September 18, 2007

The Good News Of Empty Beds

Reuters reported that a lack of customers for a specific business in Baghdad indicates good news in Iraq's sectarian strife, albeit passively so. The hospital and morgue that used to overflow with the wounded and the dead has seen business drop dramatically, indicating that the surge has had a substantial effect on the capital as well as the western provinces:

A row of beds lies empty in the emergency ward of Baghdad's Yarmouk Hospital. The morgue, which once overflowed with corpses, is barely a quarter full.

Doctors at the hospital, a barometer of bloodshed in the Iraqi capital, say there has been a sharp fall in victims of violence admitted during a seven-month security campaign.

Last month the fall was particularly dramatic, with 70 percent fewer bodies and half the number of wounded brought in compared to July, hospital director Haqi Ismail said.

"The major incidents, like explosions and car bombs, sometimes reached six or seven a day. Now it's more like one or two a week," he told Reuters.

As Reuters notes, the dramatic decline in the use of hospitals indicates that the testimony of General David Petraeus was truthful. One emergency ward in an area of previously intense fighting only had two patients in it when Reuters visited. In the morgue, the bodies that remain from the sectarian violence have been there for weeks. The previous month has brought an end to the flood of casualties that had plagued Baghdad, and especially the Sunni areas, for years.

Nouri al-Maliki estimated that violence has fallen in Baghdad by perhaps as much as 75% of what had been previously seen. The Deputy Health Minister estimates closer to 85%. He declared the situation in the capital "calm and stable", and that the violence is much less prevalent than before.

Oddly, this did not get much play in the American media yesterday. The Washington Post, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times all focused on the expulsion of Blackwater rather than the evidence that the security situation has greatly improved in Baghdad. Which story do you think more important to the American people?


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» Sign of progress? from Public Secrets: from the files of the Irishspy
Emergency wards in Baghdad aren't nearly as busy as they used to be, a strong indirect indicator that the surge is working: A row of beds lies empty in the emergency ward of Baghdad's Yarmouk Hospital. The morgue, which once [Read More]

» The Empty Bed from A Second Hand Conjecture
Captain Ed posts about the dramatic decline in the level of business at Baghdad’s Hospital and Morgue. As some squabble over interpretations of data, reports of dramatic change still keep coming in (From Reuters! We know they are on the Bush payr... [Read More]

Comments (45)

Posted by Carol Herman | September 18, 2007 12:52 PM

So, what's the goal? Make the place 3 ghetto neighborhoods; with overseers who distribute the oil wealth, willy-nilly? That's just gonna invite a "strong arm man."

While the stuff that Maliki just pulled?

Seems our State Department hired the BLACKWATER team, to get Ambassador Crocker's team through Baghdad's bad streets.

Why not American Military?

Well? Because the lawyers forbid our military from defending themselves. Where, the contractors not only shot back; but killed a few of MALIKI's terrorists.

So Maliki ain't happy.

But that's the problem.

Hollywood probably can't wait to turn the guys from Blackwater into the bad guys. But, since it's not our military personnel (who'd be dead; along with Ambassador Crocker ... who was the "cargo.") ...

You can figure out WHY these beds are empty. Because the real targets are still our American soldiers. Working the streets like they were from the Salvation Army.

Sure, we've got a mess on our hands.

And, I'll guess this is the last time arabs actually see soldiers. Instead, we'll do what the Israelis do. SPECIAL OPS.

But the truth is that whatever is slowing down; it's still a sewer.

What can ya do?

Arabs always look to others for "guidance." They won't pee without permission. And, they'll marry their own cousins, when they get this. Tribal by nature. And, not that far removed from savagry.

Don't forget, to keep control, Saddam was the most savage of all.

While "something just happened." BILLIONS AND BILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF GAMBLE; just froze.

WHile the best course of action? Is to notice that the media hasn't a clue.

So they're writing about "empty beds." Oh, and the morgue. The only place in town guaranteed to have refrigeration.

I guess those refergerator spaces just go to waste, huh?

Posted by Terry Gain | September 18, 2007 12:55 PM

Good for Reuters for doing their job. Evidence that the Surge is working keeps piling up. Hillary will be losing sleep over this. Watch for a quick retreat when what's happening over there sinks in.

It will be interesting to see how many in the MSM will support the lie when the Dhimmicrats claim that it was their threat of withdrawal that caused the Iraqi government to get their act together and pacify Iraq.

