April 05, 2006

DECLINING NUMBERS of U.S. casualties, Iraqi casualties, civilian deaths, and bombings:

My point here is not that everything is peachy in Iraq. It isnít. My point isnít that the insurgency is in its last throes. It isnít. My point here isnít even to argue that weíre winning. Iím at best cautiously-pessimistic-to-neutral about how things are going there.

My only point is that, at the very least, people who complain that good news coming out of Iraq gets shuttered by the press arenít crazy. Iím a regular denizen of the right-leaning blogosphere (though I spend about half my daily routine with left-leaning sites), and I was unequivicolly shocked when I saw this. Completely the opposite of what Iíd expected. My non-scientific sample of three friends, all of whom are considerably more bullish about the prospects in Iraq than I am, revealed three people similarly surprised by these numbers. Iím guessing if I polled people on this site regarding the direction those numbers were going, and people didnít answer strategically (eg figure I was up to something from the question words), no one would predict any of those numbers were on a downward trend, or were even flat.

Again, my point isnít that weíre winning. My only point is that if the data youíve received left you completely surprised by these numbers, what does that really say about the completeness of the data youíve received?

The numbers come from Brookings.

UPDATE: The Commissar says that the Brookings numbers on Iraqi civilian deaths for March are much lower than those from other groups, and he thinks they're incomplete.