September 30, 2006

JOHN WIXTED ON BOB WOODWARD and “secret” levels of violence in Iraq:

A shocking fact the administration has kept secret? Please. As I noted, information about the number of attacks on American troops — including this particular statistic of one attack every 15 minutes — is not secret. Instead, it is very publicly available in the form of a big graph on page 22 of the Iraq Index (published by the Brookings Institution). In fact, that’s probably where Woodward himself got the information. Some secret. The Iraq Index has been publishing attack statistics for a long, long time for anyone who is interested. . . .

But this talk of withdrawing troops is made with reference to the anti-American insurgency only, with no mention at all of sectarian violence when that is the real problem. In other words, like Bob Woodward, they gloss over the most important detail — the one that undermines their position. The insurgency is not getting worse, but sectarian violence has gotten worse. If we leave, it will get worse still, and the Iraqi experiment in democracy could easily fail. And that’s why calls for a timetable for withdrawal reflect a strategically unwise, anti-humanitarian attitude.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Read this item, too.