Posted by Crunchy Frog | September 18, 2007 12:55 PM

Media bias? Surely you jest.

Posted by mariner | September 18, 2007 1:12 PM

Oddly, this did not get much play in the American media yesterday.
This seems odd only to people who still expect the news media to, umm, report news.

Posted by NukemHill | September 18, 2007 1:16 PM

The counter-argument I keep hearing from the nay sayers is that of course the body counts are dropping. Nobody's left. The Sunnis have been purged from Baghdad, so there are no targets left for the Shiite militias. I have no stats at hand to verify or deny this. Anyone have access to some numbers that would shine some light on this?

On the surface, this sounds like so much BS. But that's hardly a rebuttal.

Posted by Steven Donegal | September 18, 2007 1:17 PM

The important question is why is the violence down? Is it because the surge has suppressed the violence or is it because the mixed neighborhoods have largely been "cleansed"? Seems like that is what we should be trying to figure out.

Posted by kevin r | September 18, 2007 1:22 PM

Which story do you think more important to the American people?

Which American people? American people in general, or American people that read the New York Times? I don't think the latter are a very good sample of the former...

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | September 18, 2007 1:27 PM

Isn't there another O.J. trial, Britney underwear imbroglio, or P. Hilton sulk we should be covering? Dramatic declines in death rates in Iraq are so passé.

Until, of course, they rise when, suddenly, "civilian" and civilian death counts are again de rigeur.

Well done, General Petraeus and crew. VERY well done.

Posted by Mike O | September 18, 2007 1:31 PM

If it was a matter of ethnic cleansing, it wouldn't be a matter of a sharp drop coinciding with the surge. It would be gradual over a longer period.

Another interesting thing; not ALL traffic is 'fleeing Bagdhad' (though the majority probably is). Believe it not, some of it is actually people going on vacation, and there is 'hard economic proof' of it. Bizzare! Read:

Posted by clyde | September 18, 2007 1:34 PM

Could the non-reporting be due to the willful suspension of belief?

Posted by Mike O | September 18, 2007 2:02 PM

Also, check out this:

Our soldiers are putting on helmets to get into vehicles (to not bump their heads) and taking them off when they step outside; in RAMADI???

Posted by Teresa | September 18, 2007 2:55 PM

Matt Yglesias does a good analysis of how the decreased sectarian violence in Bagdad is largely due to neighborhoods being already ethnically cleansed (complete with maps via General Jones.)

You can check it out at:

Posted by fdcol63 | September 18, 2007 3:01 PM

Fade to grainy news clip, circa Dec. 1944:

Bloviating Senator: "But General Marshall and General Eisenhower, we were led to believe that our invasion of Normandy on June 6th, and the subsequent advance through France, had allowed President Roosevelt to basically declare "Mission Accomplished". Now, in light of Hitler's new offensive in the Ardennes, we must conclude that the president - and, I might add, you yourselves - have clearly betrayed us."

"The war is clearly lost, and we must begin to withdraw from Europe as quickly as possible. The American public - sick of seeing our troops return home in body bags - demands it, and we must do whatever we can to repair our relations with Germany and the rest of the world. After all, Hitler was not responsbile for Pearl Harbor."

Generals: "But Senator ..... "

Bloviating Senator: "You're dismissed! Nothing in your report will make us change our minds! We're not suffering from your 'willing suspension of disbelief!' "

Posted by coldwarrior415 | September 18, 2007 3:10 PM


Spot on!

Another event that could have had the same effect would be Congress roasting Eisenhower, and removing him as Allied Commander after Kassarine. Invading Free French colonies, that had nothing at all to do with Pearl Harbor, and losing more than a division in a rout as well.

Each day I am thankful that so many of my former colleagues are still in uniform or otherwise working in the Defense arena, and that we have a generation of young Americans who can see beyond their own needs and see a greater need, one that they fulfill daily.

(By the haven't forgotten about that steak dinner at Ruth Crist's Steakhouse in Adams-Morgan have you.)

Posted by fdcol63 | September 18, 2007 3:19 PM


(By the haven't forgotten about that steak dinner at Ruth Crist's Steakhouse in Adams-Morgan have you.)

Dang ... I shoulda got in touch with you when I was in Arlington a few months ago! Was I buying, or is it your treat? LOL

Posted by coldwarrior415 | September 18, 2007 3:27 PM

I get down to DC a few times a year these days. The set-up had something to do with an assertion by someone (name not to be mentioned) that Condi Rice would be a leading Republican candidate in the '08 elections, a gentlemen's wager, if you will. Of course that was well over a year ago.

