Monday, October 01, 2012

The monthly figures demonstrate one source is accurate

Mohammed Tawfeeeq (CNN) reports last month was the deadliest month in Iraq "since August 2010" according to figures supplied by the Ministry of the Interior which states there were 365 deaths.  AFP adds, "It was the highest monthly toll given by the government since August 2010, when figures showed 426 people were killed and 838 wounded in attacks." All Iraq News notes the ministry's figures for number injured is 683.

365.  Hmm.  What's Iraq Body Count's total?

356.  Hmm.

What would that mean?  It would probably mean that Iraq Body Count is a dependable resource for deaths in Iraq. 

And others?

The Associated Press counted "nearly 200 people" and  AFP's tally for the month is 253 killed.

If the figures for this month demonstrate anything, hopefully it's that it's past time for the press to again be citing Iraq Body Count's figures and doing so regularly.

After all, AFP's tally is over 100 deaths off, AP's even more so.  By contrast, IBC's only 9 off.

 A question to ask is why, after a non-stop pattern of undercounting deaths each month, the Ministry of the Interior suddenly didn't low ball?

Is the Ministry under control of Nouri at war with him?  Or, more likely, did Nouri okay an accurate number being released?  After months and months when the official number from the Iraqi government was 100 or more short with each release, what's going on?

If I were someone who had stated that getting most US troops out of Iraq was a good thing and I was in negotiations with the White House to bring some troops back in, I think I'd need to make an argument that they were needed.  One way I'd do that would be by noting the high fatalities.

Maybe that's what's going on, maybe not.

But the violence continues today. Alsumaria notes a Falluja bombing today has claimed the life of 1 soldier and left two more injured, a Diyala Province bombing that claimed the lives of 2 women and 1 man, and a Baghdad armed attack killed 1 personAll Iraq News identifies the person killed in Baghdad as the Administrative and Financial Director of the Parks Dept.  and they note a Mosul home invasion in which 1 woman and her daughter were killed1 Iraqi soldier was injured in a clash near the Syrian border with unknown assailantsKUNA notes a Baghdad car bombing claimed 1 life and left four people injured and a Tikrit bombing claimed 2 lives and left three people injured.

Today's attacks come as Iraq's still recoiling from yesterday's attacks which  claimed 34 lives and left at least eighty-five injured.   Al Mada notes that a member of Parliament's Committee on Security and Defense declared that the bombings will continue for as long as the political crisis does.  Iraq has been a political stalemate for over a year.  Following the March 2010 elections, there was an 8-month political stalemate when Nouri al-Maliki refused to let the winning slate Iraqiya have first crack at forming a government (the Constitution gave Iraqiya that right).  With the White House's backing, Nouri brought things to a standstill.  In November 2010, the US brokered a contract known as the Erbil Agreement.  It was a list of concessions by Nouri in exchange for getting a second term as prime minister despite his State of Law coming in second in the elections.  Leaders of all the political blocs -- including Nouri -- signed off on the contract.  Nouri used it to grab a second term and then trashed it, insisting that elements would be implemented shortly.  By the summer of 2011, Iraqiya, the Kurds and Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc were calling for the Erbil Agreement to be implemented.  This is the current political stalemate.  It is upgraded to a political crisis in December 2011 when Nouri's previous crackdowns on Sunnis and Iraqiya members moves to Baghdad with him targeting Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq.

I was looking for the New York Times editorial for this Al Mada and thinking, "It sounds so spot-on.  How could I have missed that editorial."  Then I caught the rhythm and realized why (a) I agreed with it and (b) how I knew it.  If you read Arabic, you may enjoy this.  It reads much better in Arabic than it did in English.  (If you don't read Arabic, I haven't insulted the New York Times.  This isn't a Times editorial.  If you read Arabic, hopefully, unlike me you won't read the whole thing and then go searching through the Times for the piece thinking, "Wow, that sounds so great?  Is it a syndicated piece that didn't appear in the Times?"  I only recognize a certain source of writing, as Jim's noted many times, based on rhythm and only reading one Arabic line aloud  did I finally catch the rhythm.)

And trying to track down a Times piece that did not exist leaves me with no more time.  We'll cover how US Senator John Kerry gets bragging rights yet again in the snapshot and we'll probably go to town on a US newspaper columnist who is such an idiot that he doesn't even read his own paper in the snapshot later today.

Isaiah's latest The World Today Just Nuts "The 2,000 Mark" went up this morning.  Kat's "Kat's Korner: Heart Walkin' Good" went up this afternoon.  On this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) topics addressed include arrests on the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, the Insane Clown Posses plans to sue the FBI, Texas police officer shoots dead a man in a wheelchair, the ACLU on the Cranston School Dept's gender stereotyping (guest ACLU attorney Steven Brown),  discrimination in Wisconsin Dept of Transportation (guest attorney Kayrn Rotke) and Lance Selfa joins the hosts to discuss his new book The Democrats: A Critical History.

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