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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

More Good News From Iraq!

What a difference perspective makes. Bob Schieffer, Dan Rather's replacement at CBS, commented last Thursday on the good news from Iraq, noting that "this was another fairly quiet day in Iraq: No American casualties reported again. Since January's elections, the rate of U.S. fatalities has fallen dramatically to half what it was during the previous three months".

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Juan Cole, on the other hand, quotes a real news source, the AFP:

The guerrilla war in Iraq marched on, on Friday, with four big carbombs and other attacks that left a total of some 23 persons dead, including at least one US soldier in Anbar province. (This conclusion is reached on the basis of the report linked here as well as late news in the Arab press). Two of the car bombs were detonated by suicide bombers in Iskandariyah in Babil province south of Baghdad, and two more in the western city of Ramadi. At a checkpoint in Ramadi, a car bomb killed 11 Iraqi gendarmes. Another convoy was attacked just south of Baghdad with rocket fire.

Of course, while the insurgency limps forward, the Iraqi democracy is finding its legs, right? Yesterday's U.K. Telegraph reported that the Iraqi national assembly degenerated into farce and chaos.

Iraqis caught a rare glimpse of their new parliament in action yesterday but were left surprised and disgusted as legislators failed to make any progress in naming a government almost two months after January's elections.

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Well, at least the oil revenues are continuing to finance the transition to a stable, peaceful, democracy friendly to the west...

Attackers have blown up a pipeline 60km west of Kirkuk, just a day after repairs to the route connecting the lucrative oil field to a major refinery in Baiji.
Northern Oil Company fireman Abd Allah Hamad Ali confirmed the morning attack on Sunday. "The pipeline was only just repaired yesterday, but it has been attacked again." Firemen and police were putting out the blaze, he said.
Oil exports from Kirkuk to Turkey have been shut down by incessant attacks.

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The myopic talking heads of television news can paint the prettiest pictures, can't they? It's pretty obvious that the tactic of the insurgency is to attack so-called "soft targets" rather than confront the well-armed coalition troops directly. Only a moron can ignore the big picture and infer that half as many soldiers dying in a particular month indicates "good news". No matter who bakes the bread, Bob, it's still a shit sandwich.

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