Nice to see you still wander in and out of the Captain's online forum for wayward boys.

But, I have to grit my teeth and not throw things at the TV these days when I see so many pompous members of Congress, almost all who have never been in uniform a minute in their lives, trying to conduct tactical and strategic military planning in public for the benefit of the cameras.

They approved and sent Dave Petreaus to Baghdad with his mission statement well in hand, also approved by Congress. And now this "suspension of disbelief" garbage and worse?

Marcus Aurelius said a millenium ago something about "beware the anger of the Legions!" As true now and it was then.

Posted by fdcol63 | September 18, 2007 3:37 PM


Thanks. I guess I'm buying, then .... thank goodness! LOL I'm as disappointed with Rice as I became with Powell. Must be something in the water at Foggy Bottom.

I know what you mean about the TV. Gotta be real careful now that I spent a gazillion $$$$ on a big HDTV.

Don't get to DC too often, but I'll let you know next time and make good on the debt! LOL

Posted by NoDonkey | September 18, 2007 4:15 PM

Not much play?

Just like our inner cities.

ERs are full of the "knife and gun club".

40,000 people have been murdered in our inner cities since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Our "new" organizations haven't noticed that, either. Not in total.

Why? Because our failed inner cities are run by corrupt and incompetent members of the absolutely worthless Democrat Party.

Do we really want to allow these jackasses to run the rest of our country? Our foreign policy?

Posted by Carol Herman | September 18, 2007 4:22 PM

When did you stop believing the crap that spills out as news from the media?

It seems that we're constantly assaulted by defeat. Or stupid stories. While the truth toodles down another highway. And, the minions who serve the elites? They could care less. Their news now comes from Vegas? With stupid questions like "was OJ set up? Who cares? He got caught. You can figure out a lot of stuff, now, all on your own.

Knowing you're not alone, because the Internet pulls some of us out, where we comment.

Judge for yourselves.

Given that the whole congress is corrupt. And, DC is a swamp land "full of broken dreams," I might add; I'd bet the "in the loop crowd" is show short, now. It does not include Condi. She gets her briefings from whatever jerk is swiveling in his chair at State. But it is NOT state of the art!

While so much stuff just went by, unnoticed.

I also notice that Olmert is letting the silence stay in place.

Which means? WHen you do daring do ... if the media got ahold of a mission; EVEN AFTERWARDS. They'd strike blows to us. To help our enemies.

If I didn't read a "set up" story about WW2; where an innocent man was given false plans; and dropped behind the lines. Where he was told, if captured to bite the cyanide pill; I wouldn't have even known their were Special Ops out there, done on purpose to fool hitler; that worked.

Because we won.


You mean to tell me it would pass inspection if ordinary citizens knew the risks that were taken to "take out syria's nukes?" And, then just to stand back? Because syria's in hot water. They need the diplomatic pants dancers for cover.

Even Maliki's anger at the BLACKWATER contractors; doesn't pack a whole lot of sense. Why was Ambassador Crocker's return to his dwelling in Baghdad protected by "contractors?"

As to the "secrets," now that we can establish a Maliki "inside job" to kill our Ambassador ...

You mean you don't think so?

So, being naive pays off, huh?

Meanwhile, the convoy came under attack, and the contractors "took care of business."

Maliki is NOT a happy man.

So there you have two places: Damascus and Baghdad, that's gotta be ripe with rumors. And, crackdowns.

We're not losing!

Let alone, if the JANES story is true; just about the time Pelosi went to Damascus, to make "nice" to Assad; Assad's chemical poisons blew up on the launching pad. An "accident."

So, I guess you could see that Pelosi is clueless, too?

While Bush is trying to keep a lid on things.

I don't think Israel can let the cat out of the bag, anytime soon. Too many enemies patrol around as journalists. Hard to get those buggers to stop being stupid.

What if the truth said "to let this one get as far as it could go," a lot was left to their "travel instructions." Because? Ehud Barak knew he could count on the Israeli air force?

In Israel, when Halutz was the commander, in charge of all. And, he was the first commander to be selected from the air force, following the Lebanese war, he lost his job.

That's what the public does.

It's almost like that line: "YOU WANT THE TRUTH? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"

While I don't believe that what did happen was "small." But actually new, in nature.

