Somebody made it up. Never happened. Head over to Michael Stickings’s blog for the whole story.
Both the U.S. military and Iraqi authorities, after all, had good reason to report a significant drop in Baghdad’s death toll — that is, to lie. For both, as well as for America’s civilian leadership back in Washington, a drop would have indicated that real progress was being made in establishing order in Baghdad, in protecting Iraqi citizens from the insurgents and more generally in combatting and overcoming the insurgency itself, transferring security responsibility from U.S. forces to Iraqi forces, and in setting up a stable political climate from which the U.S. could comfortably withdraw and in which the fragile Iraqi government could govern effectively.
But, again, it was all a lie. The violence continues. The killing continues. The truth can be found at the Baghdad morgue. And throughout the rest of a country in chaos.
Like Michael I always thought that moving troops to Baghdad would be like squeezing a balloon, securing some of Baghdad at the cost of increased violence somewhere else. Now it turns out that even that didn’t work. In retrospect I guess that renders my ‘modest proposal‘ below somewhat moot. Maybe at this point the various violent factions have dug their trenches deep enough that they will go on killing us and each other no matter what we send in. When faced with an unpleasant reality (getting out and leaving chaos) and an impossible solution (pacifying Iraq) serious thinkers generally accept the reality. Refusal to do so doesn’t fix problems, it only postpones the pain.
Who’s going to be the last solider to die for this cause? I think Bush is trying hard to avoid putting that label on someone’s family. As long as they keep dying, he can keep on keeping on.
Let’s declare the whole country of Iraq as a “secret prison” and then never talk about it again
Pat Buchanan had a great quote yesterday on Hardball… when pressed for how long we should stay in Iraq, he said that we should stay in Iraq until it was “lost beyond hope of repair”, or something. I’ll have to look at the transcript once it’s up. Anyhow, it was hilarious. Ron Reagan was incredulous. Matthews piped up with “That was General Custer’s strategy!”
Bob In Pacifica
I think we’ve won. Now let’s go home.
Why don’t we hear more about the 24 million Iraqis that didn’t die last month?
Bush is live on tv telling his fantasyland version of the War on Terra. Something about Bin Laden “planning 911 from a safe haven.” Except that, as I understand it, he didn’t plan 911 so much as bankroll it.
We have to assume that Bush doesn’t read Wikipedia, though.
Maybe the GOP will let us leave if we all just promise not to bring it up in the next election. At this point, its almost a fair trade.
It seems the British have a timetable for withdrawl. Why can’t we have that with our President.
One of the real problems with shutting down terrorist financing is that it inevitably must extend to shutting down money laundering (and drug trafficking, arms trading, etc.) in general, bacause all the crooks use at least some of the same tricks, crooked banks, and financial networks, and some of these crooks can be quite powerful and well-connected, as the BCCI scandal clearly illustrated.
Ignoring the horrific prose (and most of the logical failures), if this retracted figure was all a devious, dastardly “lie” to make the recent effort seem like it was having a drastic effect, then the obvious question to me is: Why’d the military itself revise the figures just a week later? That would be a pretty weak effort at a “lie,” wouldn’t it? Was there a mistake? Was it the old “Corrections on Page 35” deal?
It seems to me like a real reporter would’ve asked those questions before printing a story, but I guess Jim Sciutto at ABC (what? I just read that ABC were Bush lackeys — someone’s going to get fired for this!) feels it’s journalistically OK to leave it at “we’ll see what the US military has to say.” Sorry, Jim, I thought that was your job!
And for whoever that blogger is to say in shocking italics, “There was no decline” exposes some horrific math skills. Actually, it represents a 15% decline over the previous month — not champagne-and-song stuff, but hardly worth totally ignoring. I mean, unless you were predisposed…
Yes, Mac, it’s a conspiracy:
From Tim’s link:
Just a minor math error, I guess.
Leave it to Mac to make this out to be a failure of the MSM, while ignoring the carnage and the lies.
After everyone trumpets the decline in casualties for a week, people won’t tend to notice a revision later. It’s the same game they play with the labor statistics.
Short Mac Bucket..
Why does the MSM report facts to me? Why should I have to bother my beautiful mind with such details?
God this guy could swallow a broom handle without gagging.
