Monday, October 15, 2007

As the World Turns

When is no news good news?

This weekend, for the first time in four attempts this year, Iraqi National Police in Samarra were able to avoid being hit with a devastating suicide car bomb (or ‘SVBIED,’ for Suicide Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device). Terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq (or ‘ISI’ – also known as ‘AQI,’ or ‘al Qaeda in Iraq’), attempting to drive a VBIED up to an NP outpost in the southwestern part of the city and detonate it, encountered a surprising amount of resistance from the National Police there. The NPs succeeded in destroying the rolling bomb before it was able to reach their position.

Is this news or the absence of news?

BAGHDAD (AP) - The civilian death toll in Iraq fell to its lowest level in recent memory Saturday, with only four people killed or found dead nationwide, according to reports from police, morgue officials and credible witnesses. ... Saturday's decline in deaths was in line with a sharp drop in September of both Iraqi civilian and U.S. military fatalities.



Sometimes things don't happen because other things do happen, very often small things that occur on a cumulative basis. But they are harder to write about since they are less dramatic.

18 Comments:

Blogger Peter Grynch said...

One of the key aspects of asymmetric warfare is that you cede the news cycle to the enemy. They can always grab headlines by blowing up soft targets. The resultant civilian deaths, in the bizarro world of the liberal mainstream media, get blamed on the American troops because the American troops failed to prevent them.

The soldiers trying to prevent innocent deaths are held responsible for all civilian casualties. Anti-war politicians can even toss out markers to the terrorists: "If you kill 200 more Iraqis, that will prove the surge isn't working". The terrorists are happy to oblige.

Our efforts are often clandestine and the good news in Iraq goes as unremarked as Sherlock Holmes' dog that didn't bark.

10/15/2007 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/16/2007 02:09:00 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

...with only four people killed or found dead nationwide, according to reports from police, morgue officials and credible witnesses...

How do you have credible witnesses of a lack of deaths?

10/16/2007 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Perhaps the most important question is whether the marked decline in allied casualties and enemy attacks is the result of:

a) allied action, or

b) the enemy going to ground because they realise that apparent success will result in a functional US departure, clearing the field for later action

10/16/2007 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Doug:
Al Gore is the one person we can tie most directly to both the attacks of 9/11/01 and the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia, and no doubt many other disasters of lesser fame.
Gore devised and implemented the “Reinventing Government Initiative” the key feature of which was a 30% reduction in Federal Government civilian personnel. This was implemented in a classic Inside the Beltway fashion: an approach termed the “Peanut Butter Spread” – in other words, everyone got hit. No hard decisions were made in D.C. relative to eliminating whole departments or cutting back bloated ones – that is, except Congress, who exempted themselves from the cuts.
So DoD, FBI, CIA, NASA, you name it, had to figure out how to cut 30% of their civilian manpower in the 90’s. And DoD was not given a pass just because it was already undergoing a 40% downsizing cut – it was 30% on top of the 40%. The workload just in handling all this was considerable; the experience loss among the older workers and morale impact among the younger employees was even worse.

10/16/2007 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

rwe refers to this link from a post I deleted before seeing his:

Thomas L. Friedman: Who Will Succeed Al Gore?

10/16/2007 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You have to admit, tho,
“Reinventing Government Initiative”
is a heck of a line.

Like the economical, infinitely reusable, Space Shuttle.

We don't need no stinking wasteful one-time rockets!

Recycling in Space.

10/16/2007 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bad things are happening in countries you shouldn’t have to think about. It’s all George Bush’s fault, the vice president is Satan, and God is gay.
STEPHEN COLBERT is a NY Times Columnist

10/16/2007 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Peter Gryrnch: They can always grab headlines by blowing up soft targets.

That implies that the entire Iraqi society must become hard targets. Checkpoints for schoolbuses. No more than 3 family members in any one room. What a life!

10/16/2007 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor
---
'Mom' and 'Dad' banished by California
BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS
Mom and Dad" as well as "husband and wife" effectively have been banned from California schools under a bill signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who with his signature also ordered public schools to allow boys to use girls restrooms and locker rooms, and vice versa, if they choose.

10/16/2007 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

If you peruse the milblogs and foreign papers you get the sense that the jihadis are being turned into dust bunnies at a rate that must be alarming in mullahville. Jihadi passage from Syria is apparently way down also.

I think the timing of Pelosi's Turkey Shoot is a reflection of the success we are having in Iraq. Sad to say but the neocopperhads are every much as desperate for a visible setback as the AQ leadership.

10/16/2007 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger John J. Coupal said...

Bart Hall,

A functional withdrawl of US troops from Iraq is not in the cards, under either democrat or Republican administration. The reality of the situation is beginning to dawn, even on democrats.

The weeding out of the troublesome people - in Iraq, not DC - will take additional time.

10/16/2007 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

PeterBoston said:

"I think the timing of Pelosi's Turkey Shoot is a reflection of the success we are having in Iraq. Sad to say but the neocopperhads are every much as desperate for a visible setback as the AQ leadership."

The big problem with this war is we are fighting two enemies at once, i.e. the islamic fascists in the Middle East and the moonbats/neo-copperheads at home. Our military is having some success with the islamic fascists but unfortunately the moonbats are also doing well.

Victory is balanced on the edge of a knife.

10/16/2007 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Perhaps the most important question is whether the marked decline in allied casualties and enemy attacks is the result of:

a) allied action, or

b) the enemy going to ground because they realise that apparent success will result in a functional US departure, clearing the field for later action


I think there's an option "c", which is that Iraqi's are FINALLY stepping up to the plate to be responsible for their own fate, rather than sitting back and whining, wanting the Americans to do it all for them.

I had given up on Iraqi's both as a people and as a society because they were just so dadblamed lazy and reluctant to get involved in their own lives. The fact that they're now producing police who are actively blowing up both bombs and terrorists all by their little selves is an excellent turn of events.

I'm even almost willing to overlook Malaki's corruption and incompetence since he seems to be reaching out to the Sunni's, but geez, WHY can't they get it together to start the oil flowing and then divvy those sheckels up and quit depending on Iranian (and American) handouts?!?

Bottom line, though -- the Iraqi's are starting to stand up on their own hind legs and take responsibility. I wonder if any of the other Arabs in the Middle East have noticed that, too.

10/16/2007 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I really very stongly recommend that y'all read this series of articles on our success in defeating the IEDs.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/specials/leftofboom/index.html?g=1&wpsrc=100002

There is an article on countermeasures at that link as well as links to earlier articles in the series. It comes Very Highly Recommended to me by people who are Very Much In the Know.

10/16/2007 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Iraqis Complain of Iranian Bias In Iraqi News

An interesting article at Kitabat, Iraq and translated at Watching America tells of a biased satellite news service in the democratic Iraq:

...Moreover, Iraqi satellite news continued on course by deliberately failing to mention the arrest of a member of Iranian intelligence by the American army in Northern Iraq last week, despite the importance of this story to the mass-media everywhere else!

Instead, we see Iraqi channels mounting a sustained campaign of incitement against the American army and security companies, exploiting an incident sparked by one of these firms [Blackwater ]. Of course, we know that this campaign is part of Iran's anti-American scheme that seeks to oppose America in Iraq by means of Shiite parties, al-Qaeda and remnants of the Baath Party .
ht - Rufus

10/16/2007 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Oops!Misfired Patriot missile hits farm in Qatar

10/16/2007 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Karl Maher said...

Here's some more non-news: There hasn't been a U.S. combat death in Iraq since Sunday. I wonder how often that's happened in the last couple of years?

10/18/2007 10:09:00 AM  

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