New ways of dealing blows to our enemies; where their crap is put out of commission. And, then nothing follows that, that you can go inspect.

Given the way the press works? I don't expect to see any changes anytime soon. Nor do I expect to see changes in the course work expected from the wacky academics, either.

Oddly enough, I'm more surprised at this, than you can imagine.

Posted by SteveMG | September 18, 2007 4:30 PM

Michael Totten has pointed out that one sign that things are somewhat more stable is the willingness of children to smile and greet US soldiers during their missions.

This seems to indicate that the parents of the children are telling them that it's okay to interact with the American soldiers. And if the parents think it's okay for their children to mingle with our soldiers, then they must have some confidence that they can be trusted.

I wish to believe the best about Iraq. I'll leave it to Yglesias and his friends to believe the worst.

The future of Iraq lays in its next generation. Perhaps these are hopeful signs.

Children age and change; but one can hope...


Posted by Carol Herman | September 18, 2007 4:32 PM

Fdcol 63,

You left out a "detail." COngress did not go into uproar when truman got rid of General Douglas MacArthur. Too many politicians just shrugged.

Eisenhower, by then was UNTOUCHABLE. That's how mad getting rid of MacArthur DID NOT GO DOWN with the PEOPLE!

THis time around?

Well, if politics is a giant digging shovel, we'll see what it means when the BOnkeys' don't stop.

Have the few in DC figured out how to rob all of us voters? I thought they were concentrated on Ohio; and a few other places, like that.

Nobody sees a sea change, though.

While even the Mighty Mississippi has a record of having her flow change direction. (Oh, and flooding and killing a whole bunch of people: 1927). I'd say a million. But I really don't know the number.

I do know "that" flood led to Herbert Hoover's grabbing the nation's attention. He got elected. Right after Warren Harding.

TWO DOGS. Both from the GOP dumpster.

As if we're not, now, living in "interesting times."

Posted by happyfeet | September 18, 2007 4:40 PM

Ohnoes. The violence fell for the wrong reasons.
No one left to car bomb. It's very frustrating.
Our troops are caught in a civil war that's entirely too civil of late. It didn't have to be this way.

Posted by Tom W. | September 18, 2007 5:00 PM

So violence is down in Baghdad because the "ethnic cleansing" has been completed.

Captain Ed should have a contest to come up with the latest "good news is actually bad news" talking point.

Here's my contribution:

The Sunnis of al Anbar have stopped fighting us because we've taken all their children hostage. You can find photographic proof all over the Internet.

American troops are seen luring children away from their parents with candy, then they gather them in large rooms with desks and chalkboards and hold them at gunpoint.

You see photos of American troops lifting innocent Iraqi children off the ground in a form of air-torture; the children are also forced to pose for photos so that we can record their faces for later identification.

If only mothers were in charge, none of this would be happening.

Posted by madcoverboy | September 18, 2007 5:01 PM

"The hospital and morgue that used to overflow with the wounded and the dead has seen business drop dramatically, indicating that the surge has had a substantial effect on the capital as well as the western provinces."

It's easy to lie with statistics. Why is it necessarily the surge that has caused the drop in deaths? What if the neighborhoods have already been either segregated or purged of rival clans, sects, etc. and there is just no one left to kill?

One could look at the statistics for the number of Jews being shipped from German cities in the 1940s and draw similarly erroneous conclusions. There comes a tipping point when there's just no one left to kill.

The surge still isn't working.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 18, 2007 5:05 PM

Okay. I'll guess.

Maliki wanted to see carnage that included a dead Ambassador Crocker.

If nothing else, Bush has his number.

You won't see his cards.

Most of the story hasn't even been told, yet.

Coming out ALIVE, though; the BLACKWATER contractors could write a book. What publisher would touch it?

You think you need a publisher, now? All the big fees go to the people whose books don't necessarily sell. (You think Greenspan's book earns back his $8-million-dollar advance?)

Stop pulling my leg. I hate it.

Meanwhile, I pretty much figured out what happened. Though I remain puzzled that the State Department hired contractors. Wazzup with that?

Posted by Carol Herman | September 18, 2007 5:09 PM

OKay, so there are empty refrigerators at the morgue.

You think they'd stay empty? Seems to me you'd have excellent storage space for milk. Or other perishables.

Waste not. Want not.

