Patterico's Pontifications


Ramadi: Still Apparently Improving

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Media Bias,War — Patterico @ 5:32 am

The L.A. Times has more on the seemingly improving situation in Ramadi.

Previous coverage here and in links therein. As I pointed out in the previous post, the improvements come as no surprise to those of us who have been reading trusted milblogs from Al Anbar during the past several months.

UPDATE: One of those blogs, Badgers Forward, provides perspective on two recent car bombs in Ramadi, and catches the AP in some blatant skewing of the storyline.

46 Responses to “Ramadi: Still Apparently Improving”

  1. The stated goal of the “surge” is that it will reduce the level of violence in Baghdad and al Anbar province.

    How are two suicide bombings in the capital of al Anbar province not a blow to American claims of success?

    alphie (015011)

  2. […] LA Times is the latest to jump on that bandwagon, as seen at Patterico’s. Democratic leaders read these stories and tremble. It’s becoming more and more clear that […]

    Pursuing Holiness » Blog Archive » War Reporting Redux (bc33d8)

  3. Alphie it is a comparative analysis. Two car bombings are far less in the way of explosives and attacks when I got to this city.

    The surge has reduced the violence in Anbar. That’s why it is a blow to our claims of success. Unless you believe that ANY enemy activity is a blow to claim of success and thus exposing your bias.

    Badger 6 (03ffb6)

  4. Unless you believe that ANY enemy activity is a blow to claim of success

    I must be missing something. I would think that the more enemy activity, the less credible a claim of success. What metric are you proposing?

    As for the main article, we’ve had so many such claims in the past, and we haven’t been able to train Iraqis to hold on to whatever success we have achieved. Yeah, this time it might be different, but I’m not convinced that’s the way to bet. I’m not even sure we know who most of the “enemy” is—certainly these “foreign fighters”, estimated in the hundreds, aren’t the whole set.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (9b24df)

  5. And andrew misses the point.

    Badger 6 is TELLING you (not claiming, but directlt informing you based on first hand experiance and observation) that the 2 car bombs are a great deal less violence than what there once was (down even from a mere year ago).

    Go read his blog. Inform yourself, for I grow tired of having to do it FOR you.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  6. “I must be missing something.”

    At least two things, actually.

    nk (db0112)

  7. Not necessarily “at least”, if you speak of what I think you speak… I’ve heard terrible stories.

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  8. Say, Scott, still waiting on that evidence of yours that Democrats sabotaged Bush’s Iraq-reconstruction request. Snicker.

    As for the death rate, every brief dip since 2003 has allegedly signified that we’ve turned the corner. Your unwillingness to wait until there’s a real trend is why the American people have lost confidence in Leader Mission Accomplished.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (9b24df)

  9. I wasn’t aware a downward-trending average was a “brief dip”.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  10. Badger6,

    What do you think is an acceptable number of terrorist attacks?

    In Iraq or America, or any other country, for that matter.

    alphie (015011)

  11. Well, I dunno about the Captain, But I would call “less” to at least be an improvement…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  12. Alphie,

    None. Until that happens, we’re at war.

    DRJ (c6d1df)

  13. Andrew, I’m still wondering if you think Iraqis are stupid enough to blame the people doing reconstruction over those who insist on blowing it up.

    Yeah, this time it might be different, but I’m not convinced that’s the way to bet.

    Well, that’s a step up from “It’s an utter failure!”

    Things seem to be improving by the hour.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  14. Andrew, I’m still wondering if you think Iraqis are stupid enough to blame the people doing reconstruction over those who insist on blowing it up.

    In 2005, a secret military poll by the British Ministry of Defence revealed that a large proportion of Iraqis (45 percent) believed attacks against US and UK troops were justified.[13] Since January, the support for attacks against US forces has increased substantially and as of September 2006 reached 61 percent, with strong majorities in support of attacks amongst both Shia and Sunni repondents.

