United for Peace and Justice, the country's largest anti-war coalition, has produced an assessment of the situation on the ground in Iraq that contrasts sharply with the projected conclusions of  the  so-called Petraeus Report – actually written within the White House.  Leslie Cagan, National Coordinator of the group, which claims 1400 members, states:  " We feel it is essential to provide a true picture of what the shattered lives of the 25 million Iraqis look like today. Prepared by Phyllis Bennis and Erik Leaver, researchers at the Institute for Policy Studies, Iraq: The People's Report  takes a look at what this war has cost Iraqis and the U.S."

Iraq: The People's Report notes that:

• two million Iraqis have fled the war to seek hard-to-find refuge in neighboring countries, and an additional two million Iraqis have been forced by war-fueled violence to flee their homes and  remain displaced and homeless inside Iraq.

• most Iraqis have electricity for only about five hours a day, clean water remains scarce for most and unobtainable for many, and Iraq's oil production remains a fraction of what it was before war.

• occupation, war and violence have so decimated the Iraqi economy that unemployment has reached up to 40% and higher, and underemployment an additional 10% or more

In spite of the appalling conditions that most Iraqis now find themselves living in, General Patraus and Ambassador Crocker will try to convince Congress that the situation is improving.  "We hope that Congress will remember that these small improvements in a horrific situation have cost U.S. taxpayers over $480 Billion so far, with no end in sight," remarked Sue Udry, Legislative Coordinator of United for Peace and Justice.  "That is $480 billion that we could not spend here at home to rebuild the Gulf Coast, improve education and healthcare and more."

The report also notes that:

The failure of the Iraq War has also meant a huge cost to our democracy at home. We have paid an enormous price: in the deaths and shattered minds and bodies of our young soldiers; in the threats to an economy ravaged by billion-dollar bills to pay for an illegal war; in the destruction of so much of our infrastructure, security and social fabric because of human and financial resources diverted to Iraq; and in the shredding of our Constitution and civil rights as fear becomes a weapon in the hands of the Bush Administration aimed at Congress, the courts and the people of this country.The full (4-page) report is available at or