ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Monday, July 02, 2007

Surging Towards Security

Question on my mind for the next few years - if we're victorious in Iraq and the New York Times doesn't report it, does that mean it didn't happen?

From the ueber-right-wing Guardian in the UK:

Iraq reports drop in civilian death toll
Mark Tran and agencies

Monday July 2, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Iraqi officials today attributed a sharp drop in civilian deaths to a US-led security crackdown that began in February. At least 1,227 Iraqi civilians were killed in June - the lowest total since February - along with 190 policemen and 31 soldiers, an officer from the interior ministry operations room told the Associated Press.

The numbers were a 36% drop from the ministry's May figures - 1,949 civilian deaths along with 127 policemen and 47 soldiers.

But the figures could not be verified independently, and many deaths are believed to go unreported. The Iraqi government recently decided to withhold civilian casualty numbers from the UN.

"This is one of the results of the implementation of the security plan and the deployment of extra Iraqi and US forces," Brigadier General Qassim al-Moussawi said.

"Such figures show that the security operations are going in the right direction and they are working as planned."

In January, the US president, George Bush, ordered nearly 30,000 extra troops to Iraq, most of them to Baghdad to quell sectarian violence. The Baghdad security operation was launched in mid-February, but the last of the American reinforcements arrived in Iraq only last month.

US commanders were cautious about jumping to conclusions over the fatality figures. One military spokesman said the decrease was encouraging but that it was too early to attribute it to the crackdown.

"The synchronised effort only began two weeks ago. It's too early to declare a trend," Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Garver said.

Of course, this won't stop the Dems from declaring defeat - they've been declaring defeat for years now and are unwilling to allow for the facts on the ground to play out.

And, since the Dems get their facts from NY Times Op-Eds and DailyKos, it's unlikely that they're even aware of such short-term trends. (As of this posting date/time, the New York Times has not covered this story.)

And, for reality of what's going on in the battle to rid Diyala province of Al-Qaeda, check out Michael Yon and other freelancers. They provide more information in one paragraph than The Times & co provide in an entire month. This dispatch from Yon is but one example, which describes an Al-Qaeda My Lai:
On 29 June, American and Iraqi soldiers were again fighting side-by-side as soldiers from Charley Company 1-12 CAV—led by Captain Clayton Combs—and Iraqi soldiers from the 5th IA, closed in on a village on the outskirts of Baqubah. The village had the apparent misfortune of being located near a main road—about 3.5 miles from FOB Warhorse—that al Qaeda liked to bomb. Al Qaeda had taken over the village. As Iraqi and American soldiers moved in, they came under light contact; but the bombs planted in the roads (and maybe in the houses) were the real threat.

The firefight progressed. American missiles were fired. The enemy might have been trying to bait Iraqi and American soldiers into ambush, but it did not work. The village was riddled with bombs, some of them large enough to destroy a tank. One by one, experts destroyed the bombs, leaving small and large craters in the unpaved roads.

The village was abandoned. All the people were gone. But where?
[...]
Captain Clayton Combs has been fighting hard in Diyala for about ten months, much of it side-by-side with Iraqi soldiers from the 5th Division. Each time I’ve come into contact with the 5th, they seem far better than most. American officers and sergeants who work with the 5th have good things to report about them, saying that although the 5th still has far to go, and cannot sustain itself logistically, it can fight.

Captain Combs said this particular Iraqi unit, the 3-25, has never run away from combat, and never refused to close on the enemy. Combs said, “I’ve fought with 3-25 for 10 months in Diyala and they have always come when I am in trouble. They always go on patrols when I ask. They never back down.”

I asked Captain Combs to repeat what he said, making sure he knew I was planning to quote him directly. A veteran like Combs would be unlikely to append his name to such words if he weren’t dead serious. Captain Combs repeated his words and stuck by them. He then demonstrated that faith when we took off deeper into the danger zone with nine soldiers from 5th IA: just Captain Combs, Iraqi soldiers and me. As we passed through the village, Captain Combs pointed out the nice houses, saying the people had been simple farmers with comfortable homes and lives.

Until al Qaeda came.
[...]

Read the whole thing...


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Comments (3)
Anonymous said...

indie patient says:

of all the virtues we have as a nation, patience is not one of them; iraq can be won if there is patience....will not hurt if others can help us....iraq can be like bosnia...three ethnic groups remember...democracy is possible..Shia majority has been liberated....i have not changed any of my views on this....what is the use of being of super power if you don't use your power? however, lies were told selling the war to the public...damn lies...now is not the time to leave in the middle....must finish the job....can't run in the middle...must be orderly..can be achieved...

not your english patient but your INDIE PATIENT

Anonymous said...

the Burmese patient says:

Aung San Suu Kyi has been imprisoned for too long...Burma has gas no oil...we must do our bit...it is a two hour job...it won't cost a lot....we must invade Burma....Sudan too at some point. Wendy, my blue eyed war boy, let us go for it ... but we must tell the truth and first win the war of public opinion in the US....we must leave a good legacy before we share our super power status with others in a multipolar world in the coming decades....agreed?

the Burmese patient and the SUDANESE TSE TSE FLY patient

Anonymous said...

BURMESE ENGLISH PATIENT WITH PLEURISY:

Can't tolerate Suu Kyi's imprisonment no more...here's a link from npr:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4761169

here's a brief intro to the english burmese patient - whether he is uber rightie or leftie is for yours to re-search

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

i wonder some of his nightmarish 1984 scenarios of totalitarianism exist not only in today's burma but also in my United States today...

the centrist burmese english patient