Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Combating moonbat math at Iraq Body Count

The latest editorial column posted at Iraq Body Count exemplifies my objection to that project.

The author, Lily Hamourtziadou writes with her neural blinders on in service to her ideology.

After noting the bare facts regarding the recent agreement between Iraq and the United States to keep U.S. troops in Iraq through 2011, Hamourtziadou veers into the weeds of illogic:

Sadly, for every step forward achieved, a step is taken back with every innocent death, with every civilian that is shot, blown up, tortured. This week 133 civilians lost their lives in violence; 9 of them were children. US forces shot dead 3 men resisting arrest.

That’s many steps back.

This woman is incoherent. If every step forward results in many steps backward then logic dictates that no progress in Iraq is possible at all. The best we can hope for is no steps forward resulting in no steps backward. Obviously that is nonsense, and perhaps I should give Ms. Hamourtziadou the benefit of the doubt by crediting her with hyperbole.

The big problem with her analysis, of course, consists of the fact that insurgents--perhaps the three who resisted arrest among them--are causing most of the civilian deaths by far. Extremists carry bombs into downtown markets. Is that supposed to target the United States somehow? One could plausibly argue that the aim of insurgents is to wear down the U.S. and force its withdrawal, but that ignores the fact that peaceful conditions in Iraq would allow the U.S. to withdraw its troops much faster. Moqtada al Sadr made that realization, so why can't Hamourtziadou?

At the bottom line, the number of deaths is decreased by aggressive opposition of violent extremists. Iraq Coalition Casualty Count prominently posts the numbers that Iraq Casualty count omits. Civilian deaths are way, way down in Iraq, and a huge amount of credit goes to the work of coalition forces.
At least 3 more years of American occupation then. A lot more people will die during those 3 years. It is doubtful Iraq will ever recover from this war, now that terror has come to its streets, now that its society has been divided so deeply.
I imagine if people like Hamourtziadou had their way that U.S. forces would have withdrawn instead of instituting the surge strategy. Let's suppose that had happened. I know that many take it as an article of faith that the violence in Iraq was caused entirely by the presence of foreigners, but let's be realistic. Sectarian violence is not the product of the U.S. intervention. Saddam Hussein repressed the Shiites and Kurds very brutally, and those groups have a sharp-edged axe to grind against their past oppressors. Add to that the hatred and distrust of the Iranians who are trying to influence the Iraqi government.

The truth is that the violence would very probably be worse if the U.S. had vacated Iraq. And perhaps people like Hamourtziadou would count every death on a ledger of Western blame. But that would just show that she is a moonbat.

The math works like this: Coalition troops risked their lives to decrease casualties stemming from sectarian violence and insurgent activity. The net result is a radical decrease in civilian casualties. The radical decrease in civilian casualties, combined with the strengthening of a central and plausibly non-sectarian central government charts a course toward a stable, unified and non-repressive Iraq.

And that's a giant leap forward.

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