Thank you! Readers like you are helping us double down on our investigative reporting when it's more needed than ever.
I blogged in late April that the Iraqi P.M. had vociferously opposed a U.S. military plan to wall off a particularly troublesome Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad. Despite their deep regard for Iraqi democracy, military commanders ignored the P.M.'s request and built the wall anyway.
Al-Maliki's opposition was echoed by both Sunnis and Shiites in the area. The military is now using that opposition as to argue that the wall has successfully improved security:
"At first I attributed [the decline in violence] to the American presence and the Iraqi presence," said Capt. Matthew Koehler ."I thought that was the extent of it, until I saw the insurgents trying to blow up those barriers."
That's right: If insurgents blow up the barriers, it must be because they're improving security. The gauge used to pronounce a decline in violence in the first place is the number of bodies dumped within the walled areanot how many deaths there are in the vicinity, but how many bodies are disposed of within the walled area. You have to wonder if even military spokesmen believe what they're saying.