Man bites dog: CNN reports on Iraq’s improving security; Update: Corrected chart added!

posted at 1:46 pm on October 31, 2007 by Allahpundit

They may not do it as often as you’d like but they do do it. This isn’t the first time we’ve noticed, either. A nice report here, encouraging but appropriately skeptical, as was Michael Yon’s segment on the recent quiet in Basra.

Luckily, Time is onhand to cop a squat over the punchbowl:

The unmentioned reasons behind the slow actions of Maliki’s government range from deeply ingrained sectarianism in Iraqi security forces to incompetence and graft among government officials. That has left a feeble Iraqi government clearly unable to maintain and further the gains in security made with the help of U.S. surge forces, which are set to dwindle in the months ahead according to the original surge plan.

The prognosis for Iraq, barring a dynamic transformation on the part of the Iraqi government very soon, is grimly apparent. As U.S. forces lessen their presence in the coming months, killings of the kind seen Monday in Diyala will persist there and most likely spread to areas calmed by the increase of U.S. forces. Rising Shi’ite militia unrest in southern Iraq will go on unchecked, leaving the fate of Iraq’s richest and most populous territory uncertain. Recently subdued Anbar Province will operate as a kind of Sunni semi-independent emirate, barring any meaningful administration from a central government, much as the northern Kurdish territory already does. And Baghdad will be on edge, watching for signs that the relative calm in the city may be giving way to another wave of violence.

To some extent, pacification has a momentum all its own. Iraqis in areas who have been through hell and taken back their neighborhoods with awakening-type movements will act more quickly to tamp down any resurgence. Al Qaeda seems to be at its nadir inside the country, too. The X-factor, as always, is Sadr (and SCIRI). We’re obviously not going to disarm him or cripple the JAM at this point. If some sort of rough normalcy returns to the country, it’ll be because he wants it that way, for the moment. Think of him as a trillion gallons of water held back by a creaky dam — which isn’t creaky at all, of course, according to the Iraqi government. Click the image to watch.

cnn-casualties.jpg

Update: Numerous people are pointing out in the comments that CNN’s bar graph, for whatever dopey reason, is out of whack proportionally. Here, via Slublog, is what the bars should look like:

iraqviolence.jpg


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Looking at that CNN screen grab. Why is the October bar not 1/2 of the height of the Sept bar?

bnelson44 on October 31, 2007 at 1:51 PM

the bias here is in the Bar size for October. the 34 death bar for October is nearly as high as the 65 for Sept. right next to it.

jp on October 31, 2007 at 1:54 PM

bnelson44 on October 31, 2007 at 1:51 PM

Just an error?

abinitioadinfinitum on October 31, 2007 at 1:55 PM

why is july not 80% of june? That’s a pretty minor complaint here.

lorien1973 on October 31, 2007 at 1:55 PM

got a point, and 84 is much higher than 79

ThackerAgency on October 31, 2007 at 1:56 PM

They used the “liberal obfuscation” option in Excel to ensure the bar graph didn’t make things look too good. They have few enough viewers as it is – they don’t need to go making their viewers’ moonbat heads explode due to cognitive dissonance.

Master Shake on October 31, 2007 at 1:57 PM

These people who are invested in America losing this war are so pathetic, I don’t even question their patriotism anymore. They have none!

abinitioadinfinitum on October 31, 2007 at 2:03 PM

LOL, everyone is noticing the same thing. The 79 is about 30% too short, and the 34 is about 20% too long according to my measurements in Photoshop.

Can’t CNN afford the software to preapre their bar graphs?

Dusty on October 31, 2007 at 2:11 PM

They’re being dragged, kicking and screaming, into realization that America has beaten Al Qaeda inside Iraq, and that if the Mookie’s boys follow the script, Bush’s goals in Iraq will be achieved.

And they CANNOT STAND IT! They are too far into denial and projection.

georgej on October 31, 2007 at 2:11 PM

Hah, no wonder these folks can’t spot a trend!

Dusty on October 31, 2007 at 2:11 PM

Just an error?

abinitioadinfinitum on October 31, 2007 at 1:55 PM

No, “this is CNN.”

Rick on October 31, 2007 at 2:14 PM

good one Dusty

robo on October 31, 2007 at 2:15 PM

No, “this is CNN.”

Rick on October 31, 2007 at 2:14 PM

said in the voice of James Earl Jones

abinitioadinfinitum on October 31, 2007 at 2:17 PM

The graph is misleading beyond bar size. If you look at combat deaths (and this table isn’t updated for October), you’ll see a continuing downward trend.