    AF (d700ef)

  15. Great answer, AF. Unfortunately, it isn’t the one for this question.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  16. Yes it is, kiddo. Yes it is.

    AF (d700ef)

  17. Most of the people blowing things up are Iraqis. Overlooking this may have led you astray.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  18. First, a “secret” poll from two years ago? Best you can do?

    Second, the things those Iraqis are blowing up are things like police buildings, schools, market-places…

    If they were attacking places like, I dunno, military bases maybe, I’d start to buy your argument…

    But seriously, if you think the suicide bombers are acting in the best interest of Iraqi’s, you are dumber than I thought…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  19. Most of the “blowing things up” action is perpertrated by al Qaeda, most of whom aren’t Iraqis.

    dubya (c16726)

  20. Most of the people blowing things up are Iraqis. Overlooking this may have led you astray.

    That doesn’t answer the question, Andrew. Still waiting…

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  21. “First, a “secret” poll from two years ago? Best you can do?”
    IT’S RIGHT HERE jackass.
    You read my comments and not the links. You treat eveything I say as if it were only my opinion
    “Opinions are like assholes: everybody’s got one.”
    You are more of an idiot than I had ever imagined.

    No I don’t think the suicide bomber’s are working in the best interset of Iraqis but they imagine they are, and frankly so do we. But most Iraqis think our presense is just making it worse. And most Americans agree!
    Why the fuck don’t you have the guts to come out and say that you don’t give a shit, just like Michael Scheuer.
    “They’re not Americans, and I really don’t care.”.
    So why the fuck should anyone else?

    You’re a fucking foreign policy genius you are.

    AF (d700ef)

  22. AF, do you think the four-letter words make your argument more interesting or more likely to convince people that you’re not just another nut case?

    dubya (c16726)

  23. The only justification for the existence of any government is to protect the lives, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of its own citizens. Do the words: “…we hold these Truths to be self-evident…” ring any bells AF?

    If fulfilling that legitimate function of government means stepping on some non-citizen toes then so be it. Scheuer’s right on that point.

    dubya (c16726)

  24. A blast from the past:

    Terrorist attacks in Iraq back in 2004:

    “Terrorist incidents in Iraq also dramatically increased, from 22 attacks to 198, or nine times the previous year’s total — a sensitive subset of the tally, given the Bush administration’s assertion that the situation there had stabilized significantly after the U.S. handover of political authority to an interim Iraqi government last summer.”

    And from 2006:

    “The report says 6,600, or 45 percent, of the attacks took place in Iraq, killing about 13,000 people, or 65 percent of the worldwide total of terrorist-related deaths in 2006.”

    2003 – 22 terrorist attacks in Iraq
    2004 – 198 terrorist attacks in Iraq
    * new methodology for counting attacks? *
    2005 – 5280 terrorist attacks in Iraq
    2006 – 6600 terrorist attacks in Iraq

    alphie (015011)

  25. To be fair, dubya, I swear at that ass plenty…

    And I’m sorry AF, I looked at your link title (In 2005, a secret military poll by the British Ministry of Defence), and assumed you weren’t lying…

    I know, I know, I totally should have known better…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  26. “…that all men are created equal”
    but some of are more equal than others

    AF (d700ef)

  27. Actually, not all are created equal…

    However, we all have equal protection under the law.

    It’s a minor point, but an important one…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  28. Scott, you’re such an intellectual.

    AF (d700ef)

  29. What, you don’t really think all are created equal, do you?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  30. The ideal number of terrorist attacks would be zero. In the mean time though, we need to accept that a reduction is moving in the right direction.

    Badger 6 (03ffb6)

  31. As has been pointed out, the lull comes both from bribery and a demand on the part of those we’re bribing that we leave soon. This has not been discussed in the Amercan press. Also as has been noted, there is growing tension between Sunni insurgents and Al Qaeda in Iraq, a tension that will grow will with our withdrawal and will fade if we don’t.
    This seems like a good time to leave. But Bush doesn’t want to leave until WE win. Peace may or may not come we will not have won it.

