Monday, July 23, 2007

The State of Iraq

The great thing about the right to free speech is that you can make almost any comment you want, and refute any comment you want as well.


Although, I must say that when people use “pen names” in order to make snide comments, refute a piece of journalism or statistics that really sticks in my craw.


Take this piece of news from McClatchy Newspapers on July 10th written by Mike Drummond and Mohammed al Dulaimy on the number of car bombs during our nation’s “surge.” “Air Force Guy” commented that the article was misleading and stated at the end, “You may not be interested in killing a radical Islamic terrorist, but there are several that are interested in killing you.” What kind of ridiculous platitude is that? What does that have to do with the article?


In the words of John Stossel, give me a break. I might as well just tell “Air Force Guy” that he may not be interested in tax reform, but that the IRS may be unfairly pulling him in with the Alternative Minimum Tax.


While anyone can argue against McClatchy’s calculation and use of their statistics – they use the first week of each month when insurgents and sectarian fighters in Iraq like to carry out their attacks - car bombs have still gone off in Iraq. Drummond and al Dulaimy state that the death tolls are still large and unacceptable.


They write:


The tactic took on a horrifying new dimension this past weekend when about 170 Iraqis were killed in five car bombs — as many as 155 of them when a produce truck laden with explosives leveled houses and shredded bodies in Armili, about 100 miles north of the capital.


The commenter did none of that on statistics. He simply said that the article was misleading and he asked for more time. He didn’t even bother to argue the statistic that I found shaky, which was to only survey the first week of the month. Apparently Air Force Guy thinks we need another four years, or indefinite occupation, something our president said he would not do when he was running for election in 2000.


Drummond and al Dulaimy also provide some caveats:


Overall civilian deaths dropped significantly in June, when a four-day curfew was in effect. "When insurgents are captured or killed in one area, they will try to move their operations and activities to another just to show they are still in business by killing more innocent people, as you saw in," Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq's foreign minister, said at a news conference Monday.

So, a question: Is it a win for the US/Iraq if insurgents still set off bombs, but just in a different location, such as Armili? I certainly don’t think so, and I pray that someone who calls themselves, “Air Force Guy,” would care a little more about the brave soldiers who are in the lines of fire, instead of trying to convince their selves to the idea that we’re succeeding without having any evidence to back it up. I care too much about our military personnel to allow their deaths and sacrifices in another country’s civil war to be tallied as some sort of success. You want more time, fine, then ask, but also realize that you’re asking for more deaths as well.

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