Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Statistics, lies and damn lies

Think things are looking up in Iraq because of the surge? Think again. As Juan Cole reports in "A Surge of Phony Spin on Iraq" in Salon.com today:
...the reporters and editors who gave U.S. headlines such as "U.S. Death Toll in Iraq in July Expected to Be Lowest in '07" (New York Times) were being assiduously spun....

The dip in casualties is always substantial in July, since guerrillas usually prefer not to operate with heavy explosives when it is 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade.

And as a tally noted on Foreign Policy magazine's blog, the number of U.S. troop deaths in July, compared with previous years of the war, is anything but a turn for the better:

July 2003: 48
July 2004: 54
July 2005: 54
July 2006: 43
July 2007: 80
Meanwhile, the statistics for the hapless Iraqis themselves are no less discouraging. According to icasualties.org, the Iraqi civilian and military death toll from political violence in July 2007 was 1,690, a 25 percent increase from the July 2006 number, 1,280.


Maman said...

You weren't supposed to apply logic to the spin!

camccune said...

I know, I know...but sometimes it just gets to me!

I.M.SMALL said...


Regurgitated, we consume
Our fathers´ sins new come to bloom,
´Tis little more than destiny,
Allowance, as it came to be.

Decisions made so long ago
Not controverted, merely grow
Until at last the thing explodes,
Or shatters swift what time corrodes.

Such as are fortunate enough
To live so long, when times are rough,
May catch the algorithm in
Shaping events in their chagrin.

Alas the young man in Iraq
Disfigured by the mortal shock
Awaiting immortality
Because was placed an IED,

How shall he then philosophize
What he has seen before his eyes?
It is descendancy from Adam
As had disaster pointed at him.