mistrust and divisions which threaten their society.

Meanwhile, anticipation increases for the Iraq Study Group, led by former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, which will be presenting results of its inquiry by year’s end.

Annan was reported to have had a “discussion” Monday with members of the group.

Unable to wait for Syria and Iran to start their “concerted efforts”, or for the Iraq Study Group to report, the blogger Iraq the Model describes life in Baghdad and in the process displays an English degree of understatement by titling his post Rough Days:

We had no choice but to rely on ourselves to protect our homes and neighborhood insurgents and militias alike. In our mixed block the elders met to assign duties and make plans in case things go wrong. They decided that people should all exchange cell-phone numbers as the fastest means to communicate at times of action, it was also decided that if someone calls to report an attack on his home, everyone else must go up to the roof and start shooting at the direction of the assailants.
More roadblocks were erected and older ones strengthened—streets and alleys were blocked in any possible way to prevent any attack with vehicles.
They also agreed that no one moves on the streets after a certain hour at night and any moving person would be dealt with as a threat.

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