BTW, the Time article keys on the decapigate story. Anyone know of a good way to contact Time about this?

km on October 31, 2007 at 2:35 PM

Slublog comes to the rescue.

Dusty on October 31, 2007 at 2:36 PM

abinitioadinfinitum on October 31, 2007 at 2:17 PM

a.k.a. Darth Vader.

Rick on October 31, 2007 at 2:40 PM

As U.S. forces lessen their presence in the coming months, killings of the kind seen Monday in Diyala will persist there and most likely spread to areas calmed by the increase of U.S. forces.

Uh are they refering to the killings that didn’t happen. C’mon guys get with the program. Nobody can verify that story, but what the heck it makes a good throw away line doesn’t it?

LakeRuins on October 31, 2007 at 2:41 PM

Good news is just another grim milestone for the MSM.

CliffHanger on October 31, 2007 at 2:42 PM

It looks even better when you break it out between hostile / non-hostile deaths:

May 123
June 99
July 73
Aug 60
Sep 44
Oct 20

Down for 6 consecutive months running. Think that might be long enough to call a “trend”?

crosspatch on October 31, 2007 at 2:45 PM

Oops, the above numbers were “hostile” deaths of soldiers in Iraq from ALL coalition countries.

US Only numbers are:

May 120
June 93
July 66
Aug 56
Sep 42
Oct 27

The October number in my previous posting should have been 28, not 20

crosspatch on October 31, 2007 at 2:48 PM

Here, via Slublog, is what the bars should look like:

That doesn’t follow CNN’s anti-war plan.

Rick on October 31, 2007 at 3:04 PM

Update: Numerous people are pointing out in the comments that CNN’s bar graph, for whatever dopey reason, is out of whack proportionally. Here, via Slublog, is what the bars should look like:

If I hadn’t seen the continued corruption of the media myself, I’d have thought this was an innocent mistake. Even in many circumstances I’ll stay on the “can’t be sure” side of things… But this is pretty obvious that it was deliberate to mask how truly drastic the drop has been. So this more like a case of “we’ll cover it… if we have to, but we’ll try to sneak some subliminal s*** in there too”.

RightWinged on October 31, 2007 at 3:11 PM

The X-factor, as always, is Sadr (and SCIRI).

They just got Karbala

bnelson44 on October 31, 2007 at 3:18 PM

how do you make a graph out of proportion like that?

Think they just had one drawn up the way they wanted it, no EXCEL type program could do that I don’t think?

photoshopgate part II?

jp on October 31, 2007 at 3:22 PM

They probably use Chyron, a graphics program for broadcasters. And they likely drew the bars to the size they chose, because no graphing program would have such out-of-whack axis measurements.

Slublog on October 31, 2007 at 3:32 PM

Is CNN getting advice from Al Gore on how to present graphs?

tmitsss on October 31, 2007 at 3:34 PM

georgej on October 31, 2007 at 2:11 PM

How true. For the left and MSM (if you’ll forgive the redunancy), winning the war under Dubya scares them more than losing. In fact, it darn well horrifies them.

I would tell them to have a little patience, so that they can claim they were for the war all along, when under president Hillary the last remaining mop-up operations are completed, and she claims victory.

Of course, prospect of an HRC presidency, wartime or not, darn well horrifies yours truly and many others.

Bigfoot on October 31, 2007 at 3:42 PM

Luckily, Time is onhand to cop a squat over the punchbowl.

Dean Barnett called it:

Even for lefty dead-enders, this narrative has become increasingly untenable. In order to avoid embarrassing themselves, the war’s opponents in the press and politics will have to make a tactical adjustment of their own. Look for them in the coming weeks to try to shift the debate to the one area where Iraq has not progressed dramatically since the start of the surge–its stumble-prone central government.

If they are allowed to do this, then the American people will miss the real miracle that has occurred in Iraq over the last several months. Peace is breaking out in Iraq and the sectarian violence declining because that is the demand of the Iraqi people. Iraqi society has tired of bloodshed, and has opted for tolerance. It is the most amazing and inspiring story of the admittedly still-young 21st century. And yet few in the media have deigned to tell it, and many in our body politic refuse to hear it…

Karl on October 31, 2007 at 3:43 PM

heh, you said do do.

BadgerHawk on October 31, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Looking at that CNN screen grab. Why is the October bar not 1/2 of the height of the Sept bar?

Because Ted Turner married a Communist.

Re Sadr: One of two things will happen; either he’ll join the political process (very likely), or he’ll take on the ISF and not only get his ass kicked but also lose his popularity.

TallDave on October 31, 2007 at 5:21 PM