Sunday, December 02, 2007

Casualties In Iraq: November 2007

It's time to check in on how that big 'ol civil war in Iraq is going since the Democrats and the Clinton News Network or the liberal blob-o-sphere sure won't talk about it.
Gee, I wonder why that is?

"History will record where the Democrats stood when Iraq was suffering through its darkest hour."

From Engram at Back Talk Blog:
Back in July, Wolf Blitzer interviewed left wing anti-war icon John Murtha. Here is some of what he had to say:
REP. JOHN MURTHA (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Nice to be with you, Wolf.

BLITZER: I'm going to play a little excerpt of what the president said earlier today and get your reaction. Listen to him.


BUSH: I don't think Congress ought to be running the war. I think they ought to be funding our troops. I'm certainly interested in their opinion. But trying to run a war through resolution is a prescription for failure as far as I'm concerned and we can't afford to fail.


BLITZER: All right. What do you say to the president?

MURTHA: Well it's delusional to say the least. As I said earlier, and you heard me say it, it's a failed policy wrapped in illusion. Nothing's gotten better. Incidents have increased. We have had more Americans killed in the last four months than any other period during the war.
So, our troops are caught in a civil war. As I said over and over again, it can't be won militarily. There can only be a diplomatic effort. I think this surge is a perfect example where we aren't making any progress, and we've got to start to redeploy the troops as quickly as possible.
MURTHA: I don't acknowledge there has been any progress made. Maybe in Baghdad. But it just breaks out someplace else. We called for extra troops two years ago. We put money in for 30,000 troops. They haven't even been able to raise the 30,000 troops they have. So they have to break all their guidelines. But there's no progress being made. And the way you measure it is, is the security itself.

Are the incidents decreased? No. Have the civilian deaths gone down? No. Have the American deaths increased? Yes. That's the way you measure whether we're making progress.

That's the way you measure progress? You don't say.

Other Democrats were equally prophetic:

"The surge was supposed to bring stability.... It hasn't and it won't," Ted Kennedy said on May 1. "The evidence is clear it is not happening and it will not happen," Dodd said May 15 of a potential American victory. Durbin said the day after: "This Senate knows that the administration's policy in Iraq has failed." Senator Joseph Biden agreed. "The surge has not worked and will not work," he said on June 1. And in a joint letter to the president on June 13, Reid and Pelosi said, "As many had foreseen, the escalation has failed to produce the intended results."
As Harry Reid put it on July 9, "Democrats and military experts and the American people know the president's current strategy is not working and we cannot wait until September to act." As Dianne Feinstein put it, "Today, a majority of the Senate sees that the surge is not working. ... Do we change course now or do we wait until September... I believe the answer is clear."

Hillary Clinton also weighed in and had this to say:

WASHINGTON — Senator Clinton squared off yesterday with her possible challenger for the White House in 2012, General David Petraeus, and came closer than any of her colleagues to calling the commander of the multinational forces in Iraq a liar.

Using blunter language than any other Democrat in the last two days, Mrs. Clinton told General Petraeus that his progress report on Iraq required "a willing suspension of disbelief."

Those are your liberal leaders characterizing the effectiveness of the troop surge -- the very people you think should be in charge of national security. And their point was not merely that the surge wasn't working. They wanted everyone to also know that, in their expert opinion, the surge would never work.

Were they right? Here is my monthly tally of civilian casualties in Iraq based on the data at Iraq Coalition Casualty Count (with necessary corrections described here):

As always, the black bar shows when al Qaeda finally succeeded in provoking the Shiite militas to start killing Sunnis (in an effort to stop al Qaeda's suicide bombers). The dark purple bars show the months during which the surge began to unfold (in February) and then became operational (in June). As you can see, civilian casualties plummeted in September, then they dropped even further in October, and now they have dropped still further in November. In fact, casualties dropped even more than this chart suggests. In November, there were only 3 incidents involving more than 15 civilian casualties. Two of those involved 30 casualties each, and neither incident actually occurred in November. In both cases, mass graves of decomposed bodies were discovered. These people had been killed by al Qaeda savages in earlier months, so it would not be unreasonable to take another 60 deaths off the already low November total.

Month-to-month data can be noisy, so here is a similar chart with each bar now representing the average of the last 3 months:

As al Qaeda has been routed in Iraq, and as former Sunni enemies join our cause, U.S. military deaths from hostile fire have also plummeted:

Remember the words of liberal anti-war icon John Murtha:

"Are the incidents decreased? No. Have the civilian deaths gone down? No. Have the American deaths increased? Yes. That's the way you measure whether we're making progress."

Indeed, that is how you measure progress (not by "political benchmarks"), and that's why even he is now forced to admit that the troop surge is working:

WASHINGTON — No. 2 House Republican Roy Blunt challenged Democrats on Friday to pass a $50 billion war spending package, pouncing on new remarks by Democratic Rep. John Murtha who said, "I think the surge is working."

I'm frankly amazed that al Qaeda has not been able to pull off a single spectacular mass-casualty attack for 3 straight months. They are undoubtedly highly motivated to do so, in part because they know that Democrats in Washington are veritable puppets on a string. Does that sound harsh? It doesn't to me. Harry Reid's declaration of America's ignominious defeat in Iraq came in direct response to this attack by al Qaeda on innocent Shiite civilians in Baghdad:

Suspected Qaeda bombs kill nearly 200 in Baghdad

Wed Apr 18, 2007

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Suspected al Qaeda militants killed nearly 200 people in a wave of car bombings in Baghdad on Wednesday, including one that was the single deadliest attack in the Iraqi capital since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Here is Harry Reid's response the very next day:

Iraq war is 'lost': US Democrat leader

Apr 19

The war in Iraq "is lost" and a US troop surge is failing to bring peace to the country, the leader of the Democratic majority in the US Congress, Harry Reid, said Thursday.

