Just in case you missed this negative news last week…
The GAO report (pdf) was re-released today.
It is one of those negative reports on Iraq leaked to the press twice that makes negative headlines in the liberal media two weeks in a row.
It’s sort of like two drinks for the price of one- a media Double Bubble.
Frederick Kagan takes a more reasonable look at the results in Iraq compared to the GAO results at the Weekly Standard.
Macsmind notes that the only report that matters is coming from Patraeus next week.
A trend line from the GAO Report.
Number cruncher John Wixted broke down the positive trends we are seeing in Iraq in a recent post.
He included this on the casualties:
Although I wish more progress were evident in the civilian casualty chart, one has to say that the new strategy adopted by General Petraeus is showing results. Actually, the results have been quite spectacular, but this fact is obscured by the high number of civilian casualties that are still evident. I have thought all along that if civilian casualties did not drop very substantially by the Fall “deadline,” Harry Reid would use that fact to successfully convince the American public that “this war is lost.” And because most Americans do not pay close attention to the details and therefore do not really understand what is happening in Iraq, I had thought that surrender (to al Qaeda) would be in the cards.
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I don’t think that any more. In fact, I am amazed that Americans (and even some Democratic leaders) are able to appreciate the momentous turn of events that has occurred in Iraq lately. More and more Americans seem to understand that we really are in a war against al Qaeda in Iraq (whether or not Iraqi politicians reconcile with each other), that al Qaeda has made it so, and that losing to al Qaeda would have profoundly negative consequences. They also seem to appreciate that the tide has turned against al Qaeda in a very big way even though the terrorists remain capable of launching sneak attacks against and slaughtering unarmed and completely innocent men, women and children. Although the mainstream media often refers to these attacks as being carried out by Sunni “militants” or “extremists,” the American public seems to appreciate the glaringly obvious fact that these attacks are instead carried out by “terrorists.” Al Qaeda terrorists, in fact. They are doing so not because they are participating in a Sunni-vs.-Shiite civil war but because they are trying to provoke a civil war to bring down the Iraqi government and to demoralize you (so that you will throw your support behind Harry Reid and like-minded anti-victory Democrats).
And, as McClatchy reported yesterday, US combat deaths are down.
Certainly, there is much more good news to report that did not make it into the GAO.
But, today’s news story did give the liberal media their first assault on the troops in their efforts to shape public opinion before Patraeus visits Congress next week.