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Media must tell whole story of Iraq surge

Posted: July 3, 2008 12:29 a.m.
Updated: September 3, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 

While statistics are fed to media outlets like this paper to prop up the administration’s and Rep. Buck McKeon’s decision to support the surge, the facts ignored are that the weekly rate of American wounded has not gone down. The historical wounded report is found at icasualties.org, and it shows that in 2008 the number of wounded soldiers averages approximately 15 per week, which is the same average as the year before.

So if the success of the surge is based on wounded soldiers, there has been no change.

A BBC News special points out, “Western workers remain reluctant to leave the protected Green Zone in the center of Bagdad ... and that the green zone occupants (the Iraqi government, the U.S. military headquarters, embassies and the United Nations) all live behind blast walls and mass of checkpoints ... [and] its occupants only venture out amid the tightest security, and that does not necessarily protect them against the suicide bombers or roadside blasts that remain a daily part of life in Iraq.”

So from the perception of the experts on the ground, the change has not increased their confidence level (and for good reason).

Recently, not only did a bus bomb kill 51, an office bomb kill 10, but five U.S. soldiers were shot providing security for a city council meeting in southeast Bagdad (two killed and three wounded).
Even assuming total violence levels have dropped, it’s obvious the shift in tactics is destabilizing efforts at government building.

So what has the surge accomplished on the matters that are important, e.g. getting Iraq ready to self government again?? The dialogue needed to build a lasting Iraqi government cannot be with only the people the U.S. government allows to be at the table.

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