Violence in Iraq down 70%

posted at 9:35 am on October 23, 2007 by Bryan

But, I’m confused. I coulda swore I heard someone say “The war is lost.” Maybe that prognostication was a bit premature.

Violence in Iraq has dropped by 70 percent since the end of June, when U.S. forces completed their build-up of 30,000 extra troops to stabilize the war-torn country, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.

This is the lead of a Reuters story. Watch how they use the next sentence to make sure that no one jumps for joy.

The ministry released the new figures as bomb blasts in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul killed five people and six gunmen died in clashes with police in the holy Shi’ite city of Kerbala south of the Iraqi capital.

Happiness at good news duly beaten down to near zero, let’s proceed with the actual story.

Washington began dispatching reinforcements to Iraq in February to try to buy Iraq’s feuding political leaders time to reach a political accommodation to end violence between majority Shi’ites and minority Sunni Arabs that has killed tens of thousands and forced millions from their homes.

While the leaders have failed to agree on key laws aimed at reconciling the country’s warring sects, the troop buildup has succeeded in quelling violence.

Under the plan, U.S. troops left their large bases and set up combat outposts in neighborhoods while launching a series of summer offensives against Sunni Islamist al Qaeda, other Sunni Arab militants and Shi’ite militias in the Baghdad beltway.

Interior Ministry spokesman Major-General Abdul-Karim Khalaf told reporters that there had been a 70 percent decrease in violence countrywide in the three months from July to September over the previous quarter.

Wasn’t al Qaeda supposed to engineer some kind of Tet offensive over the summer? Whatever happened to that? I guess we can file it away with the “brutal Afghan winter” as Things The Press Predicts That Don’t Happen. Instead of a Tet, we get Osama’s Weekly Radio Address, in which he begs the various brutes and thugs fighting under various anti-US and anti-Iraq banners to “just get along.”

He’s desperate. We’re not (anymore). The Iraqi government has some time now to build reconciliation between the various Sunni and Shia groups that have decided on a common enemy, which is no longer the US but al Qaeda.

(“Osama radio” Photoshop by Cry Havoc)

Update (AP): Meanwhile, at the Times, “The news out of Iraq just keeps getting worse.”


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All you can do is pray at this point. My focus is on Democrats who will do anything to undermine the effort because they require death and chaos to win elections. They run on nothing, so they hope to win by default, and their actions prove more and more each day that they not just “not care”, they are actively hoping for deaths of our troops and innocent Iraqis. These are the people we need to worry about.

RightWinged on October 23, 2007 at 9:44 AM

I noticed that they are promoting the civilian deaths more now…that line sure is blurred.

tomas on October 23, 2007 at 9:49 AM

tomas on October 23, 2007 at 9:51 AM

I guess I’ll get a cup of cocoa tonight, curl up, and prepare to hear this as the top story on the news!

…should I bring a book while I wait?

MadisonConservative on October 23, 2007 at 9:51 AM

Not so fast. The New York Times say’s we’re on the brink.

The news out of Iraq just keeps getting worse. Now Turkey is threatening to send troops across the border to wipe out Kurdish rebel bases, after guerrillas killed at least a dozen Turkish soldiers. This latest crisis should have come as no surprise. But it is one more widely predicted problem the Bush administration failed to plan for before its misguided invasion — and one more problem it urgently needs to deal with as part of a swift and orderly exit from Iraq.

As least they’re consistent. They never once have let facts get in their way.

JammieWearingFool on October 23, 2007 at 9:55 AM

…should I bring a book while I wait?

MadisonConservative on October 23, 2007 at 9:51 AM

Yeah. War and Peace. And the Encyclopedia.

amerpundit on October 23, 2007 at 9:56 AM

After living just over a year in Baghdad’s “notorious” Doura District (to quote a typical MSM description), rebuilding two power plants, I can testify that the surge worked. The months of November & December were particularly “noisy” in 2006.

As this year began, the violence around us continued. In March, a large VBIED took out the police staion next to the plant, killing 28 (police and prisoners). I was dusted a bit, but neither I nor any other contractor was injured from that.

As the summer progressed, the frequency of the mortar rounds and small arms fire decreased. By the time I demob’d last month, the quiet was met with a standard joke, “AQI is reloading.” Now it seems, in spite of Harry Reid and the defeatocrats, General Petraeus’ strategy has proven correct.

God bless our troops. Doing the jobs dhiminicrats won’t do.

Texas Nick 77 on October 23, 2007 at 9:58 AM

Of course violence is down. Everyone’s dead. Just ask a democrat.

roninacreage on October 23, 2007 at 9:59 AM

As least they’re consistent. They never once have let facts get in their way.

JammieWearingFool on October 23, 2007 at 9:55 AM

I see the “Pelosi decree” is having an effect after all.

