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Ear to the Ground

Fixing the Numbers

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Posted on Sep 9, 2007

The Defense Intelligence Agency has prepared a briefing chart using data drawn from Gen. Petraeus’ command that shows that violence in Iraq against security forces, including the U.S. military, has barely diminished. Petraeus, using the same information, is expected to argue that there has been a major drop in attacks.


AP via Yahoo:

Insurgent attacks against Iraqi civilians, their security forces and U.S. troops remain high, according to the document obtained by The Associated Press. It is a conclusion that the well-regarded Army officer who is the top U.S. commander in Iraq is expected to try to counter when he and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad, testify before Congress on Monday and Tuesday.

More than four years into a conflict initially thought to be a cakewalk, the war has become a battle of statistics, graphs and conflicting assessments of progress in a country of more than 27 million people.

The defense intelligence chart makes the point, with figures from Petraeus’ command in Baghdad, the Multinational Force-Iraq. Congressional auditors used the same numbers to conclude that Iraqis are as unsafe now as they were six months ago; the Bush administration and military officials also using those figures say that finding is flawed.

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By purplewolf, September 10, 2007 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

Osage:

You make very good points.Don’t forget that Bush/Cheney also have as many or more “hired military paid soldiers” from the private sector. Blackwater comes to mind first.They were also used during Hurricane Katrina to keep the people from trying to get to dry land when Bush put New OPrleans under Martial Law.There is much evil coming out of the not-so-white house since 2000.

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By ocjim, September 10, 2007 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

Here’s how the military under Bush’s orders has cooked the books to authenticate General Petraeus’s misleading testimony about reduction in Iraqi violence. This comes from Paul Krugman:
“Here’s what will definitely happen when Gen. David Petraeus testifies before Congress next week: he’ll assert that the surge has reduced violence in Iraq — as long as you don’t count Sunnis killed by Sunnis, Shiites killed by Shiites, Iraqis killed by car bombs and people shot in the front of the head.”

Here’s the Baghdad Market situation (Some may remember McCain’s visit in April). The military paid Sunni Shopmkeepers $2,500 to open shops so that they could be showcased to journalists and Congressman. After the showcase with helicopter gunships present, the shops closed. Reported by Washington Post Iraqi correspondent.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/03/AR2007090301486.html

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By osage, September 10, 2007 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

AL QAEDA MATH = CIVIL WAR—- AL QAEDA’S NUMBERS ARE ONLY 3% TO 5% OF THE TOTAL SUNNI INSURGENCY!

Since Bush has repeatedly claimed we’re in Iraq to fight “Al Qaeda”, the terrorists responsible for 9/11, why do we need 160,000 American soldiers to oppose a fighting force estimated to be no more than 3,000 at best?

Is “Al Qaeda’s” fighting force of no more than 3000 so much better organized, armed and equipped that they’ve been able to successfully thwart 160,000 American soldiers after 4.5 years?

Is “Al Qaeda’s” fighting force of no more than 3000 solely responsible for the nearly 4000 “American” deaths thus far?

How many “Americans” were killed by “Sunnis” or “Shiites” or “Kurds”? How many “Al Qaeda” fighters have been killed by “American” troops or by “Sunnis” or “Shiites” or “Kurds”?

Do dead “Al Qaeda” fighters immediately return to life to form an inexhaustible number of living dead fighters for “Americans”, “Sunnis”, “Shiites” and “Kurds” to kill again and again?

Are “Al Qaeda” fighters solely responsible for the killing of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians?

“Al Qaeda” isn’t the reason for the killing, destruction and chaos in Iraq. “George W. Bush” is! His dishonest motives, his incompetent planning, his irresponsible cronyism, his arming of sectarian, political and criminal factions, his enabling of ethnic cleansing and civil war, his ignorance, arrogance and immorality have resulted in a level of destruction and death that he is soley responsible for. Everything he has done in Iraq has been based on lies for reasons of political expediency. Intentionally or not, he is a mass-murderer.

George W. Bush is relying on the same math in Iraq that Karl Rove used when he guaranteed Republicans would hold their majorities in the House and Senate before the 2006 elections?

“[I]t is estimated that foreigners make up at least 70 percent of al Qaeda’s 1,000 to several thousand fighters. Other estimates suggest al Qaeda’s numbers around 850, about 3 to 5 percent of the Sunni insurgency.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda_in_Iraq

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By osage, September 10, 2007 at 6:45 am Link to this comment

BUSH IS IN FACT A MASS MURDERER

“Bush has discarded habeas corpus and the Geneva Conventions, justified torture and secret trials, damned critics as anti-American, and is responsible, according to Information Clearing House, for over one million deaths of Iraqi civilians, which puts Bush high on the list of mass murderers of all time. The vast majority of “kills” by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan are civilians.

http://www.antiwar.com/roberts/?articleid=11533

30/8/07

===
Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq 1,028,360
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html

===

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America’sWar On Iraq 3735
icasualties.org/oif/

Cost of U.S. War and Occupation of Iraq
$447,304,180,745

A report last month found that US and NATO troops killed more Afghan civilians in the first half of this year than the Taliban.
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Report_US_NATO_troops_kill_more_0706.html
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-civilian6jul06,0,2604638,full.story?coll=la-home-center
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2007/afghanistan0407/5.htm#_Toc163022674