    AF (d700ef)

  32. AF… Look at B6 again and smile when you say that, bubba…

    Try again. No, really… Try again. This should be good…

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  33. “What, you don’t really think all are created equal, do you?”

    Frankly, no.

    AF (d700ef)

  34. Good. There’s hope for you yet then.

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  35. But not much for you.

    AF (d700ef)

  36. Dear Andrew J. Lazarus,

    You wished some sort of proof of my contention that the Dem’s have interfered with funding for the rebuilding of Iraq. Because my search skills are – to be honest – crap, I had to enlist some help.

    First, a perfect example has to do with the Provincial Rebuilding Teams (or PRTs). These teams are a vital part of the political/economic sphere. They are considered key “force multipliers” by combat brigades in the overall war against the insurgency and are screaming for more of them.

    As of right now, I think we can all agree that the two hottest areas of Iraq are al Anbar province and Baghdad. There are two of these teams, one in each area. Here is where the Dems have screwed the rebuilding effort…

    The supplemental budget put forward by the White House calls for funding six more. Two more for al Anbar and four more for Baghdad.

    This link has a good post on the veto’d bill.

    But since you might not make it all the way through without your eyes exploding, I’ll quote the important paragraph.

    But, when listening in on a conference call yesterday, I heard a senior administration official point out that Democrats had cut 200 million from the budget request that dealt specifically with those PRT increases. They intend to spend that money on shrimp and spinach instead.

    Now, would you care to continue to refute that the Democrats are actively sabotaging the reconstruction effort?

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  37. Read the last comment on your link Scott.

    AF (d700ef)

  38. Scott, PRTs may or may not be useful, but they are not producing electricity or oil. They’re a bureaucracy principally engaged in rebuilding Iraqi regional government, not oil and electricity capability.

    In any event, to the extent that I am correct in piecing together the revised WH supplemental request and the bill that the House actually passed (after the article you linked to), the idea that the PRTs are being zeroed out is incorrect.

    As I parse it, the WH originally asked for $205MM for the “Iraq Freedom Fund”. Apparently some or all PRT monies come from this part of the budget, but they aren’t pulled out separately. Then they revised this request upward by $360MM, of which the cover letter (although not the budgetary language) states $150MM is for the PRTs. Congress only approved $100MM additional in this item. Whether the DoD doesn’t expand the PRTs as much (AFAICT, there wasn’t any separate appropriation for them before) or shift money from elsewhere is up to them.

    Of course, the whole point is moot, since Bush vetoed the bill. Guess the PRTs weren’t that important for him either!

    (The spinach and shrimp crack is just another empty talking point: the 2006 Supplemental had similar supplemental authorizations, but IOKIYAR.)

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  39. Of course, the whole point is moot, since Bush vetoed the bill. Guess the PRTs weren’t that important for him either

    You slept through the discussion of WHY he vetoed the bill, didn’t you…

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  40. Scott, PRTs may or may not be useful, but they are not producing electricity or oil. They’re a bureaucracy principally engaged in rebuilding Iraqi regional government, not oil and electricity capability.

    Who do you think will oversee and enable the security apparatus that will enable the building of infrastructure? You realize that security is a more pressing concern than oil production or electricity generation, don’t you? And you realize that such activities are dependent on security, don’t you?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  41. IRAQ 4 EVER!!

    In an interview last night on the Charlie Rose Show, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pointedly said, “[O]ur friends in the [Middle East] need to know and the Iraqis need to know that we are not looking to leave Iraq.” “Ever?” Rose asked. Rice responded, “We are not going to leave an Iraq that is not capable of defending itself and with a foundation for future reconciliation.”
    Rose then asked Rice if she believed she’ll have the support of the American people to continue the war. Rice claimed the American people are looking for “progress.” Rose replied, “But nobody can answer the question: If it doesn’t happen, what?” Avoiding discussion of a Plan B, Rice answered, “Charlie, because as the President said to you, we’re focused on having it happen.
    …When Rose asked Rice if the administration was “looking for a strategy for the United States to exit from Iraq.” Rice answered, “No, we’re looking for a strategy that is going to do what we went there to do.”
    Last month, Rose similarly asked President Bush, “Can you imagine a circumstance in which you would have to say, we did our best, good men and good women sacrificed their life, but we can’t in the end do what we want to do, and we have to leave?” “No,” Bush replied. “I can’t imagine that, because I believe that with time, this Iraqi government is going to be able to reconcile and move forward.”

