Saturday, September 09, 2006

Kindergarten Media

The media is increasingly lending themselves to a new variety of journalism that I like to call Kindergarten-Style [insert verb here]. This style of reporting, debating, or existing generally involves putting one's fingers into one's ears, closing one's eyes, and singing something loudly. The fact of the matter is, the MSM has been "mysteriously" silent on Iraq the past few days, especially considering the feeding frenzy they put on last month over the "devastating" rise in sectarian violence.

But, you say, isn't Iraq bad? Isn't there some kind of civil war going on? Is it a (dare I say it) quagmire or isn't it?!

Well, the answer is no, its not. The horribly malnomered (yes, I made that word up) Operation Together Forward has been quite successful. As I've been presenting to you, there has been a flood of encouraging news out of Iraq, which is quite at odds with what the average newscast represents. Here are some nifty Fun Facts And Figures for you to eyeball and think about.

Some excerpts follow

This is a map of the current situation in Iraq, broken down into provinces which the IA controls.
Here's some nice heat-graph comparisons (then and now) to casualty and murders hea from July's rise to August.

And, finally, a beautiful link to civilian attacks (as opposed to actual casualties). The proof is in the pudding, and you're seeing it right here. What we're doing is working.

This is the baseline in March. Without getting into specific, exact casualty figures, this is the casualty figures as we reported them, as we tracked them during the month of March. We found in the month of April we had about a 3-percent increase over that baseline of March, and in the May time frame we had about a 39 percent increase from, again, the baseline in March. By the July time frame, we had experienced a 73 percent increase in the number of casualties -- these are murders, execution, indirect fire, IEDs, whatever it was -- attacks that were being levied on civilians within the Baghdad area. And then in August, August 7th is when you saw that the operations commenced, Operation Together Forward phase two. This month at the end of the month it's an 8 percent increase from the baseline back in March.

Again, what this shows is the cycle of retaliatory violence has been slowed in the target areas as we have specifically focused our efforts here within the Baghdad area. Again, we remain very cautiously optimistic about these figures, but we also recognize that the real measurement of this progress isn't just this month's but rather the sustainment of this over the long period of time. As we said many times before, this operation is going to be conducted over many months, not over several weeks.

Read the whole press conference, its really interesting. Then wonder, to yourself (quietly), why this isn't blaring on every headline.