Failing upward in bloody Baghdad

Two weeks into the first massive security crackdown in the capital of Iraq - an combined Iraqi and American force numbering some 75,000 troops - the US military declared that while things were going "more slowly than hoped," there was "no upward trend" in violence. The number of slain Iraqi civilian and military in Baghdad for than period totalled 154 as determined by figures compiled by the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count. The following days exposed that "upward trend" disputed by the military. The next two-week period saw 233 casualties; the next couple of weeks, 228 slain. Finally, the Bush administration acknowledged the failure of its plan and changed tactics by launching yet another highly-touted security initiative, funneling still more US troops - thousands more - into the capital. When the initial fourteen days of the "new" new security crackdown revealed a drop in fatalities - down to 143 slain Iraqis - the military and the media hailed the news as evidence that the clampdown was working.

Few are talking that way now - not after a renewed wave of insurgent violence that resulted in a staggering total of two hundred and ninety-five murdered Iraqis over the most recent two-week period, September 26 through August 6. That's more than during any of the previous 14-day periods tracked here since the launch of the initial security initiative; that's one hundred and five more deaths than during the two weeks prior to the first clampdown. The late surge in fatalities indicates an successful adaptation by the insurgents to increased security - an deadly success as yet largely unreported by the American media and unacknowledged by the Pentagon. Meanwhile, blood contines to flow in the streets of Baghdad.

More on Iraq by Shakes.


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