Friday, April 28, 2006

Bush-Style Progress In Iraq

From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON, April 28 — The number of insurgent attacks on civilians in Iraq skyrocketed last year, resulting in almost 8,300 deaths and accounting for more than 50 percent of those killed in terrorist attacks worldwide, according to a State Department report released Friday.

The figures for 2005, reported in the State Department's annual survey of global terrorism, showed a doubling from the previous year in both the number of major terrorist attacks in Iraq and the death toll from them. The overall tally of about 3,500 terrorist attacks in Iraq last year represented nearly one-third of such attacks around the world. The numbers do not include attacks against American or coalition troops.

American and Iraqi officials have long argued that political progress would gradually diminish the violence in Iraq. Yet the figures released on Friday sum up a time of increasingly powerful attacks, some involving foreign fighters, even during a year of historic elections and the formation of a democratically elected government.

Heard a reporter from Bloomberg say on Washington Week tonight that the administration couldn't understand why the formation of a new Iraqi government this week didn't get more positive coverage in the press.

Maybe it's because people in the press, like many Americans, think it's too late to stem the tide of violence and chaos in Iraq. Every time a political objective was achieved in Iraq, whether it was handing over sovereignty, holding elections, or forming an interim government, the violence and chaos got worse, not better.

So what's different now?

Sorry, but "we've turned a corner" rhetoric stopped working a while ago and people won't believe we've turned a corner in Iraq until we really do turn a corner in Iraq.

Which, judging by the level of violence, chaos, corruption, and criminality in Iraq these days, may be never.

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