This story would have been made better, if one of the "vaults" were opened up. SO we could see the cold air put to better use.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | September 18, 2007 5:20 PM

A few giggles from the Kool-Aid Krowd today:

Matt Yglesias does a good analysis of how the decreased sectarian violence in Bagdad (sp) is largely due to neighborhoods being already ethnically cleansed (complete with maps via General Jones.)


There comes a tipping point when there's just no one left to kill.

So Baghdad is a ghost town. Complete with maps, even. Wow. Who knew?

From that logic we can conclude that the Holocaust is complete in Europe because reports of Jews being killed are down. We never should have believed General Eisenhower (make that General Lies-and-Power).

Posted by Only One Cannoli | September 18, 2007 5:37 PM

Someone will have to explain to me how there can be "no one left to kill" when it's as simple as loading explosives into an automobile and driving whatever distance necessary to reach a neighborhood full of the enemy, if that really is the way that the average Shiite or Sunni views the other. Maybe all the vehicles have been blown up? All the explosives have been used up?

I never thought the chaos in Iraq could last since Iraqis don't want to live in perpetual fear any more than you or I do. I suspect every Iraqi knows someone who has died. Misery wears people down and it shouldn't come as any surprise when the surviving Iraqis tire of burying loved ones and say "enough."

Posted by exhelodrvr | September 18, 2007 5:45 PM

Tom W,

"American troops are seen luring children away from their parents with candy, then they gather them in large rooms with desks and chalkboards and hold them at gunpoint."

Michael Totten's latest post has a picture of an American soldier forcing Iraqi children to play soccer. Obviously the gun is to shoot any who try to leave the game early.

Posted by happyfeet | September 18, 2007 5:59 PM

The surge still isn't working. Petraeus lied, no one died. Cause they'd been cleansed already, ethnically. Yglesias has a map. You are here. Stupid ineffectual killbots. How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for victory? Not in my name you don't.

Posted by Only One Cannoli | September 18, 2007 6:40 PM

My turn. happyfeet lied to save his pride. Hmm, it fits on a bumpersticker ... and appeals to a lazy mindset. Perfect.

Posted by happyfeet | September 18, 2007 7:05 PM

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. If the surge is so great, why come I don't have a pony?

Posted by Terry Gain | September 18, 2007 7:15 PM

Looks M.Y. didn't read Hamsher's memo - "don't admit any progress; deny, deny, deny" whereas happyfeet and madcoverboy did.

Lefties, like Teresa, need to read this and weep

While America's finest have been liberating Iraq, America's worst have attacked the mission throughout. God willing they will continue to attack the mission until they have absolutely no credibility among the vast majority of Americans.

Posted by coldwarrior415 | September 18, 2007 7:26 PM

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism"

It is?

Didn't get the memo on that one.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | September 18, 2007 7:27 PM

happyfeet - all the ponies are dead. An act of ethnic (species) cleansing by goat, sheep, pig and chicken insurgents after we illegally invaded the barnyard to steal oil from cows.

The proof is in the fact that media reports of pony killings are down, and vets are seeing fewer pony cases. I am sure that somewhere there are maps via General Jones to prove it.

Posted by Only One Cannoli | September 18, 2007 7:32 PM

A rhetorical question? Why you don't have a pony? ... I ... I don't know, hf.

I like horses. Most graceful, beautiful animal on the planet.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 18, 2007 7:49 PM

InstaPundit topic heading: "Problems at the State Department." I've copied the interesting link's contents. You'll learn of a DC swamp battle. And, at least "an explanation" for one death. (Not that it explains why State hired BLACKWATER to protect Ambassador Crocker's Baghdad convoy.)

Here, I'll take a guess that the convey was what's called "a high priority target." Didn't work out. And, that made Maliki mad. No wonder the world now derives more news through gossip; than through measured "professional" analysis. That means? You're on your own. You want a pony? Doesn't come supplied with this game, though. ANd, horses have nothing to do with it. Seems there's a horse-shit factor in play; and you don't even see the horses. Or the feathers, in horse feathers, either.

