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Civilian deaths in Iraq drop

Via AP:

Iraqi civilian deaths dropped to their lowest level since the start of the Baghdad security operation, government figures showed Sunday, suggesting signs of progress in tamping down violence in the capital.

But American casualties are running high as U.S. forces step up pressure on Sunni and Shiite extremists in and around Baghdad.


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Comments (23)

Somewhere I hear John "Hann... (Below threshold)

Somewhere I hear John "Hannibal" Smith warming up.

But American casualties ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

But American casualties are running high as U.S. forces step up pressure on Sunni and Shiite extremists in and around Baghdad.

Funny how that happens when one IS ENGAGING THE ENEMY.

Equally hilarious is how that's LEFT OUT of the MSM who report that our brave men and women are dying without really saying WHY.

Let's just keep on towing the anti-war party line, shall we....

(Keep kicking terrorist/Mahdi/Iranian infiltrator ass, troops....the surge is working...)

Happy pre-4th to Our Men and Women in Uniform!

Meanwhile - <a href="... (Below threshold)

Meanwhile - Iran is using the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah as a "proxy" to arm Shiite militants in Iraq and Tehran's elite Quds force helped militants carry out a January attack in Karbala in which five Americans were killed, a U.S. general said Monday.

Gee who'd a thunk it?!

marc: you should get Cheney... (Below threshold)

marc: you should get Cheney to render Greenwald off the blogosphere. His daily pissing on Neocon Cornflakes is most egregious! http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/

bD, are you and that other ... (Below threshold)

bD, are you and that other silly ass claiming now that Iran isn't involved in Iraq? That's been an article of faith with you sorry lefties for years.

Do you guys really think we don't remember? We know you don't think most people do, but this is important.

Kim, it's not that they don... (Below threshold)

Kim, it's not that they don't think we remember.

They tell so many lies that they themselves can't keep track of what they've said.

Perseveration strikes deep.... (Below threshold)

Perseveration strikes deep.
Into your mind it will creep.

I'm sure the Iraqi politici... (Below threshold)

I'm sure the Iraqi politicians will seize this opportunity that we've given them to get their act together.

Or...maybe not.

I also suspect a lot of the... (Below threshold)

I also suspect a lot of the bad guys have moved out of the way of our offensive. The body counts (which probably aren't too reliable anyway) from the military haven't been that substantial.

I would expect the insurgents to regroup and mount a surge of their own around August to try and influence the debate here at home. I also can't imagine that we can sustain this heightened level of operations very long.

Which brings us back to the central problem with the war in Iraq from day one: not enough troops to do the job right. It's clear that the more troops we put in place and operations we conduct that we can reduce the level of violence. If we could put a patrol on every street corner I'm sure we could reduce it dramatically. But there clearly aren't enough troops to do that.

kim, Iran is somewhat invol... (Below threshold)

kim, Iran is somewhat involved, but even if they weren't, the neocons would say they were, per PNAC's Defense of The Realm gameplan. They're the nerds who cried "Wolf" 10,000 times already, besides.

My main point is Greenwald's: news by gov't PR Bulletin without independent verification, when it fits so cozily and conveeeeniently inside that gov't's meme, should not be trusted out of hand.

Bushco has been outed as Machievellian liars and massagers of media personalities before, and they must continue going all out in that direction now. Forwarned is forearmed! tick-tick-tick

bryanD[imwit], by the same ... (Below threshold)

bryanD[imwit], by the same criteria, we should not trust AP reports, Reuters reports, CBS reports, CNN reports, or any other news agency. They all have made statements without "independent verification" that were later proven wrong.

So go hide in your bomb shelter, because you can't trust anyone.

Unbelievable. I think Bush... (Below threshold)

Unbelievable. I think Bush is going to have to give Libby respite.

I don't want to get into an... (Below threshold)

I don't want to get into another debate here, but for those of your interested in a ballpark figure as to what the actual Iraqi civilian count might be, I did some calc estimates back in October during a Usenet debate that you might find....well, you'll see.

This is the first calc estimate.

And this follow-up from January (actually mostly a compilation of posts) contains worst case, best case calcs for the benefit of skeptics, would-be and otherwise. (You'll need to scroll down a little bit first.)

The figures speak for themselves. I didn't use any tricks -- it's all just basic, elementary statistics and extrapolation derived from published data.

We are all so well-informed about what's really going on, aren't we?


extrapolation deri... (Below threshold)
extrapolation derived from published data.

In other words, BC, you used the same methodology as the completely discredited iraqbodycount.com site.

Bravo! Repeating someone else's errors is the height of science, isn't it?

To C-C-G:A) Extrap... (Below threshold)

To C-C-G:

A) Extrapolation from data -- when done correctly, that is, and there are rules -- is sort of fundamental to not just scientific research, but to things like marketing and polling.

B) Who exactly "completely discredited" iraqbodycount.com? Certainly not the Bush administration, who indirectly quoted the much lower iraqbodycount.com figure of about 50,000 in response to the Lancet study.

C) I dare you to find single flaw in my calc estimates, which ranged from best case to worst case, and show that the 50k number has to be on the low side by at least a factor of 10.


