Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Overall violence in Iraq has not diminished, report says" (Youssef)

A Defense Department report released Thursday acknowledges that violence in Iraq has not diminished, despite the arrival of thousands of additional U.S. and Iraqi troops in Baghdad.
The report, which measured Iraq's progress from February to May, gives a less optimistic assessment of the impact of the so-called surge than commanders on the ground offered during that same period.

We're starting with the grown up. The above is from Nancy Youssef's "Overall violence in Iraq has not diminished, report says" (McClatchy Newspapers) and it's a short article so, just to summarize, Petraeus has made claims (April) that things were "a good bit better" and that's not reality with an increase of 40% in acts of violence "over the same period a year ago" excepting only "sectarian murders" which, "[s]ince the reoprt was written, U.S. officials have said that sectarian Murders in Baghdad also have increased" and McClatchy Newspapers figures demonstrate have increased 70%. The Pentagon report is [PDF format warning] online.

Now you can go read John F. Burns' chuckle inducing report in the New York Times if you want. We don't have time to waste on that nonsense but let's note that there is no awareness on display about the above in his report and that for someone in the business as long as he has been to not explain a term unknown to most Americans who aren't Muslim and don't study design is just incredibly bad reporting.

Also in the Times this morning, the jet setting David S. Cloud is back with a DC dateline and (mis)covering the report. If it's the New York Times, then you know they are going to put allegations against the Iranian government high up in the story as well as selling the privatization of Iraq's oild, the usual rah-rah-rah and bury anything of importance which is why Cloud ends with this as opposed to opening with it:

"To date, operations in Baghdad indicate that Iraqi government delivery on these commitments has been uneven," the report said. "For example, there have been reports of political involvement by some leaders in tactical and operational decisions that bypass the standard chain of (military) command."
Asked whether he expected that the next Iraqi units to rotate into Baghdad would be even more thinly staffed and less capable than those in the capital now, General Dempsey replied, "I'm absolutely convinced that's exactly what we'll see."

You can contrast Cloud's fluff with Martha's highlight, Ann Scott Tyson's "No Drop in Iraq Violence Seen Since Troop Buildup" (Washington Post):

Three months into the new U.S. military strategy that has sent tens of thousands of additional troops into Iraq, overall levels of violence in the country have not decreased, as attacks have shifted away from Baghdad and Anbar, where American forces are concentrated, only to rise in most other provinces, according to a Pentagon report released yesterday.
The report -- the first comprehensive statistical overview of the new U.S. military strategy in Iraq -- coincided with renewed fears of sectarian violence after the bombing yesterday of the same Shiite shrine north of Baghdad that was attacked in February 2006, unleashing a spiral of retaliatory bloodshed. Iraq's government imposed an immediate curfew in Baghdad yesterday to prevent an outbreak of revenge killings.

In other news, AP files this brief:

Iraq war veteran Cpl. Adam Kokesh is being kicked out of the Marines days early with a general discharge after he wore his uniform during an antiwar demonstration in Washington, the military announced Wednesday. The general discharge is one notch short of honorable. Kokesh's attorney said he plans to appeal.

We'll address that topic in the next entry.

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