Thursday, December 07, 2006

Glance at the ISG

I have had neither the time nor inclination to read the report of the Iraq Study Group. Too much, too late by too many politicos with too little expertise. What little I have read just makes me mad. The only situation I have to compare in my personal experience is when a piece of heavy equipment has to be moved for rapair. Invariably there is a filthy mess where it was located. No need to describe the walls, floor and corners that have been unseen, untouched and uncleaned, in some cases for years. All we hope to do is clean the mess up, quick, before the health department pays a visit.

This is excerpted from part of Greg Djerejian's workmanlike effort to make sense of it...

...there is significant underreporting of the violence in Iraq. The standard for recording attacks acts as a filter to keep events out of reports and databases. A murder of an Iraqi is not necessarily counted as an attack. If we cannot determine the source of a sectarian attack, that assault does not make it into the database. A roadside bomb or a rocket or mortar attack that doesn’t hurt U.S. personnel doesn’t count. For example, on one day in July 2006 there were 93 attacks or significant acts of violence reported. Yet a careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light 1,100 acts of violence. Good policy is difficult to make when information is systematically collected in a way that minimizes its discrepancy with policy goals.

I have had Today in Iraq on my blogroll almost from the start. If you want to get a taste of what this paragraph refers to just take a look about any day. I don't read it often because, like this report, it leaves me angry, sad and feeling helpless. Even now that the dirt under the rug is being found and swept, I am still amazed that so much could go on so long unnoticed. As I write, I feel as close as I ever come to using profanity in disgust.

Time to look for something else to blog about. If I dwell on this too much I will no longer be writing like a gentleman.

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