You can only carry an inconsistancy or factual casualty for so long. If the military continued to report a decline in the death rate in Bagdad, but the morgues continued to fill to overflow, some report somewhere would catch a hunt and what could be washed away as a statistical miscalculation becomes a full-blown scandal.
The last thing the army needs is Americans at home questioning numbers like troop casaulties and the number of “No. 2s” they’ve captured. In that sense, much better to lie today and make the “Correction on Page 35” in a week than to lie today and never make the correction.
Alternately, it could have been a very mundane mistake that “nobody could have anticipated”, but that excuse has worn a bit thin. When they start reporting overblown casualty figures, I’ll might warm to the idea again.
Well I’m glad ABC decided to mention this on their blog.
Perhaps they could convey this information to an actual news organization for wide dissemination.
In this, at least, you have a very valid point. The modern MSM seems to absolutely loooooove to not-know. Whatever way you think American journalism swings, they have a very special savy when it comes to leaving it up to other people to do the work for them. In-depth reporting is dead.
Exactly. I would almost be willing to bet money (but doing so would mean I’d have to watch the full hour all week) that at some point next week, Hannity will be ranting about how things are improving, and he will pull this one:
“Blah, blah, blah, and just last month the number of deaths in Baghdad dropped from 1500 to 500 civilians, but I want to talk about how the Democratic leadership undermines our security by playing politics.” He’s going to insert that line as if it were fact, but append it with an even more controversial statement that Colmes or Bob Beckel or whatnot is going to respond to instead of “that number was revised upward 3x”.
Umm…yeah. They’re pretty weak in all their lying. See: WMD’s in Iraq, anyone in Plamegate gets canned, there aren’t secret CIA detention centers, etc.
It’s not really prose so much as rhetoric.
Doesn’t square with that blogger’s own cite of the LA Times. “Last month, the Baghdad morgue received more than 1,800 bodies, a record high.” So assuming the blogger believes the numbers he takes the trouble to cite, he still fails to recognize the 15% drop, which was my point.
Takes some balls for the lefties to bring up Plamegate these days! Fire Richard Armitage! Oh, wait….
Uh-oh! You realize that by acknowleging this lapse in journalism technique/ethics, you are evidently a carnage- and lie-ignorer, and (oddly) you can easily swallow a broom handle(?). The masses have spoken.
Au contraire, although it takes a great deal of ignorance for the ‘righties’ to think so.
Wow, the story behind the Baghdad morgue itself is worse than I had thought as well:
That smells like victory in Iraq to me!
Then wouldn’t the responsible thing be to stop reporting the number of “Iraqi citizens killed?” You know, just like how they never report how many terrorists the Coalition have killed, “because we can’t be certain?” But no, that would rob the media of the one-sided reportage that drives their narrative, so they won’t be stopping.
I prefer to think of it as turning another corner on the dodecahedron of victory.
Yes, the media was rather one-sided in their reporting while pushing the narrative of the Bush administration, which partially got us into this ghastly mess.
Glad we agree on something, Mac.
you mean ‘drives their advertising’ right? You seem far too intelligent to buy the liberal agenda bullshit. The media serves one master, ratings. They will report whatever the hell will get people watching. For a while they dropped coverage of Iraq and the warmongering for Iran so they can generate headlines and ad dollars using Jon Benet Ramsey. It was the flavor of the minute. Its easier to believe they have an agenda because what they report you don’t like to hear but are you really the type who takes the easy way out?
Perhaps you missed this:
Their goal here doesn’t seem to be to suppress (or inflate) the number of these victims, but rather the nature of their deaths, or other identifying information, such as…
Hence, the goal here should not be less reporting, but rather *more* reporting, just as NEWSWEEK has correctly done here.
If the journalists would just leave and stop reporting on Iraq, we’d win by next Friday. Guaranteed.
Gee… I’m not so sure the “responsible” thing to do is ignore (not report) the number of deaths from a situation America created.
Seems like the “responsible” thing to do is report the information along with details about possible issues with the data. I’m sure whole stories could be spun off about the Sadr’s control of the moruge. (But then, that’s not really reporting the “good” out of Iraq, so no doubt many would have issues with that too)
Not to worry. The fart blower in the White House has a plan. Leave it to the next president.
Who here can say “genocide”?