Texas Nick 77 on October 23, 2007 at 10:01 AM

Yeah. War and Peace. And the Encyclopedia.

amerpundit on October 23, 2007 at 9:56 AM

How about The Stand as well? Always a good one…

MadisonConservative on October 23, 2007 at 10:01 AM

MadisonConservative on October 23, 2007 at 10:01 AM

Sure. You’ll be needing quite a few.

amerpundit on October 23, 2007 at 10:07 AM

Can add this ABC news report

Falluja has complete turnaround

William Amos on October 23, 2007 at 10:09 AM

As least they’re consistent. They never once have let facts get in their way.

Actually, the conflict between Turkey and Kurdish Iraq is a significant problem. Turkey is the most developed and Western of the Islamic nations. We don’t want them dragged into a regional war with the one relatively orderly section of Iraq.

You can be in favor of continued U.S. commitment to Iraq and still believe that the administration failed in its planning for the occupation.

dedalus on October 23, 2007 at 10:09 AM

Jeez, the guy in this pic looks like halle berry’s cousin.

JiangxiDad on October 23, 2007 at 10:12 AM

You can be in favor of continued U.S. commitment to Iraq and still believe that the administration failed in its planning for the occupation.

dedalus on October 23, 2007 at 10:09 AM

What pre-invasion steps should we have taken regarding the PKK?

Buy Danish on October 23, 2007 at 10:13 AM

Other point of view. Time to talk Turkey.

JiangxiDad on October 23, 2007 at 10:15 AM

Your cherry pick’n Bryan! :)

Drtuddle on October 23, 2007 at 10:15 AM

I wonder why some arent questioning Turkey’s new Islamic government’s motives in moving into iraq ?

William Amos on October 23, 2007 at 10:16 AM

Jeez, the guy in this pic looks like halle berry’s cousin.

JiangxiDad on October 23, 2007 at 10:12 AM

Different thread, mate.

Texas Nick 77 on October 23, 2007 at 10:20 AM

Dingy Harry’s had a bad week, which means it’s been a good week for the rest of us patriots.

Winning and success ….. the Democrat’s worst enemies.

Get ready to hear an influx of news stories about how we still are not safe here at home and how Bush is somehow responsible for the raging fires in California.

fogw on October 23, 2007 at 10:31 AM

Down 70%? Wasn’t it down 50% last month? Do I dectect a pattern here? All this is gonna do is force the enemedia to be more specific when telling us about all the chaos and carnage. But I’ll get my news from people like Nick77 who were actually THERE.

I spent my working days flying all over this country, there are almost always Marines and Soldiers onboard and I ask ‘em what’s really goin’ on over there and they all say it’s nothing like the media says, even BEFORE the surge. Who do I believe, the media with an anti-war agenda using stringers with an anti-war agenda? Or American Soldiers? It’s pretty obvious.

Tony737 on October 23, 2007 at 10:39 AM

good. with the elbow room this affords us, we can now go and let our ally turkey know that if they invade iraq, we wont stop the peshmerga from whoopin their ass back to the border.

ernesto on October 23, 2007 at 10:43 AM

Of course violence is down. Everyone’s dead. Just ask a democrat.

roninacreage on October 23, 2007 at 9:59 AM

I have to admit, that made me laugh a bit.

In all seriousness though, this news provides even more hope. Now teh Iraqi govt needs to take advantage of this and get things done.

Yakko77 on October 23, 2007 at 10:52 AM

What pre-invasion steps should we have taken regarding the PKK?

President Bush allowed a fracture between his Defense and State Departments that made it difficult for State to work through the political ramifications of the invasion. Rumsfeld fought Franks for too small a force and then fought Garner over some key State department appointees. There was too little attention paid by Rumsfeld to the professionals in the military and in the State Department who had relevant expertise.

The PKK is on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations and have been involved in the deaths of tens of thousands of people during the past 20 years. Perhaps structuring the power sharing in Iraq to incentivize Talabani and Barzani to crack down on the PKK, or keeping Turkey actively involved in the reconstruction even after they voted against the invasion route, or not turning over security in the Kurd areas to the Peshmerga while this problem was unresolved would have helped.

Fundamentally, though, evaluating the impact on Turkey should have been an important part of the calculus in weighing “invasion” against “containment”. The breakdown between Defense and State made this difficult.

dedalus on October 23, 2007 at 11:01 AM

Tony737 on October 23, 2007 at 10:39 AM

A little history here, if you care for a look:

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/07/24/video-power-plant-start-up-in-doura/

Thanks for the vote of confidence. Along with many others there, I just did a small part.

Texas Nick 77 on October 23, 2007 at 11:08 AM

From the main Reuters article:

However, in the northern province of Nineveh, where many al Qaeda and other Sunni Arab militants fled to escape the crackdown in Baghdad and surrounding region, there had been a 129 percent rise in car bombings and a corresponding 114 percent increase in the number of people killed in violence.

I’m sensing a trend here. We may need more data to confirm it though.

