Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Big Lie

One of the big lies promulgated by the pro-warriors about Iraq is that Al Qaeda is a major player in the insurgency, and that defeating Al Qaeda in Iraq is equivalent to defeating the insurgency.

Of course, some pro-warriors have admitted that there is a non-Al Qaeda insurgency occasionally, but then proceed to act as if stopping Al Qaeda would put the kibosh on the destructive part of the insurgency.

In that vein, Cal Thomas and "Hack" Kelly have recently penned columns touting a recent letter from one Al Qaeda operative to another (presumably the latter is an AQ highr-up) bemoaning how difficult their situation is in Iraq.

The message? Victory is around the corner! Yay, we're winning!

There is a little problem, though.

Coalition combat fatalities were up in April and continue to be high in May, in fact, menstrualized (menstualize:month::annualize:year) this month's hostile death toll would be around 90. Wounded numbers for March and April are higher than for the previous two months, and sort of in the low middle-range overall, but are still fairly robust. And the Iraqi civilian death toll is still pretty high, and the security forces death toll is likely to be within the same range it has been in over the past six months (albeit on the lower end).

The point is, the insurgency may be shifitng its focus slightly and may have decreasing effectivenss in some areas, but there is little evidence that its overall destructive power has been lessened. Considering that the letter is already at least a month old, it does not appear that any of the trends that the writer was noticing had any effect on the overall power of the insurgents.

So I think that the reliance on this letter as proof that the insurgents are losing and on the lack of media coverage as evidence that the media is ignoring the "good news from Iraq" constitutes stretching the evidence quite a bit.

That is all.

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