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الجمعة، 5 يوليو 2013

Iraq : 2013 already sees more deaths than all of 2010

Iraq : 2013 already sees more deaths than all of 2010

The Common Ills

Another violent month has ended for Iraq.  Ahmed Rasheed, Kareem Raheem and Elizabeth Piper (Reuters) report that the United Nations has announced the death toll for June was 761.  Xinhua joins the dimwitted pack offering faux insights, "The death toll among Iraqis from violence in June declined to 761 compared to May, the United Nations said on Monday." 1045 was the toll for May.  761 is nothing to cheer about.  It's nothing minor.  It's also not significant -- not when you consider that it's the second highest death toll of the year.

That's right, that's the detail the dim witted forgot to include.  Here's the specific number that was released May 2nd:  712.

712 is what?

It's smaller 761, to be sure.  It's also the UN's count for the death toll in April.

Oops.  The dim witted forgot.  Yeah, that makes June the second worst for the year and, no, that's not easy as to spin.

Prashant Rao (AFP) is hindered by poor numbers but does offer more perspective on this issue than many writing for other outlets.  He notes AFP's death toll is 452.

So how is that perspective -- even his number is wrong (way too low)?

Yes, but he doesn't deal with a one-time-only observation.  He went with the trend, that's what he's reporting and that's why he doesn't need to be embarrassed the way so many other outlets should be this morning.  (He also reported before the UN released their figure and before IBC has released a figure.)

So what is the trend?

Markedly increased violence.  We've long noted the deaths have been increasing.  In April, you see and increase to figures that hadn't been seen in five years.  That trend continued with June's death toll.

The United Nations death tolls for the last three months:

April: 712
May: 1045
June: 761

The UN count for the last three months adds up to  2518.

What are they not telling you, these experts or supposed ones?

They're not telling you a great deal.

Let's steal from their tactics for a moment here.

As the violence has increased, they've ignored it.  Until April, they ignored it.  How did they do that?  By minimizing it.  And they minimized by not reporting what was taking place, an increase in the number of deaths which was evident for more than a year though they preferred to ignore the evidence (a simple number count) and instead lied and used 2007 and 2008 -- the most violent period in Iraq -- as the baseline for violence.  That was a false measurement, they should be ashamed of themselves yet they use it to this day.

2010 was the lowest in terms of the death tolls.  So let's make that our measurement, our baseline.

In three months alone, there have been 2518 violent deaths.  And that's over half the number for the full year of 2010 (4109 -- click for "monthly table" or you won't see the yearly totals).  From January through March of this year, IBC counts 1656  violent deaths.

Do you know what that adds up to?

4174 (check my math, always).  So in June, so in just six months, Iraq has seen more deaths than they saw in all of 2010.  That's the point, that's the headline, that's perspective.

Nouri's in Russia, helicopters, blah, blah, blah.  We'll cover it in the snapshot.  The news is that the violence has increased so much, that it has already surpassed the death toll for 2010.

Yesterday, we noted, "Turning to politics, Nouri met yesterday with US Senator John McCainAlsumaria reports on that visit and notes he also met with Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns.  Burns and Nouri discussed the need for cooperation in fighting terrorists or 'terrorists.'  Nouri's now headed to Moscow."

That is brought up because of an e-mail telling me that I have "a really neat trick, whenever you want to make something up, you just link to an article in some foreign language and claim that's what it said."  The e-mailer goes on to insist that if the State Dept had sent someone to Iraq, we would know about it because the press would cover it (no US outlet has reported on McCain's Saturday visit to Baghdad yet -- but how precious is the e-mailer's belief in the press) and the State Dept would announce it ahead of time.

That e-mail is why I hate translating languages.  You're always going to get that.  Someone who chose not to learn the language is going to lash out at you for translating it.  And what's the reply? "Did too!"  That's really the only way to engage with e-mailer like that.  There's no way to persuade them, no way to back up what you said the Arabic article says because . . .

Deputy Secretary Burns' Travel to Iraq

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 30, 2013

Deputy Secretary Bill Burns traveled June 28-30 to Baghdad, Iraq for meetings with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other Iraqi leaders. These meetings allowed them to discuss the full range of bilateral and regional issues, including the ongoing crisis in Syria. In all of his meetings, the Deputy Secretary reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to help Iraq overcome the threat of terrorism and to continue working with Iraq’s leaders and people to strengthen the U.S.-Iraq relationship under the Strategic Framework Agreement.
Deputy Secretary Burns also awarded the 2012 Human Rights Defender Award to the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization. He noted that dialogue between governments and civil society groups is an essential part of any democracy.

PRN: 2013/0824

Woops!  What do you know.  Bill Burns went there.

I was griping to a friend at State about the e-mail when I was told a press release on Burns went up.  I was also told that if I would Google and get a time, I'd find out that the State Dept didn't release that yesterday despite the date on it, they released earlier this morning.  Following the advice, I went to Google and searched Bill Burns under news:

Deputy Secretary Burns' Travel to Iraq

US Department of State (press release)-3 hours ago
Deputy Secretary Bill Burns traveled June 28-30 to Baghdad, Iraq for meetings with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other Iraqi leaders. These meetings ...

U.S. taps Kerry's deputy as point man with Russia on Snowden

GlobalPost-Jun 25, 2013
... hands of U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, a decorated diplomat with deep ... The 57-year-old Burns, a top-ranking career diplomat, has faced off with ...

Sure enough, the State Dept released that 3 hours ago. 

Why did they release it 3 hours ago and yet put June 30th on the release?  I'd reveal but I'd get e-mails claiming I made that reason up to.  So I'll just leave it to everyone to figure out on their own.


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