Friday, May 1, 2009

AP: April deadliest month for US in Iraq in 7 months

Check out all this negativity:

BAGHDAD – The U.S. death toll for April rose to 18, the military said Friday, making it the deadliest in seven months for American forces in Iraq. The sharp increase from the previous month came as a series of bombings also pushed Iraqi deaths to their highest level this year.


The spike in attacks has raised concerns that insurgents are stepping up their efforts to re-ignite sectarian bloodshed as well as questions about the readiness of the Iraqis to take over responsibility for their own security as U.S. troops begin to withdraw.


Security was tightened in Tikrit after hundreds of angry mourners — some firing weapons into the air — took to the streets to protest the killings. The demonstrators shouted "Down with America!" and promised revenge.


That made April the deadliest month for U.S. forces since September, when 25 American troops died.

April also saw the most troops killed in combat so far this year, as opposed to other causes. Thirteen of last month's 18 deaths were in combat compared with four among the nine in March.

Sounds pretty terrible right? What they don't mention is that the death count of 18 US servicemen in April 2009 still make it less deadly than any month from March 2003 through September 2008. Put another way, the deaths in April 2009 were only 35% of the 52 deaths in April 2008, and 15% of the 117 military deaths in April 2007.

Civilian deaths in Iraq in April were also higher than previous months following a series of high-profile bombings.

At least 371 Iraqis were killed — in addition to 80 Iranian pilgrims — in violence in April, compared with 335 Iraqis killed in March, 288 in February and 242 in January, according to an AP tally.

What they don't mention is that the 344 civilian deaths in April 2009 constitute only 46% of the 744 civilians killed in April 2008 and only 19% of the 1,821 civilians killed in April 2007.

The bottom line, violence in Iraq is still down significantly and the mainstream media is still doing its best to convince us that it is an unwinnable quagmire.


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1 comment:

Robert Miller said...

While I agree completely with your assessment of the media, I disagree with your conclusions.

The insurgents and terrorists knew they could not defeat the US military in direct engagement. So they took a lesson from the NVA: you win by demoralizing the American people and allowing unscrupulous politicians to undermine the war effort through the democratic process.

The terrorists KNEW they could count on American liberals to blame every American death and Iraqi murdered by the enemy on George Bush. They knew liberals would attack the casus belli (a la Gulf of Tonkin) and magnify isolated incidents of US soldier misconduct (Abu Ghraib = My Lai).

We did not lose a single major battle in Vietnam. In fact, by the time we ended the war, there were no NVA troops between our forces and Hanoi. Their air defenses had been destroyed. We could have taken their capital without a fight, if the proper political will prevailed. We did not lose - we walked away from victory.

Had there been constant solidarity in the US government to remain in Iraq, indefinitely, committed to stabilization and defeating terrorist aims, the insurgency would have given up the fight years earlier.

Similarly in Afghanistan, the wavering commitment of our allies emboldened our enemies to fight on. Had Bush's original strategy been supported, we would have hundreds of thousands of troops on Iran's eastern and western borders. With the threat of invasion, they'd have no choice but to give in to UN demands to disarm. Instead, Iran now acts with impunity assured that no invasion or bombing will EVER take place. The current model for Iran's strategy is North Korea - an endless cycle of empty overtures followed by indignant, baseless accusations and ominous threats while they continue to build WMD.

Your own timeline of violence coincides perfectly with growing sentiment against the war and exploitation of inauspicious events in the media.

Violence in Iraq is increasing now precisely because Obama has announced our withdrawal. Just like in Vietnam, our gestures of "peace" were not met with peace. They invited violence.