Saturday, March 25, 2006

Fewer casualties. But it must be bad news.

John Edwards spoke an effective line in 2004 about how increasing monthly troop deaths showed how badly the war was going:
The reality you and George Bush continue to tell people, first, that things are going well in Iraq -- the American people don't need us to explain this to them; they see it on their television every single day. We lost more troops in September than we lost in August, lost more in August than we lost in July, lost more in July than we lost in June.
Presumably then, Edwards would think that ever decreasing amounts of lost troops would be a positive sign. Well, as the Commissar points out (using these source data),
we lost fewer troops in March than in February, lost fewer in February than in January, lost fewer in January than in December, lost fewer in December than in November, lost fewer in November than in October.
That must be why we're seeing all that good news from Iraq in the headlines! (See, for example, the New York Times, "IRAQ: After Three Years of War, Results are Disastrous"; UPI, "US Iraq Casualties Stay High"; the San Francisco Chronicle, Bush's PR push on Iraq seen as a tough sell."; or AP: "58 Dead As Violence Continues in Iraq.")