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Monday, February 07, 2005

Anectdotal Evidence in Iraq

Since the war began, local newspaper coverage, naturally enough, has focused upon the firsthand accounts of individuals returning from combat. What such coverage often lacks is context, and individual experiences may or may not reflect the broader reality of the war.

The latest anectdotal account comes from Gary L.Krueger of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.
Krueger is an employee of Halliburton subsidiary of Kellogg Brown and Root currently on leave from his job as a truck driver in Iraq.

In the New Ulm Journal, Krueger spoke of his experiences:

Krueger found unanimous Iraqi support for America.

"I never talked to an Iraqi who wasn't glad we were there," Krueger said. "Those resisting us are mostly Syrians, Iranians and members of the Baath party, Hussein's people."

Read It:

Krueger goes on to note that he's been fired upon five times while in convoys, a fact that Powerline blog omits from their "Good news from Iraq" take on Krueger's experiences. Does this fact belie his assertion of "unanimous support"?

Do the writers of Powerline and the New Ulm Journal actually believe that Krueger's experiences are typical of soldiers and contractors in Iraq? When juxtaposed with a recent poll undertaken by the Coalition Provisional Authority, it seems that Krueger's observations were an anomaly:

Four out of five Iraqis report holding a negative view of the U.S. occupation authority and of coalition forces, according to a new poll conducted for the occupation authority.

In the poll, 80 percent of the Iraqis questioned reported a lack of confidence in the Coalition Provisional Authority, and 82 percent said they disapprove of the U.S. and allied militaries in Iraq.

Read It:

Unanimous support? Hardly.

For less cherry-picked collection of anectdotal experiences from Iraq, check out Operation Truth, and consider the totality of their experiences within the context of the war as a whole.

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