CCG: You geek wannabe: The ... (Below threshold)

CCG: You geek wannabe: The SUBJECT was GOVERNMENT Bulletins. What CNNBCBS does is beside the point. Swallowing gov't propaganda and reporting it as Fact takes us back to Vietnam's Friday Night Follies "progress reports" (which Tet 68 so rudely interrupted).

Unbelievable. I think Bush is going to have to give Libby respite.
Posted by: kim

LINK??? Is Libby in the fetal position? Surfs up!

BC, I commend to your atten... (Below threshold)

BC, I commend to your attention this well-researched article complete with links, which explodes the IBC credibility. When you are done with that one, you can read this one, this one, and this one from lefty standby Truthout.org.

In short, IraqBodyCount has been under fire from both left and right (albeit one side complaining about overreporting and the other about underreporting), therefore it seems that it can hardly be considered as anywhere near "credible."

As Iran's oil assets contin... (Below threshold)

As Iran's oil assets continue to decline, Iranian foreign policy will only become more imperialist and recruit more Hezbollah and Shiite radicals so that Iran can eventually claim some control over Iraq's oil assets, estimated at a world record of 220 billion barrels of undiscovered oil.

Iraq would have had no importance to any nation in the world including the U.S. or Iran as a battleground for foreign policy if it were not for this world's richest oil asset.

Unfortunately this locks both the U.S. and Iran in a mortal foreign policy showdown to see who will have ultimate influence over Iraqi oil assets as oil prices again remain over $70 a barrel today, and the economy of China booms fueling a growing appetite for shrinking world oil supplies.

Iran's recent gas rationing efforts are proof of their desperate need to latch on the Iraqi oil somehow and shore up an oil based economy sure to sag if they do not claim oil reserves beyond their own borders.

To C-C-G:For one t... (Below threshold)

To C-C-G:

For one thing, my original post was about some calculated estimates I had made back in October that put the civilian casualties then in the 500,000 range, 10x what both Bush and Iraqbodycount.com had quoted/estimated. You're the one who brought up Iraqbodycount.com (IBC)to infer that all extrapolation from data is a bad thing. My beef with IBC is that its methodology of relying primarily on news reports of deaths means that deaths in the most dangerous areas -- which, ergo, would have the most deaths -- would be chronically undercounted due to the lack of news people, government officials, and aid workers.

Also Bush and his people at least twice used the IBC's numbers -- without attribution of course -- when discussing civilian casualties, which very much strongly implies that those numbers are conservative, to put it mildly.

With that said, in regards to your links:

1) That National Review article it not "well-researched" by any definition -- it was no more than dumbass sniping since it completely ignores the difficulty in getting casualty counts in a dangerous war zone. It nitpicks over this AP report that IBC had used just because the AP used a survey of morgues to estimate casualties -- yeah, what do morgues have to do with death, eh? Like everything I've ever read in the National Review, it's just another moron pretending to not be a moron.

2) That Media Lens article basically is unhappy that IRC doesn't emphasize enough that its casualty total "is certain to be an underestimate of the true position, because of gaps in reporting or recording." Yeah, well -- IRC is understandably trying to be conservative with its figures by using sourced data to avoid being entangled too much in politics. That people on both the right and left are unhappy with it means that it has achieved some sort of relative middle ground, although a true "middle ground" casualty total is likely closer to 300,000 at this point.

3) The Zmag article discusses the Media Lens piece is also unhappy with IRC because of the undercount, especially when compared to the Lancet study estimate of about 650,000.

4) The TruthOut piece echoes much of was in the Media Lens and Zmag articles, with a special emphasis on how suspicious it is for Bush to be using the IRC numbers and how you can't trust the corporate media to publish honest, if disturbing info. All true, but maybe if they had tried using a little bit of math....


Ahh, I knew you'd come up w... (Below threshold)

Ahh, I knew you'd come up with a lot of spin to justify your BDS. Thank you for proving me right.

You've also shown that you are in such an advanced stage of BDS that you're not worth wasting the bandwidth over.

Psst... hate to break it to ya... Bush isn't running in '08. Whatcha gonna do then?

Awww, our resident Truthers... (Below threshold)

Awww, our resident Truthers have come out to play.

To C-C-G and SCSIwuzzy:... (Below threshold)

To C-C-G and SCSIwuzzy:

When all else fails or requires thought, pull out the the non-sequiturs, eh? Somehow criticizing the counting of Iraqi civilian casualties becomes BDS? I bet you'd invoke BDS if caught speeding, or criticized for taking the last donut? Gawd....

But discussing mass death never that enjoyable. I know you guys would much rather go and play with the commutation of Libby's sentence. Go. Have fun.

I was just watching CNN's bit on it, and the dumb anchor chick let some lying-ass dude named Joe DiGenova make a whole bunch of BS comments about Joe Wilson without even raising an eyebrow. Some liberal media we have....


BC, never mentioned BDS, gu... (Below threshold)

BC, never mentioned BDS, guess that was CCG. But you are a truther. And you've come out to play. What's your conspiracy theory addled point?






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