Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Death...

The pessimistic amongst you might view the exponentially mounting death tolls in Iraq, as cited in a UN report derived from Iraqi government statistics, as a bad sign. After all, the particulars could be interpreted in a negative fashion by the uninitiated - those who lack the handy Weekly Standard international relations decoder ring.

In reality, however, the spiraling death toll is nothing but unvarnished good news - as long as you know how to read the tea leaves. If you can get to the truth that lurks behind the pesky facts, more dead Iraqis is actually a sure indicator that we are succeeding, and that our increasingly desperate and marginalized enemies are on the run. First, the raw data [emphasis mine throughout]:

An average of more than 100 civilians per day [ed note: in US population terms, that would be akin to more than 1,000 killed a day] were killed in Iraq last month, the highest monthly tally of violent deaths since the fall of Baghdad, the United Nations reported today.

The death toll, drawn from Iraqi government agencies, was the most precise measurement of civilian deaths provided by any government organization since the invasion and represented a dramatic increase over daily media reports.

United Nations officials also said that the number of violent deaths had been steadily increasing since at least last summer. In the first six months of this year, the civilian death toll jumped more than 77 percent, from 1,778 in January to 3,149 in June [ed note: in US population terms, that would be akin to roughly 35,000 dead in a month], the organization said.

This sharp upward trend reflected the dire security situation in Iraq as sectarian violence has worsened and Iraqi and American government forces have been powerless to stop it.

In its report, the United Nations said that 14,338 civilians had died violently in Iraq in the first six months of the year [ed note: in US population terms, that would be akin to more than 155,000 violent deaths over six months].

According to the United Nations’ tallies, 1,778 civilians were killed in January, 2,165 in February, 2,378 in March, 2,284 in April, 2,669 in May and 3,149 in June.
With such breathtakingly large numbers, it would be easy to get swept away in doom and gloom defeatism. But that would be missing the forest for the trees. And it is a vibrant and growing forest, populated with the hearty oaks of democracy, peace and stability. For example, as our President foresaw some months back, 6,000 dead Iraqis in the last two months is incontrovertible evidence of "freedom in action."

President Bush warned Americans yesterday that they can expect to see more violence in Iraq over the next year but called this the price of progress as the country stands up its own security forces and moves toward democracy.

Speaking to members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Bush said that in the coming weeks Iraq is likely to be the scene of "a good deal of political turmoil" as factions jockey for position and vie for power. Rather than being alarmed by those developments, he said, "we should welcome this for what it is: freedom in action."
When faced with similarly discouraging reports about insurgent activity and sectarian violence(discouraging to the media, the Left and the French perhaps), military spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Johnson calmly put the bloodshed in perspective: "Desperate people are dangerous people." As we can infer from the upward escalation in violence and death since then, the "desperation" of the insurgents and sectarian warriors is nearing its peak. Dare I say, these groups are in their collective last throes.

Building on the insightful, if utterly counterintuitive, analysis put forth by President Bush and Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Donald Alston instructs us on how to interpret the ever increasing number of attacks against coalition troops, Iraqi security forces and civilians. Said Brig. Gen. Alston, "It tells me the coalition and the Iraqi forces have been very aggressive in taking the fight to the enemy."

Wow. What a relief. I'm sure, like me, you found this guide to deciphering events an enormous help. Feel free to wield it with unrelenting frequency against the nattering nabobs of negativism who will likely come to the opposite, and clearly wrong-headed, conclusion when leafing through the findings of the UN report. And just remember that acrid odors such as these emanating from the Baghdad morgue:

The morgue stank of bodies. Visitors burned paper and wood in the parking lot to mask the smell.
Actually smell like...well, victory!

[Elsewhere: Kevin has more good news. Victory is nigh. What a week for the President. Can someone say, "Bush bounce"!]

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