That Bogus "Drop" In Iraq Deaths
According to a little birdie who sings to me from a tree in an area not unadjacent to the ancient city of Baghdad, and who for reasons which should be obvious must remain nameless:
The recent decrease in American deaths in Iraq is highly bogus, because it is due to intense political pressure from the White House on the military to bring down those casualties in any way possible, in order to "prove" that "the surge is working" and that the President of the United States isn't really an alcoholic moron of subnormal intelligence like the whole world knows he in fact is. The military have responded by doing the only thing one can really do in a situation like this to reduce casualties. They have reduced the number of available targets. Specifically, what the military has done is as follows:
1) They have "handed over to Iraqi authorities" large areas of the country, notably almost the whole of Basra, meaning handed those areas over to the Shi'ite militias and organized crime syndicates working for the Iranians via the Maliki government. The said militias and organized criminals then proceed to ethnically cleanse all the remaining Sunnis. Once an area is ethnically cleased, naturally there is a "drop in violence" due to the decrease in available targets.
2) In certain areas of Baghdad, the much publicized and ballyhooed American "occupation of neighborhoods" has been quietly abandoned, and the neighborhoods handed over to Sunni or Shia militias, notably the Mehdi Army which most certainly still exists but which now operates on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis under fifty different names. (The Iraqis are finally learning how to stroke and manipulate the Western media by controlling the "reality" they see on the ground.) American patrols outside their heavily fortified Green Zones have for all practical purposes ceased, and American troops are hunkered down behind their Bremer walls and rolls of razor wire watching while the various militias take advantage of the invaders' absence to consolidate their presence outside the wire and actually assert some control and authority over their communities. This, no doubt, is that "Iraqis stepping up" that Mini-Me used to rave about. The result of the re-establishment of order, even gunpoint order by the militias, is a reduction in violence.
3) In the most trumpeted and ballyhooed "victory" of them all, the Americans apparently have indeed succeeded in buying the allegiance of some Sunni tribal sheikhs in al-Anbar Province, at least temporarily, where those sheikhs (correctly) see their power being eroded by the rebel groupings. America's tactic for our "glorious victory" in Afghanistan was basically to hire the local thugs to do the fighting for us, and we have finally managed to get something similar going in Iraq. There has been extensive media coverage of the high price of such cooperation, in cash and in weapons and ammunition which the Americans are apparently handing out like Halloween candy to anyone in Al-Anbar who asks. History shows that such arrangements are remarkably impermanent, as our arrangement in Afghanistan is proving to be now that the Taliban once more controls almost half the country.
The Americans have thus bought a very slight reduction in their own casualties and a very temporary breathing space, at tremendous cost and one which even a country as wealthy as ours cannot sustain for long. Jug-Ears is now screaming "Victory, Victory!" at the top of his lungs and Cheney, Podhoretz and company are bellowing "on to Tehran!" Indeed, this temporary reduction in Iraqi casualties is vitally necessary to begin the next phase of the neoconservative plan for world conquest and world domination by the Jews and the Bible-thumping evangelical lunatics: the attack on Iran.
Simple rule of thumb: never, ever believe a single damned word that the United States government says, any time, on any subject. Assume they're lying all the time, and you can't go wrong.