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Discussion Starter #1
Google the phrase "Five O'Clock Follies" and tell me this isn't history repeating itself...<br><br>
"U.S. officials who say there has been a dramatic drop in sectarian violence in Iraq since President Bush began sending more American troops into Baghdad aren't counting one of the main killers of Iraqi civilians.<br><br>
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"President Bush explained why in a television interview on Tuesday. "If the standard of success is no car bombings or suicide bombings, we have just handed those who commit suicide bombings a huge victory," he told TV interviewer Charlie Rose.<br><br>
"Others, however, say that not counting bombing victims skews the evidence of how well the Baghdad security plan is protecting the civilian population - one of the surge's main goals.<br><br>
"Since the administration keeps saying that failure is not an option, they are redefining success in a way that suits them," said James Denselow, an Iraq specialist at London-based Chatham House, a foreign policy think tank."<br><br>
More here:<br><a href="http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/17134253.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp" target="_blank">http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwash...printstory.jsp</a>
 

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So do I read this correctly that the overall number has in fact dropped significantly, but not as much as claimed by the Bush admin?<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">But the number of people killed in explosive attacks is rising, the same statistics show - up from 323 in March, the first full month of the security plan, to 365 through April 24.<br><br>
Overall, statistics indicate that the number of violent deaths has declined significantly since December, when 1,391 people died in Baghdad, either executed and found dead on the street or killed by bomb blasts. That number was 796 in March and 691 through April 24.<br><br>
Nearly all of that decline, however, can be attributed to a drop in executions, most of which were blamed on Shiite Muslim militias aligned with the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Much of the decline occurred before the security plan began on Feb. 15, and since then radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has ordered his Mahdi Army militia to stand down.<br><br>
According to the statistics, which McClatchy reporters in Baghdad compile daily from Iraqi police reports, 1,030 bodies were found in December. In January, that number declined 32 percent, to 699. It declined to 596 February and again to 473 in March.</td>
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Discussion Starter #3
Well, first, let's acknowledge the idiocy of lopping off some of the Iraqi civilian casualty count because they were blown apart by car bombers rather than executed and dumped around various parts of Baghdad. Most suicide bombings that we've read about, from the markets to Shia pilgrims on the road to Karbala, were done for sectarian reasons.<br><br>
Next, we apparently don't have a solid idea if the civilian bodycount has dipped "significantly", given that the Iraqi government appears keen on keeping that information close to the vest:<br><br><i>"For the first time, the United Nations did not include civilian death tolls, statistics that are usually provided to it by the Health Ministry and the Medico-Legal Institute in Baghdad. The data have become a key gauge of the level of violence in Iraq.<br><br>
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"The report said the Iraqi government told the United Nations "that it had decided against providing the data, although no substantive explanation or justification was provided."<br><br>
"Two U.S. Embassy officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, convened a conference call with reporters to criticize the report. "There are numerous factual inaccuracies," one official said. The officials said they did not believe the Iraqi government was trying to withhold information but is attempting to consolidate the death toll figures into some "verifiable system."</i><br><br>
From:<br><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/25/AR2007042502948.html?nav=hcmodule" target="_blank">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?nav=hcmodule</a><br><br><br>
In addition, it is worth pointing out that the damage has been done over the past year's killings/body dumps in that the sectarian 'cleansings' of many Baghdad neighborhoods are now near completion:<br><br><b>Sectarian cleansing threatens Baghdad neighborhoods</b><br><a href="http://www.registerguard.com/news/2007/03/30/a1.iraqviolence.0330.p1.php?section=nation_world" target="_blank">http://www.registerguard.com/news/20...n=nation_world</a><br><br>
Furthermore, it was widely acknolwedged that most of the death squads that were killing many Sunni residents of Baghdad the past year have gone underground for the time being. Many of the death squads are affiliated with Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi militia. But there are now reports that some elements of that militia are breaking away and going rogue:<br><br><b>Crackdown leaves cleric's control in question</b><br><a href="http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2007/04/04/crackdown_leaves_clerics_control_in_question/" target="_blank">http://www.boston.com/news/world/mid...l_in_question/</a><br><br>
And we've seen a return of the damage of the death squads the past week...<br><br><i>BAGHDAD - The bodies of 18 people were found shot in different districts of Baghdad on Wednesday, police said.</i><br><br>
From:<br><a href="http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/KAM628193.htm" target="_blank">http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/KAM628193.htm</a><br><br><i>BAGHDAD - Nineteen bodies were found around Baghdad in the past 24 hours, police said.</i><br><br>
From:<br><a href="http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L24551698.htm" target="_blank">http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L24551698.htm</a><br><br><i>BAGHDAD - Police found 11 bodies across Baghdad on Sunday.</i><br><br>
From:<br><a href="http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/KAM330355.htm" target="_blank">http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/KAM330355.htm</a>
 

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If we see military victory in Iraq as defeating the militias and handing control or restoring control to the Central Government, then the surge is a failure. The militias are not defeated. They were ordered by their own leaders to get out of the way and they have. It is sort of like keeping the kitchen light on in the grad school apartment and saying that since you don't see as many cockroaches at night now, you are winning the war against cockroaches.<br><br>
As for our American Administration redefining the statistics, they have been doing this all along. For them, appearance is everything. Blood is nothing.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Unagidon</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7956751"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If we see military victory...</div>
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And there in lies the problem. "VICTORY" and what a sham it has become. Saddam did not have wmd's capable of doing harm as the md implies in wmd. Saddam has been hung. A constitution was drawn up, debated and voted on. A new govenment was put in office. At that point, Bush was right- mission accomplished as far as a America should be concerned. If there was ever a time to leave on a high note, that would have been it.<br><br>
I don't know what victory in Iraq would like anymore.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>iamthesmilingone</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7957062"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">And there in lies the problem. "VICTORY" and what a sham it has become. Saddam did not have wmd's capable of doing harm as the md implies in wmd. Saddam has been hung. A constitution was drawn up, debated and voted on. A new govenment was put in office. At that point, Bush was right- mission accomplished as far as a America should be concerned. If there was ever a time to leave on a high note, that would have been it.<br><br>
I don't know what victory in Iraq would like anymore.</div>
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All true. But the lynchpin to what the Administration is doing is contrasting something called victory (where by definition the victor gets to set the terms) with anything other than this, which they call "defeat".<br><br>
But while we could have a victory over the armies of Saddam, we could never be victorious in Iraq in Bush's sense because we were never there to conquer and occupy the country in the first place. At the very least there was always to be a time when a central government there would have simply told us to get packing, in the name of their own sovereignty. But we never wanted that government to be so sovreign that they could do that. Our occupation has always been doomed, because we wanted them to be strong but weak at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Fyi...<br><br><b>Bombers strike at Iraqi army, civilians Thursday</b><br><br>
"Bombers struck an Iraqi army post northeast of Baghdad and civilian targets in the city as violence across Iraq killed at least 72 people Thursday, <span style="text-decoration:underline;">including the bullet-riddled bodies of 27 men dumped in the capital</span> — apparent victims of sectarian death squads.<br><br>
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"The deadliest attack occurred about 9 a.m. when a suicide car bomber killed 10 Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint in Khalis, a longtime flashpoint city about 50 miles northeast of Baghdad. Ten other soldiers and five civilians were wounded, police said."<br><br>
From:<br><a href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070427/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_070426165843&printer=1;_ylt=AlADbA9q5w5dSZvUgtUeqdYUewgF" target="_blank">http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070427/...vUgtUeqdYUewgF</a>
 
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