    I’ll just add this for those who want to read something that parallels our Iraq adventure in stupidity. In Somalia, we’re on the wrong side. That’s neither good, nor smart.

    AF (d700ef)

  42. Wait, we’re on the wrong side???

    You do know that those insurgents the Etheopians cam to fight were islamic-extreemists, right?

    I swear to god it’s like we’re talking to a wall here…

    Scott Jacobs (e3904e)

  43. “You do know that those insurgents the Ethiopians cam to fight were islamic-extremists, right?”

    You did read the link I posted right? You do know the warloards we’re backing are the the ones from “Blackhawk Down”
    Here’s more on the courts
    And her’s more on Anbar and the anti-Al Qaeda and anti-ocupation alliance

    New front challenges al-Qaeda in Iraq
    “The quick formation of the RJF — almost totally ignored by the Western media — has brought relief to American and Iraqi officials, who feared the disintegration of a more moderate resistance in the face of the al-Qaeda threat. But the relief has been short-lived. The growth of the RJF, its ability to appeal to a broad political front, and its organizing skills have been felt throughout Anbar Province and far into the north. And while the RJF has vowed that it will fight the takifir current of al-Qaeda and marginalize the more extreme elements inside the resistance itself, its ability to quickly root itself into the populations of the Sunni heartland, just weeks after its establishment, has provided little relief to hard-pressed American and Iraqi military units. One RJF official waved aside the divisions that have opened up in the resistance since the founding of the ISI — and the resulting response in the formation of the RJF: “While the ISI opened up cracks inside the resistance,” he said, “there is still a united front when it comes to fighting the occupation. We are more dedicated than ever.”

    The link above courtesy of Marc Lynch who you should be reading.

    AF (d700ef)

  44. You do know the warloards we’re backing are the the ones from “Blackhawk Down”

    The warlord from Blackhawk Down was Mohammed Farah Aidid, who is quite dead. His son is back there though. Hussein Farah is an American citizen and a former Marine.

    You got a thing for sharia law, AF?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  45. U.S. Secretly Backing Warlords in Somalia.
    I can’t tell if it’s intelligence you lack or just curiosity. I know you know how to read.
    The article has the American angle down:

    “A senior U.S. intelligence official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was a “Hobbesian” situation — that the transitional government operating from Kenya was in its “fifteenth iteration” and that it, too, was a “collection of warlords” that played both sides of the fence. The official said that it presented a classic “enemy of our enemy” situation.”

    I may not agree with his assessment of his “enemy” in this case but I agree with his assessment of his “friends” It’s the same bunch and Aidid was only one of them.
    I’ll add one more thing

    Somali leaders in the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) refuse to include the former Islamic leadership, along with other sectors of society, in forthcoming talks. This grave mistake is bound to instigate further violence, much like Mogadishu has witnessed in the last months as hundreds have died in clashes in the city. As long as the current Somali government continues to exclude parties that are more popular than the TFG, Ethiopia, and the United States combined, reconciliation will be a mere façade.

    AF (d700ef)

  46. More form Badger at Arab Links:
    “ISI chief reportedly had Saudi-intelligence connections.”
    The ISI is Islamic State of Iraq founded by an Al Qaeda leader in January of this year. Badger (not to be confused with Badger 6) links to two posts at Conflicts Forum, here and here.
    All important and worth reading, if you’re interested in what’s happening in Iraq.

    AF (d700ef)

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