Monday, June 20, 2005

Next to last throe.

Garou had some wise words for my recent "last throes" post:
In Iraq, the primary targets remain US troops. But, we are seeing increasingly indesciminate attacks on the civilian population - not just among members of the new government (officials, police, etc), but among random civilians. As more of those occur, the civilians are going to be less inclined to support the insurgency.
With that in mind, I spent a few minutes at Iraq Body Count (IBC), and I learned that, indeed, civilian deaths are going up. However:
  1. The site doesn't distinguish "civilians not cooperating with Americans killed by insurgents" from any other group.
  2. Reported incidents have been going up pretty constantly since May 2003.
  3. Reported deaths are not at record highs.
Basically, I don't see a lot of difference between now and March 2004 or August 2003, but it is possible there's a difference. I graphed some data I found at IBC, and you're welcome to see for yourself. The trend in incidents is obvious, but the trend in deaths is less obvious, and again, it doesn't distinguish between deaths that turn Iraqis against Americans vs. deaths that turn Iraqis against the insurgents.

Finally, while this search for truth is interesting (and notably fruitless), my mind keeps wandering back to what the metaphorical White House is saying: "we think the resistance is about to end, but we can't tell you why." Maybe they're right, but the statement does not instill confidence.
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