How can you silly people worry about a few deaths when we are creating democracy for the Middle East? It only cost us 50,000 American military deaths to bring democracy to Vietnam, and the Middle East is at least ten times more important. Therefore, we can start whining when American military deaths reach 500,000. I’m just sure the newly democratic Muslims in Saudi Arabia will allow us to carve the deceased soldier’s names on Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām, so great will be their gratitude.
Bill from INDC
When faced with an unpleasant reality (getting out and leaving chaos) and an impossible solution (pacifying Iraq) serious thinkers generally accept the reality.
“Serious thinkers” don’t downplay a mass-murderous civil war and regional instability as a blithely acceptable “unpleasant reality,” prioritized over the relatively low number of US casualties incurred to prevent that train of events.
You know, unless you simply don’t give a fuck about the Iraqis caught in the crossfire, among other important considerations, Tim. Let the savages kill each other, right? The left’s metamorphosis to Buchananism is complete.
Your partisanship keeps you about as far from being a “serious thinker” as possible. Which makes it all the more ironic when you puff up your chest and declare yourself one.
Interesting thoughts, Bill from INDC. But tell us, what’s your position on pie?
Bill, your freudian projection’s boiling over a bit. The mass murder and civil war are a present reality. Neither you nor most Republicans care one bit about the fate of the Iraqi people; otherwise you’d have actually made a good effort, rather than a political/propaganda farce. As for partisanship, pot. kettle. black.
Hold on. Wasn’t the lede from your own post on this subject:
Not so strange then that I would think it was about the numbers, then. And if the numbers are in doubt, why doesn’t the media cease reporting the Iraq deaths just like they stopped counting how many terrorists the Coalition kills? The same “can’t be sure” reasoning would seem to apply.
From Bill from INDC’s blog:
Ok, who hit Darrell over the head with a dictionary?!
Perhaps if someone else were in charge, their numbers would be different, but that doesn’t appear to be the goal here, as I already outlined. It’s not my fault that you couldn’t manage to read past the first sentence there.
Dan Rather and Mark Halperin (just to name two examples) make that notion sound a bit naive.
This, along with other recent news, can lead to only one conclusion about the true nature of our enemy: The sting ray threat in the Tigris river is real, and we must fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here.
Bill from INdC, what is your position on the stingrofascist threat that faces America?
…because Matt Drudge says so! Oh, the irony…
Wait, you honestly think the evidence is unclear in one or both cases? Speak up! You might be the only one who’s right!
Jumpstart to a stalled what? When did the spread of democracy that had apparently stalled, begin?
Sounds like this verbose windbag is saying that trying to spread democracy in the middle east is a tough if not downrigth impossible job given the history. Is it just me or is that exactly what the anti-war crowd said before the war. I think it is because I remember making fun of them for that stance. I think they are beginning the task of going back and correcting the predictions they made so they fit the reality. I swear I read about that type of thing in a book recently.
Not really since I never said individual reporters serve the ratings master. You are doing what a right wing asshat does, impugn an entire industry because a couple of reporters say shit you don’t want to hear.
dan Rather believed like most of us that Bush went AWOL. he thought he had proof and made a fool of himself when his zealousness backfired. This is evidence that all the media (except FOX and cetain approved radio voices) are driven by a narrative? Or is this similar to the ‘evidence’ that saddam supported terrorism, basically a lot of little things that don’t say anything but if presented in the right frame can be damning in the minds of the willing?
Yes. Although there are lots of other cases you could have cited that are much clearer…
“Serious thinkers” don’t downplay a mass-murderous civil war and regional instability as a blithely acceptable “unpleasant reality,”
Whatever, windbag. Tell that to “Untidy” Rumsfeld and “Last Throes” Cheney.
You are such an idiot, jg. Really, you have no idea what on Earth you’re talking about. Rather and Halperin weren’t reporters — they were The Big Cheeses, responsible for the editorial content of the news divisions at CBS and ABC, respectively.
What a kind way to say he ditched all journalistic integrity and ran with faked, uncleared documents (and lied about it) which his producer received (without attribution) from a Democratic political operative.
And what about Halperin?
Gosh, Pb, care to elucidate? ‘Cause to the rest of the planet, these cases have been settled for almost two years now.
They were your examples, so why don’t you try to make the case for once? A little research would do you good.
Reporters or not you impugn the entire industry for what they do. ASSHAT.
What a mean way to say what I said. Your characterization says a lot about your bias.