Ferris on October 23, 2007 at 11:22 AM

I coulda swore I heard someone say “The war is lost.”

That’s true, depending on which side of the war you’re on. Last I heard, AQI had pretty much lost.

taznar on October 23, 2007 at 11:34 AM

Thanks for the link there, Nick. You’re right, Al Gore would probably keel over dead if he saw that!

“AQI had pretty much lost” – Taznar

No no, they’re just strategically redeploying to Pakistan. If these jihadi a$$holes (the few still breathin’) had any brains, (nuclear armed) Pakistan would be their main focus, not Iraq. They’re dumb enough to think we’re gonna lose in Iraq like the Soviets did in Afghanistan, that didn’t work out as planned, despite the Dhemm’s best efforts to help ‘em out. They think we lost in Vietnam when militarily we won. Thank God our enemies are so damn stupid.

Tony737 on October 23, 2007 at 11:44 AM

William Amos on October 23, 2007 at 10:09 AM

That link put a smile on my face. Thanks.

BadgerHawk on October 23, 2007 at 11:51 AM

They think we lost in Vietnam when militarily we won.

Militarily we won the battles but didn’t win the war, and Nixon left the South in a position where it would be overrun. Could we have remained committed after Tet and maybe partitioned the country? Perhaps, but we’d might still be there today.

dedalus on October 23, 2007 at 12:08 PM

With so many other problems in Iraq, the Bush administration apparently thought it could ignore this one. It can’t. If it doesn’t now move quickly, Iraq’s disastrous civil war could spiral into an even bigger disaster — a regional war

Yep – the biggest problem being referred to in the Times article is that “violence in Iraq down 70%” – how will they report that? What to do when facing such a problem? Point out another disaster waiting to happen (as a result of Bush’s lies).

Rick on October 23, 2007 at 12:13 PM

What a disturbing photo on this link. It does a terrible disservice to the great Gary Owens.

Other than that, good post.

Captain Scarlet on October 23, 2007 at 12:45 PM

Wow. This from Al Reuters

drjohn on October 23, 2007 at 12:45 PM

This is just going to ratchet up the BDS to a new degree.

I hope the trend continues that way I can gloat right through Christmas.

Kini on October 23, 2007 at 12:55 PM

As violence drops in Iraq, time marches on and the MSM will find new stories to report. They will NEVER report an accomplishment in Iraq.
Iraq will be a safer country than some of our own inner cities (oh you mean it already is) and the MSM will NEVER report any good progress. I personally don’t see them ‘as being just’ on the side of the enemy, I see them as LEADING the propaganda war against our own Country. The MSM and Hollywood are the trend setters for the news, television and movies around the world. So WHO is Americas WORST ENEMY of anti -American PROPAGANDA?

abinitioadinfinitum on October 23, 2007 at 1:06 PM

Darn, just a couple more months of deaths to win…a few more hundred a month of soldiers deaths is what it should be…we need more deaths of Americans…this is very upsetting news…lies, a bunch of stat lies, we are losing more than they are reporting…doesn’t matter, the loss of life can never be justified…one loss is one too many….

Cut and Paste to Dkos and be one of the lemmings.

right2bright on October 23, 2007 at 1:38 PM

What pre-invasion steps should we have taken regarding the PKK?

Buy Danish on October 23, 2007 at 10:13 AM

It’s the counter-insurgency by Pelosi et al, emboldening the PKK by shredding our relations with Turkey, that wasn’t taken into account.

TexasDan on October 23, 2007 at 1:38 PM

TexasDan on October 23, 2007 at 1:38 PM

You must remember that Pelosi et al are good people with good intentions, and Bush is a fascist pig, who only knows evil.

Rick on October 23, 2007 at 2:16 PM

The MSM is in the same position as the democrats in congress. If they report the surge was actually the right strategy, they will look like fools. After bashing the President, our military leaders, and our brave soldiers, for so long they have put themselves in a very tough situation. Look how long they have pressed this administration to admit they were wrong, and demand that they admit they made mistakes. The MSM and the democrat party have been able to set the tone on how this war has been perceived, and the latest news does not fit their narrative. How do you think opinion polls would look like if Michael Yon’s reporting was the mainstream view in the media? I think you would see much more support for the mission. God bless our brave men and women, and thank you for protecting my freedom. Peace through strength.

chief on October 23, 2007 at 2:26 PM

The ministry released the new figures as bomb blasts in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul killed five people and six gunmen died in clashes with police in the holy Shi’ite city of Kerbala south of the Iraqi capital.

Okay, this is great news, but does anyone find the boldface type funny?

Black Adam on October 23, 2007 at 3:40 PM

Hear that tick-tick-tick sound Osama? It’s not a question of “if” but “when”

Captain America on October 23, 2007 at 5:28 PM

I question the turle.

TheSitRep on October 23, 2007 at 5:55 PM