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By osage, September 10, 2007 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

After 4.5 years, there are no accepted/enforced rules of law in Iraq….there is no trustworthy or unified police force or Army….there is no trustworthy or unified government….there is no personal safety as sectarian violence goes unpunished….there is no electricity, water or oil as competing factions fight for power….over a million Iraqis have fled the country for fear of being murdered/becoming collateral damage….hundreds of billions of American dollars have been squandered, while nearly 4000 American soldiers and untold thousands of American mercenaries and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have died in a “phony” war….and Bush and his monsters of remorseless cruelty falsely pronounce the “surge” is working? What would Americans do if these conditions existed in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago? What Bush and his cohorts have done in Iraq is the greatest “crime” of the 21st century because they invaded and are occupying a country for “political” purposes only that had/has nothing to do with America’s security. Bush “created” a “phony” war to hold and expand his “political” power in “America”. He forfeited our military preparedness and political influence throughout the world in pursuit of personal power. America’s enemies couldn’t have caused more harm to America’s interests, welfare and future than George W. Bush has. And yet there are still people who support this shamelessly deceitful and incompetent pretender who wants to continue making the same destructive and deadly mistakes he’s made all along to save his “political” legacy. The moral and ethical disconnect of these whores of partisanship and power is universally “wrong”. There is no morality, common sense or good faith in defending the false motives, lies and unconscionable failures of George W. Bush. There is only the perpetuation of death and the “politics” of malevolent and or incompetent men/women whose ambitions have perverted their integrity, patriotism and humanity. Our constitution was written to protect us from times like these. Justice and “righteousness” require impeachment!

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By Frikken Kids, September 10, 2007 at 5:29 am Link to this comment

As the great Homer Simpson once said in an interview with Kent Brockman,

“People can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forfty percent of all people know that.”

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Misfiteye's avatar

By Misfiteye, September 9, 2007 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment

The coup took place in 2000.

Congress is about as relevant to our government as the queen is to England.

When you see Blackwater patroling the streets in place of our local police maybe you’ll get the picture.

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By Patrick Tchou, September 9, 2007 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When one looks at the US Military death rates over the last two months (July and August), it looks like a big drop.  But, if one looks at the monthly variations since March 03, the story is quite different.  All this drop is within the vaiations. The regression line doesn’t look encouraging. Bush knows how to lie with statistics.

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By Enemy of State, September 9, 2007 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

Its called cherrypicking. Finding the few peices of data that in isolation tend to hint that things are working your way, and ignore the rest. With our math-a-phobic public, and politicians this strategy has worked remarkably well in the past.

  As patrickhenry has said, I think that this time most of the people won’t be fooled. But we will still be stuck in Iraq.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, September 9, 2007 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

No matter how they juke the stats the U.S. public is tired of this fiasco and wants our soldiers to come home.

Let the Iraqis sort this mess out between themselves, we have gang warfare here in the U.S. as well.

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By desertdude, September 9, 2007 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

Stay the course all over again. No matter what is really happening on the ground they will make it sound as though we are have a great sucess. 16 more months of Mayham and deaths. Thanks to GW and the Republican party.

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By purplewolf, September 9, 2007 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

#99486 farmertx:

We all know the report has been spinning at full speed and will twist everything to bushies desired outcome.On the web news Sept.7 morning, we were told we were going to leave a lighter foorprint in Iraq, in other words start to come home.Meanwhile later in the same day the Pentagon quoted that we have 168,000 troops in Iraq today and plan on bringing that level to 172,000 in the next few weeks.That statement right there told us what a lot of us already knew. Bush will ignore any credible information and still do as he wants.
As for the demo saying impeachment was off the table, now I have heard it would take to long Bush has 16 months left,(only if he doesn’t delare Martial law)and that is not enough time to do it in.Just how long should it take to impeach these criminals called Bush/Cheney, they should be able to be done quite swiftly with as much as hese guys have done, no time like the present. Impeach on.

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By QuyTran, September 9, 2007 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Nobody trust their charts and briefings. They’re all lied !

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By weather, September 9, 2007 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

Who collected the data, Arthur Andersen?

When the lies are assembled as the truth and the real truth threatens the Liars,  bring out the virtual Ben Laden, anthrax u.s.p. and a hdtv for some high resolution deceit. How very lovely.

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farmertx's avatar

By farmertx, September 9, 2007 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

Petraeus is doing what he has to do to remain on duty.
Were he to tell the truth, he would be pulled out and likely retired.
Hopefully the Democrat’s on the Hill will have woken up after their time back home and ask a lot of hard questions and possibly gather a consensus on both sides of the aisle to begin a drawdown, pullout whatever the spin doc’s come up with.
The plain facts are that not enough Iraqis’ are willing to set aside their religious differences and do as the Shrub wants.
Had Shrub had a clue, he would have chosen ‘administrator’s’ that knew a thing or two about the Mideast in general and Iraq in particular and possibly we wouldn’t be in this mess.
But political reliability (a phrase once used only in the USSR) trumped experience.
And the Iraqi people and our troops are paying the price of Shrub being dead certain and hoping that he can have history rewritten to show him as a leader.
Thankfully, there is not that much ink nor paper for that to happen, despite his ‘visions’.

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