Never heard of him and don’t care. he could stand up and say he’s the most liberally driven liberal agenda-ist in the world and it still wouldn’t mean every news organization but FOX is liberal.
Has it ever occurred to you that maybe they’ve been calling all media liberal so that you won’t listen to the media? I’m not asking if you think it is true. Just asking if you think its possible. Even if its just a ratings ploy, to get eyes on them instead of anyone else. Any chance there is something behind the whole ‘liberal media’ meme other than an actual liberal agenda that you must be kept safe from?
Is there anyone, ANYONE who has his head up his ass more than MacBuckets?
But Bill O’Reily and Michael Savage and Ann Coulter all say they’re independents, not Republicans at all. On numerous occations I’ve heard them complain that the Republican Party is too liberal. They wouldn’t lie about that right? Right?
The Other Steve
Right, and to the rest of the planet Bush ordered planes to be flown into the WTC towers.
Oh yeah, and Hillary Clinton had Vince Foster offed.
What a dodging little shit you are today, Pb! Riiiiiiight, I’m the one who hasn’t researched these. That’s pretty funny. OK, I’ll educate you this once for free.
It’s really an easy case: 1) Rather apologized and ran off in disgrace and Mapes got canned for horrible journalism ethics — what does that tell you? 2) No one but no one has even attempted to debunk the fact that Halperin sent a memo directing ABC to essentially let Kerry slide before the election while sticking it to Bush. It’s totally undisputed. 3) According to the wiki, because of the memo, “Halperin was demoted and now reports to Senior Political Director Virginia Moseley…”
Now what does your research tell you?
Of course not, jg, because you’ve got all the mental agility of a twelve-year-old crack baby. You don’t have time for independent thought that might hurt your tender worldview. Of course you don’t care that I’m 100% right!
Dumbest. Dodge. Ever. Better to be silent and thought a fool, TOS.
Well fuck you too, Mac.
No, *you* were the one who brought them up. Now back it up or shut up.
That Mapes was more to blame here? And really, that’s not an argument, or even a summary, that’s hardly a footnote.
Ok. So I already read the memo, and I disagreed; therefore, it’s disputed, and you’re wrong. Now back your case up or shut up.
Bush had a giant hole in his attendence record. Rather thought he had the plug for the hole and decided to run it without throughly vetting it first. Rather made a big mistake – maybe not John Carr big or Al Capone’s tomb big – but, during an election year with partisan tensions flairing and “the MSM is a bunch of liberal tools” meme flying, enough to get him canned.
When Rather came on at the end and said he knew what he did was wrong but he did it for the right reasons, it was because Bush still had a giant hole in his flight record. The big joke was that the right flew into an apoplectic rage over Rather’s indescretion but found absolutely nothing wrong with Swift-Boat Veterans.
Now we’re staring at another classic Republican double standard. Path to 9/11 is a documentary kinda-sorta disclaimer disclaimer, but otherwise totally legitimate. Kinda like the Swift-Boat Veterans. But The Reagens was a blasphomey against the Presidency. Kinda like Dan Rather.
Wonder why Rather apologized, then. Hmmmm, what a puzzler. And I’m not sure that saying that a producer for CBS news was even more of a Democrat shill than Rather was is really, y’know, boosting your “there’s no bias” case here.
And my “footnote” is ten times as intellectually rigorous as your fingers-in-your-ears, head-in-your-ass, “la-la-la I can’t hear you” infantilism that you’ve displayed here. For your next intelligent rebuttal, why don’t you post that you are rubber, while I, in fact, am glue.
Only he lied about having it vetted, which lets you know that he knew what he had (which was given to Mapes from a longtime dirty-dealing Democrat operative) was bogus.
Yeah, the manager of editorial content at a major over-the-air television network should be held to the same impartiality standard as an advocacy group in a campaign. Wow.
And the reverse classic Democrat double-standard, too, right?
you miss the point entirely. the swift-boaters were effective only because they got media exposure through network news channels, which reported on them and (more importantly) let them on their interview shows w/o actually verifying if what they were saying was true or not. this of course was ultimately the responsibility of the journalists and the managers.
so it’s actually “the manager of editorial content at a major over-the-air television network should be held to the same impartiality standard as the manager of editorial content at a major over-the-air television network.”
so it was a big joke about how the right behaved; they demanded that rather be fired for pushing a story on unsourced information, while having no problem with the same media pushing the SBVT story also on unsourced information.