Now why the morgue? I guess that's how the enemy-media thinks things are worthy of newsprint? Don't ask me. I am NOT making this stuff up!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

State Dept. vs. the Pentagon on Iraq [Stephen Spruiell]

A disturbing bit of news in the New York Sun today: Eli Lake reports that the Sunni sheik who was assassinated Thursday was supposed to be in the United States last week, but his trip was delayed. The State Department says a problem with the paperwork held up the visa, but a military official told Lake that State Department officials deliberately sabotaged the trip:

Yesterday, a State Department spokesman confirmed that Sheik Abdul Sattar al-Rishawi had applied for a visa to visit Washington. "We cleared him with absolutely no reservations, and the visa was being held up due to paperwork with the application and sponsor," the spokesman said. [...]

An American military official yesterday said the delay in Abu Risha's visa was in part political. This source pinned the decision to scuttle the trip on senior leaders at the State Department. However, the State Department spokesman yesterday dismissed the charge.

According to the military official, the State Department in particular is wary of following through too much on General David Petraeus's "bottom up" strategy. "There were howls of complaints when Abu Risha met with President Bush over Labor Day," this official said. "The truth of the matter is that the more we strengthen the tribes, the less cooperation we are going to get from the Sunnis in Baghdad."

I asked a former State Department official who currently works for the Pentagon if there was a danger that this sort of infighting could undermine Gen. Petraeus's strategy. He said that as long as Petraeus had the full support of the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, dissent at Foggy Bottom would likely remain limited to these sorts of petty squabbles. "[Crocker] isn’t doing one thing that hasn’t been approved by the Secretary of State," he said. "There are debates within the State Department, of course, but Condi Rice has made the decision and Ambassador Crocker is being a loyal soldier.

"Dissent within the State Department, particularly from a guy who doesn’t like the administration, who goes outside the policy and tries to put focus on himself, there’s nothing unusual about it," he said, adding that most career diplomats were Democrats. "If you don’t have dissent at the State Department, there’s probably a Democrat in office."

Posted by Bennett | September 18, 2007 8:06 PM

If dissent is the highest form of patriotism then patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

(Samuel Johnson replies to Howard Zinn)

Posted by SteveMG | September 18, 2007 9:18 PM

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

So when David Duke dissents by stating that the US government is controlled by Jews and blacks and needs to be removed, he's a patriot?

That's odd; I thought he was racist gutter trash.

All this time I thought there was legitimate dissent and illegitimate dissent. But apparently all dissent is praiseworthy and patriotic.

Who knew?


Posted by chip | September 18, 2007 10:09 PM

Oh, I see, the new narrative is it wasn't the Surge, but the culmination of ethnic cleansing that has reduced the violence.

Sure, that explains why violence against US troops has fallen sharply. The US army must have been ethnically cleansed from the ugly neighborhoods.

And of course we'll just close our eyes to the fact in Anbar that the Sunnis turned on their fellow Sunnis in al-Qaeda.

Posted by red | September 18, 2007 10:45 PM

One could look at the statistics for the number of Jews being shipped from German cities in the 1940s and draw similarly erroneous conclusions. There comes a tipping point when there's just no one left to kill.

Oh, I just loved Janis Joplin!!!! Nothin aint nothin if it ain't free dooobiee dooooo.

Did ya notice that Katie Couric couldn't find anybody to interview in the Iraqi ghost town called Baghdad?

Today, we walked around Baghdad and when we went to a market, I have to say, the people here seemed genuinely glad to have us. When the small children saw us, they warmly swarmed towards us wanting candy. It was reminiscent of the scenes we watched four years ago when the U.S. soldiers first arrived on the ground here, before everything went south.

Posted by Rose | September 19, 2007 12:40 AM

Hard to decide what is most stunning about this story - that Al-Reuters DID report it... or how on earth the MSM let this opportunity for twisted propaganda slip through their fingers.

Maybe they couldn't think how to twist it to their advantage????


...or something like that! SO LOL!

Posted by JM Hanes | September 19, 2007 3:51 AM

"a sharp fall in victims of violence admitted during a seven-month security campaign"

The Surge which must not be named! Must be working.

Posted by fdcol63 | September 19, 2007 11:04 PM

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."

No. Being willing to die to protect the freedoms enjoyed by those who dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

However, it is the obligation and responsibility of all citizens to remain constructively objective of their government and its policies, and to object and dissent when necessary.

Dissent just for the purpose of dissenting is merely anarchy.

Posted by always right | September 20, 2007 10:36 AM

Dissent just for the purpose of dissenting is merely anarchy.

Do you think the teenagers and the early 20s will get that memo? Those old hippies left over from the 60s would never learn, while the youngish anti-war crowd (almost typed clowns) do it just cause they think it is chic.

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