AP Upchucks on Military- Misreports on Surge Gains
Rather than report honestly about results on the ground in Iraq since the surge began earlier this year, the AP plays with numbers to paint a bleak picture.
The Associated Press leads off today with the headline:
“Iraq body count running at double pace”
The media is again leading the charge to make sure that America loses this war to the militant Islamic killers in Iraq (and later in Afghanistan, no doubt). It used to be that losing a war meant that you were losing more soldiers or assets than your enemy. That certainly isn’t the case anymore as you can see from the chart below:
US losses compared to Al Qaeda losses since the beginning of 2006.
Today all Al Qaeda in Iraq has to do is kill innocent villagers any where in Iraq to win this war.
The AP reports:
This year’s U.S. troop buildup has succeeded in bringing violence in Baghdad down from peak levels, but the death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago.
Some of the recent bloodshed appears the result of militant fighters drifting into parts of northern Iraq, where they have fled after U.S.-led offensives. Baghdad, however, still accounts for slightly more than half of all war-related killings — the same percentage as a year ago, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.
The tallies and trends offer a sobering snapshot after an additional 30,000 U.S. troops began campaigns in February to regain control of the Baghdad area. It also highlights one of the major themes expected in next month’s Iraq progress report to Congress: some military headway, but extremist factions are far from broken.
In street-level terms, it means life for average Iraqis appears to be even more perilous and unpredictable.
The AP tracking includes Iraqi civilians, government officials, police and security forces killed in attacks such as gunfights and bombings, which are frequently blamed on Sunni suicide strikes. It also includes execution-style killings — largely the work of Shiite death squads.
The figures are considered a minimum based on AP reporting. The actual numbers are likely higher, as many killings go unreported or uncounted. Insurgent deaths are not a part of the Iraqi count.
The findings include:
• Iraq is suffering about double the number of war-related deaths throughout the country compared with last year — an average daily toll of 33 in 2006, and 62 so far this year.
• Nearly 1,000 more people have been killed in violence across Iraq in the first eight months of this year than in all of 2006. So far this year, about 14,800 people have died in war-related attacks and sectarian murders. AP reporting accounted for 13,811 deaths in 2006. The United Nations and other sources placed the 2006 toll far higher.
• Baghdad has gone from representing 76 percent of all civilian and police war-related deaths in Iraq in January to 52 percent in July, bringing it back to the same spot it was roughly a year ago.
_According to the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization, the number of displaced Iraqis has more than doubled since the start of the year, from 447,337 on Jan. 1 to 1.14 million on July 31.
However, Brig. Gen. Richard Sherlock, deputy director for operational planning for the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said violence in Iraq “has continued to decline and is at the lowest level since June 2006.”
He offered no statistics to back his claim.
Am I the only one that is appalled by that last statement? When did the media start trusting the anonymous sources in Iraq that bring them bogus stories about decapitated bodies before trusting the military fighting for their freedom to report their biased reports?
Here are a few figures that the AP left out- These numbers didn’t fit with the tone of their report:
Multiple fatality bombings are trending lower since highs were reached earlier in the year. (Brookings)
This chart on the types of fatal bombings also shows an overall decline since the surge began. (Brookings)
This shows the Iraqi civilian casualties that are also on the decline since the surge began at the begining of the year. (Brookings)
What the AP is doing to show the war efforts in the worst possible light is to take numbers from last year and compare then to today rather than to report news honestly showing the successful results since the troop surge began at the beginning of the year.