"I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week," Reid told journalists.

In other words, al Qaeda commits an atrocity, and the Democrats immediately call for surrender -- right on cue and in exact accordance with al Qaeda's nefarious plan. While behaving in that manner, the Democrats also repeatedly and eerily denied that al Qaeda was a significant factor in Iraq. To them, it was all just a big ol' civil war based on ancient hostilities between Shiites and Sunnis. Here is Democratic Presidential candidate Christopher Dodd nicely summing up the creepy Democratic stance that has been in effect for the last several years:

Again, this is a civil war going on in Iraq. This is not the United States versus Al Qaida. It's Shia versus Sunnis tearing each other apart. It's gone on for centuries, but particularly here right now.

All Democrats and most Americans actually believed this nonsense. And, of course, the mainstream media (especially, New York Times, of course) bent over backwards to explain how simplistic Bush was being for emphasizing the indisputable fact that we were at war with al Qaeda in Iraq:

July 13, 2007
Bush Distorts Qaeda Links, Critics Assert


BAGHDAD, July 12 — In rebuffing calls to bring troops home from Iraq, President Bush on Thursday employed a stark and ominous defense. “The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq,” he said, “were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th, and that’s why what happens in Iraq matters to the security here at home.”

It is an argument Mr. Bush has been making with frequency in the past few months, as the challenges to the continuation of the war have grown. On Thursday alone, he referred at least 30 times to Al Qaeda or its presence in Iraq.

But his references to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, and his assertions that it is the same group that attacked the United States in 2001, have greatly oversimplified the nature of the insurgency in Iraq and its relationship with the Qaeda leadership.

And that wasn't all. The Times also weighed in with this:

Seeing Al Qaeda Around Every Corner

Published: July 8, 2007

AS domestic support for the war in Iraq continues to melt away, President Bush and the United States military in Baghdad are increasingly pointing to a single villain on the battlefield: Al Qaeda.
“Nobody knows how many different Islamist extremist groups make up the insurgency” in Iraq, said Anthony H. Cordesman of the bipartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Even when you talk about Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the idea of somehow it is the center of the insurgency is almost absurd.”

You see, it's all much more complicated than that cowboy in the White House can appreciate with his alcohol-addled brain, and that's precisely why the troop surge is destined to fail. Liberals, whose brains are uniquely able to appreciate complexity and nuance, fully understood that failure was the only possible outcome. And they were only too happy to tell you all about it.

How quickly things can change. The entire left (i.e., virtually all Democrats and their comrades in the mainstream media) are mystified by the dramatic reduction in violence that we've seen in Iraq over the last 3 months. If al Qaeda was not a factor -- that is, if it really was just a big ol' civil war -- how it could it be that turning the Sunni tribes against al Qaeda coupled with a troop surge offensive directed at al Qaeda achieved such spectacular success? It's incomprehensible. And make no mistake about it: offensive operations associated with the troop surge were directed at al Qaeda according to this interview with the man himself (i.e., with General Petraeus):

What is your priority in the surge operation?

"It is to disrupt al-Qaeda and its ability to conduct sensational attacks and to try to continue the cycle of violence, which they have been trying to do all along. In addition, they are attempting try establish a real al-Qaeda sanctuary in Iraq, a caliphate."

What about the leadership in Iraq?

"It is still led by foreigners called al-Qaeda Senior Leadership (AQSL). Our assessment is that this is the central front for al-Qaeda. They have a global war of terror, and Iraq is the central front. Whether you like it or not. That is something that the leaders of the intelligence community in the West and our joint special operations commander agree on and that is why he is here two thirds or three quarters of his time. It is certainly one very important consideration in looking at Iraq."

Democrats who denied all of this are now bewildered by the dramatic turnaround in Iraq. Despite being wrong about everything, you can be sure that they will now knowingly explain how the incredible improvement in Iraq has nothing at all to do with (a) the troop surge, (b) George Bush or (c) our apparent victory over al Qaeda. Instead, the remarkable progress was achieved because [INSERT LIBERAL FANTASY HERE].

Had the Democrats gotten their way, we'd undoubtedly be witnessing more than 1000 extra civilian deaths per month. It's ironic that people who think of themselves as being especially "decent" progressives were openly advocating that we simply stand back and permit genocide of innocent Iraqis. In effect, that's what they angrily demanded, but I doubt they will be able to assimilate that painful reality into their self image. Instead, they'll concoct a fantasy according to which the reduction in casualties would have happened in the absence of the troop surge (despite the fact that they explicitly predicted the exact opposite, as documented above), or they'll express absolute certainty that this is merely a temporary break in the action (even though they have already proven their inability to predict what will happen in Iraq). But the painful and inescapable truth is that they openly supported a plan to stand back and allow genocide to unfold before the horrified eyes of the world, and they knew exactly what they were doing. Being the decent people they are, they felt OK about it because they knew the blame would be placed on Bush. They were right about that, of course, but that doesn't excuse them for what they did. The American public may never awaken to all of this (because of the media we have), but if the success continues -- and no one can say for sure that it will -- history will record where the Democrats stood when Iraq was suffering through its darkest hour.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

perhaps you are unfamiliar with the concept of linking.

linking means you don't have to copy and paste the contents of the link destination.


12:45 PM  
Blogger Red S Tater said...

Glad you asked anony mouse!

That's why I posted the very next post... just for people like YOU !
Sorry you missed it, but not surprised... thus the title,
Iraq Facts For Dummies. Nothing but links and pretty pictures.

2:26 PM  

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