Monday, December 31, 2007

The Guardian Looks at Iraq

"2007 is America's deadliest year in Iraq", announces the Guardian.

This year has been the most deadly for American troops in Iraq since the invasion nearly five years ago, US military figures out today show. ...

The US military deaths are dwarfed by Iraqi civilian casualties, although the fluctuations show the same pattern. It is difficult to obtain accurate figures on civilian casualties but the Associated Press said Iraqi civilian deaths peaked in May with 2,155 killed, falling to 718 in November and 710 in December. ...

The Guardian also mentions that violence has been down of late. However, that is partly ascribed to the restraint of the Mahdi Army.

Along with the increase in American troops, Iraq's lessening violence has been attributed to a freeze on activities by the Mahdi Army, the militia of radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr....

The newspaper darkly hints that Osama Bin Laden may soon reassert his mastery of the battlefield.

Petraeus also drew attention to the significance of Sunni tribal leaders transferring allegiance to the Iraqi government. In the western province of Anbar, and in Baghdad, coalition of Iraqis known as Awakening Councils or Concerned Local Citizens groups that receive US money and expertise have been joined by Sunni Arabs previously opposed to the invasion. Their coalition in Anbar province, a Sunni stronghold, now numbers 70,000 fighters. These Sunnis are threatened by Osama bin Laden in a video released on Saturday that is the fifth message attributed to him in 2007.

The only sure way to avoid casualties, the smart thing to do, is apparently to retreat.

Unlike the American figures, UK military deaths in 2004 were the lowest since the beginning of British operations in Iraq, known as Operation Telic, in March 2003.

The Guardian's narrative is comprised exclusively of certain elements: casualties are a metric which remains in the story. But certain others are missing from the tale of war never to return. For example, concepts like the "enemy", "enemy casualties", "victory" and "defeat" are probably deemed too old fashioned to remain.


Blogger Tony said...

Of course it's the Mahdi Army and the Sunni insurgents who are responsible for the improvements in Iraq. And the USSR purposely surrendered and dissipated, that had nothing to do with Reagan or America.

12/31/2007 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Stole my thunder Tony.... :-)

When a "partly" is mentioned, it's only fair to mention the other "partly's"... Was it partly attributed 1/100th the decrease? Or, 1/2 the decrease? Only your political position on the war to fill that data hole..

12/31/2007 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12/31/2007 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

Here in a America we are reeling from the merciless barrage of five messages "attributed to Osama Bin Laden in 2007." He really has on the ropes.

12/31/2007 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Of course not mentioned is the idea the reason the Mehdi Army is restrained is because not doing say may get itself killed by the US Marine Corps or the US Army. Twits [the UK Guardian].

12/31/2007 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Buck smith said:

"Here in a America we are reeling from the merciless barrage of five messages "attributed to Osama Bin Laden in 2007." He really has on the ropes."

Osama should consider writing an Op-Ed for the Guardian and then we'll really be in trouble...

1/01/2008 12:01:00 AM  
Blogger Valentine Smith said...

Of course the Guardian doesn't use the word enemy. If they did they would have to come right out and name the US.

The Brits effectively surrendered their sector to Shia militias a long time ago.

1/01/2008 01:05:00 AM  
Blogger bombadil said...

"2007 is America's deadliest year in Iraq", announces the Guardian.
Maybe some day the Guardian will publish an article on the kind of year AlQueda had.

1/01/2008 04:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doc99 said...

I don't know if Sammy's writing op ed's for al Guardian but he gets much of his material from Dingy Harry and the rest of his Democrat Party cabal.

1/01/2008 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Final Historian said...

Wasn't 1945 America's Deadliest Year in the Pacific?

Just curious.

1/01/2008 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

Wasn't 1945 America's Deadliest Year in the Pacific?

I had the same thought - might be 44 though cause there was a full year of fighting

1/01/2008 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Brian H said...

Heh. That calls for my half-year breakdown. It REALLY matters where you put your start-stop markers when you do statistical analysis.

So from the data we have, how about a comparison by half-year? Start with either Jan. '03 or March '03. (Hostile action deaths).
6 months ending:
Calendar | From Onset
2003/06 134 | 2003/08 178
2003/12 189 | 2004/02 196
2004/06 311 | 2004/08 359
2004/12 408 | 2005/02 405
2005/06 309 | 2005/08 333
2005/12 367 | 2006/02 335
2006/06 293 | 2006/08 301
2006/12 410 | 2007/02 463
2007/06 529 | 2007/08 502
2007/12 233 | 2008/02 111
(to date)
Total: 3183 | 3183
6-mo. Ave: 318.3

Ist half of year averages:
315.2 | 334.6

2nd half of year averages:
321.4 | 302

6-mo averages excluding '07:
~303 | ~321

1st half excluding '07:
~262 | ~293

2nd half excluding '07/'08
~344 | ~350

So: the 1st half of calendar '07 exceeded the previous average by ~267. The second half was below the average by ~85, and ~88 below the overall average of the 2nd halves of the year. Compared to the previous 2nd half 6 mo. average, the 6-mo calender 2nd half of '07 was ~111 lower.

For the 6-month periods since onset, there's time to make up for the final period, but the 1st half of '07/08 is ~209 above the previous averages. The second half is 239 below the previous average, with 2 months to make up the difference. If the current total (last 4 months) increases 50%, the total will be ~167, 142 below the previous 2nd half average. If the ~22/month average from Nov-Dec holds, the total will be 155, or 195 below the previous 2nd half year average.

So two alternate predictions come out of this.

If you believe this is a fluke, not a "trend", you need 239 more fatalities before the end of February to bring the current 6-month averages up to snuff.

If you believe the numbers show a trend, you'd expect about 30 more fatalities by the end of February.

So the differences in predictions are: anti-liberationists had a serious shortfall of 111 deaths for the calendar half-year ending Dec. '07.

Anti-liberationists need 239 US combat deaths by the end of February to bring things back on track, and liberationists expect no more than 30, for a difference of 209.

By calendar half-year, the 2nd half of '07 was the LOWEST since '03. By onset half-year, it is on track to be the lowest EVER!

1/01/2008 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Fen said... via Gateway Pundit has a good visual chart:

Short version: "The US military is on track to see the lowest number of monthly fatalities in Iraq since the war began in March, 2003."

Pelosi: The war in Iraq is the biggest disappointment for us, I mean the inability to stop the war in Iraq.

Don Surber: Wow, to Democrats, the victory by American troops in Iraq is “the biggest disappointment for us.”

1/01/2008 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Fen said:

"The US military is on track to see the lowest number of monthly fatalities in Iraq since the war began in March, 2003."

The moonbats will be obligated to change their narrative concerning Iraq really soon or they'll look like complete idiots to the rational Democrats (the moonbats already look like idiots to almost everyone else).

My guess is the new moonbat narrative will be that the US achieved victory due to circumstances beyond our control (e.g. blind luck) and the benefit of victory was not worth the cost. They'll tell this new story and then quickly change the subject, e.g. the economy or global warming. Since the MSM is on their side, it'll be easy to do.

1/01/2008 11:57:00 PM  

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