IF YOU PUT ASIDE pure rhetoric and go for hard data (as hard as it is for so many people out there), turns out that the axiom that "Iraq's violence is worse by the day" is simply false:
81, 76, 50, 49, 43, 25Read on.
What are these numbers? This week’s Powerball winners? A safe deposit combo? New numbers to torment those poor b*stards stranded on the island in Lost?
No, they’re the number of troops that have died in hostile actions in Iraq for each of the past six months. That last number represents the lowest level of troop deaths in a year, and second-lowest in two years.
But it must be that the insurgency is turning their assault on Iraqi military and police, who are increasingly taking up the slack, right?
215, 176, 193, 189, 158, 193 (and the three months before that were 304, 282, 233)
Okay, okay, so insurgents aren’t engaging us; they’re turning increasingly to car bombs then, right?
70, 70, 70, 68, 30, 30
Civilians then. They’re just garroting poor civilians.
527, 826, 532, 732, 950, 446 (upper bound, two months before that were 2489 and 1129).
My point here is not that everything is peachy in Iraq. It isn’t. My point isn’t that the insurgency is in its last throes. It isn’t. My point here isn’t even to argue that we’re winning. I’m at best cautiously-pessimistic-to-neutral about how things are going there.
My only point is that, at the very least, people who complain that good news coming out of Iraq gets shuttered by the press aren’t crazy.
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