Petraeus will say violence is down in Iraq because he’s not counting the violence in Iraq

Read the article about the “Experts Doubt Drop In Violence in Iraq: Military Statistics Called Into Question” in today’s Washington Post, which confirms a very important point: General Petraeus and his toadies are lying about the level of violence in Iraq. It’s incredibly craven, but that’s what is happening.

Basically, in the Petraeus view, to count the amount of violence means excluding from that count many incidents and forms of violence. For example, not included in the Petraeus count as Ilan Goldenberg at Democracy Arsenal points out are:

1) Sunni on Sunni violence. 2) Shi’a on Shi’a violence 3) Car bombs 4) Getting shot in the front of the head.

Despite all that, the Bush/Petraeus message, as Ilan concludes is “But violence is down. Trust me.” If mayors in America could choose how to count violence, there would be no crime in any major city in the country. But that’s not how it’s done in the real world — only in Bush/Petraeus world.

From the Post:

The U.S. military’s claim that violence has decreased sharply in Iraq in recent months has come under scrutiny from many experts within and outside the government, who contend that some of the underlying statistics are questionable and selectively ignore negative trends.

Reductions in violence form the centerpiece of the Bush administration’s claim that its war strategy is working. In congressional testimony Monday, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is expected to cite a 75 percent decrease in sectarian attacks. According to senior U.S. military officials in Baghdad, overall attacks in Iraq were down to 960 a week in August, compared with 1,700 a week in June, and civilian casualties had fallen 17 percent between December 2006 and last month. Unofficial Iraqi figures show a similar decrease.

Others who have looked at the full range of U.S. government statistics on violence, however, accuse the military of cherry-picking positive indicators and caution that the numbers — most of which are classified — are often confusing and contradictory. “Let’s just say that there are several different sources within the administration on violence, and those sources do not agree,” Comptroller General David Walker told Congress on Tuesday in releasing a new Government Accountability Office report on Iraq.

General Petraeus works for George Bush. In Bush world, lying is standard operating procedure. And, let’s not forget, Bush lied to get us into this war. Why would anyone think he wouldn’t lie to keep us in his war?


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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