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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Quotes of the Morning: Who Counts

“Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday that he believes the military's operation to secure Baghdad is showing ‘positive’ early signs but that he is reluctant to use ‘happy talk’ to describe the situation in Iraq because it remains violent.”
-Washington Post, April 6, 2007

“It was Mr. Bush’s first in-depth interview since a round of television appearances he made after announcing in January that he would send more troops to Iraq. As the two men sat face to face in a room in the Waldorf-Astoria, Mr. Rose raised the issue of military buildup almost casually, saying, ‘How is what’s sometimes called ‘the surge’ going?’
Mr. Bush’s answer was mixed. ‘The good news is that sectarian death is down in Baghdad,’ he replied. ‘The bad news is that spectacular car bombs still go off, in a way that tends to shake the confidence of the Iraqi people that their government can protect them.’
Mr. Rose asked his guest about Senator John McCain’s admission that he had no ‘Plan B’ if the administration’s current strategy failed. Mr. Bush replied, somewhat grimly, ‘The Plan B is to make Plan A work.’ But he went on to assure Mr. Rose that his administration constantly reassessed its plans and decision-making.”
-New York Times, April 25, 2007

“See? You people didn’t believe that the surge would work, but it is! It is working I tell you!”

“Bush administration officials have pointed to a dramatic decline in one category of deaths -- the bodies dumped daily in Baghdad streets, which officials call sectarian murders -- as evidence that the security plan is working. Bush said this week that that number had declined by 50 percent, a number confirmed by statistics compiled by McClatchy Newspapers.”
-McClatchy Newspapers, April 26, 2007

“The violence is down! Peace is coming, and soon we will be back in control. Happy days are here again!”

“U.S. officials who say there has been a dramatic drop in sectarian violence in Iraq since President Bush began sending more American troops into Baghdad aren't counting one of the main killers of Iraqi civilians.
Car bombs and other explosive devices have killed thousands of Iraqis in the past three years, but the administration doesn't include them in the casualty counts it has been citing as evidence that the surge of additional U.S. forces is beginning to defuse tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.”
-McClatchy Newspapers, April 26, 2007

“Hmm. Well, it is getting better except for all of the bombings. Why wouldn’t we count the bombings?”

“Many parts of Iraq are stable now. But, uh, of course, what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everyone.”
-Laura Bush, February 26, 2007

"If the standard of success is no car bombings or suicide bombings, we have just handed those who commit suicide bombings a huge victory."
-George “Dubya” Bush, April 24, 2007

“If we counted the people that died due to car bombings it would discourage people and the terrorists would win. By the same token, if we count ANY of the insurgent killings it will just encourage them to do it again (especially those that commit suicide. We don’t want them killing themselves again). Let’s ignore them.. Hey, look! We can leave Iraq now! It is peaceful again.
Ok, that may not be the right answer. We have a solution though. If Fearless Leader isn’t counting the dead, then we’ll just have to go to the Iraqi government to find out what is going on.”

“The United Nations is unable to determine how many Iraqi civilians have been killed so far this year because the Iraqi government won't share the information, a U.N. agency said in a Wednesday report.
An Iraqi government official denied that the information was withheld to cover up the number of civilian deaths, and the prime minister's office said the U.N. report ‘lacks accuracy.’
Even without the numbers, the report delivers a grim message: Iraq is facing ‘immense security challenges in the face of growing violence and armed opposition to its authority and the rapidly worsening humanitarian crisis.’
The report also contains a laundry list of human rights concerns.”
-CNN, April 25, 2007

“Huh.. The Iraqis aren’t even counting their own dead apparently. Still, it isn’t like the bombs are a big deal.”

“Two months into the U.S.-led Baghdad Security Plan, at least 289 people were killed and injured across Iraq on Saturday, including 36 dead in a car bomb attack in the holy Shiite city of Karbala. The carnage of a crowd teeming with women and children set off an angry mob of hundreds against the governor and police.”
-McClatchy Newspapers, April 15, 2007

“A series of car bomb blasts at a Baghdad market and a Shiite town north of the capital killed at least 100 people Thursday, police and hospital sources said.”
-MSNBC, March 29, 2007

“Those silly Iraqis. Their deaths don’t count. But it is getting better, right?”

“Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, depicted the situation there as ‘exceedingly complex and very tough’ Thursday and said the U.S. effort might become more difficult before it gets easier.”
-Associated Press, April 26, 2007

“Wow. That is going to be tough on the troops. I hope we can find some way to help them with the stress.”

“Extended overseas deployments affecting soldiers serving in Afghanistan and other locales overseen by U.S. Central Command should help to alleviate the stress on the Army, a senior U.S. officer in Afghanistan told Pentagon reporters today.”
-American Forces Press Service, April 24, 2007


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