Thursday, April 26, 2007

McClatchy: Bush Administration Ignoring Car Bomb Deaths To Make Casualty Stats In Iraq Seem Better

Why am I not surprised about this:

WASHINGTON - 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.

Car bombs and other explosive devices have killed thousands of Iraqis in the past three years, but the administration doesn't include them in the casualty counts it has been citing as evidence that the surge of additional U.S. forces is beginning to defuse tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

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.

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.

"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.

The gist is this:

Bush says sectarian murders in Baghdad are down 50% since the surge started. He says that shows the surge policy is making progress.

McClatchy reports that violent deaths have dropped significantly in Baghdad, but the drop started BEFORE the surge started - when Sadr told his Mahdi Army to stand down.

This suggests that once the surge is over and the Mahdi Army stand back up, sectarian murders will increase again, particularly since so many Shiites have been slaughtered by Sunni terrorists since February in car bomb attacks.

But Bush and his minions fudge the statistics and call it progress.

I guess it is progress for the Bushies. They're just trying to delay the inevitable defeat and retreat to the next administration.

Therefore - Mission Accomplished!

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