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You know there’s progress if Reuters is reporting it
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hard to imagine (I checked to see if it was a parody site), but Reuters reports:
A row of beds lies empty in the emergency ward of Baghdad's Yarmouk Hospital. The morgue, which once overflowed with corpses, is barely a quarter full.

Doctors at the hospital, a barometer of bloodshed in the Iraqi capital, say there has been a sharp fall in victims of violence admitted during a seven-month security campaign.

Last month the fall was particularly dramatic, with 70 percent fewer bodies and half the number of wounded brought in compared to July, hospital director Haqi Ismail said.

"The major incidents, like explosions and car bombs, sometimes reached six or seven a day. Now it's more like one or two a week," he told Reuters.

The relative calm at the Yarmouk hospital lends weight to U.S. and Iraqi government assertions that a security campaign launched around Baghdad in February has achieved results.
I'm sure Oliver Willis and the gang will soon beam in to tell us Reuters has no credibility either.

And then there are the Shia who're now talking about cooperation with the CF similar to the Sunni awakening.

Go figure.

(HT: Neo)
 
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"Civil society" is never anything more than the conversion of kinetic violence into the potential violence of the state.

The same thing goes in the inter-national arena, where the base state is war mitigated by comity with potential violence always playing a role.

The Left and Right in this country are farther apart than the Sunni and the Shi’a, and further apart than the Iraqis and the American forces in Iraq, and all that separates us here from one another is the potential violence of the state. Last time that broke down it cost 600,000 American lives from a population roughly that of today’s Iraq.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
"Civil society" is never anything more than the conversion of kinetic violence into the potential violence of the state.
I disagree. There is considerable cultural influence.

For example, in the American frontier there was a definite civil society (movies and tv to the contrary) despite the limited state capability for violence. A good example is the very low rape rate in Gold Rush era California.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Martin McPhillips:
The Left and Right in this country are farther apart than the Sunni and the Shi’a
I’m not sure how you get that. Maybe there is a bigger ideological gap; but there is a much stronger cultural bond of American nationalism. In America, the national/civilizational identity still basically trumps all other identities (religious, ethnic, ideological, etc.) That isn’t the case yet in Iraq. (A sort of perverse reason for staying in Iraq - continued American presence, if unpopular, might help solidify a nascent Iraqi nationalism by giving them an "other" to disassociate from.)
 
Written By: James O
URL: http://
Don writes:
I disagree. There is considerable cultural influence.

For example, in the American frontier there was a definite civil society (movies and tv to the contrary) despite the limited state capability for violence. A good example is the very low rape rate in Gold Rush era California.
I don’t disagree with that, conceptually, especially about the cultural influence. I don’t have any detailed knowledge of the social history of the American frontier, but it would not strike me as odd that coming from a civil society individuals would partake in what amounted to unorganized militia that would serve to maintain the standards of civil society.

The cultural aspect of individual conduct would not be sufficient unto itself to prevent violent criminals from doing what they do, and there are sociopaths in every society. So, you would need to still bring the bad boys to justice and hang them as appropriate, and that can be accomplished without the institutional formalities of government.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
JamesO,

I interpret the division of Left and Right in America as now constituting an absolute divergence of world views. The two sides do not have even remotely similar views of the American aspect of Western civilization.

But it’s not a subject I like to discuss, and I’m sorry that I brought it up.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Well, when you hear all the stories about whatever wacky thing MoveOn or DailyKos or Kucinich/Reid/etc (i.e. the usual suspects) did/said lately, I can see how you’d get that perception; however, I cannot believe that the average US Democratic voter really goes along with all that claptrap they spew. If there is a total divergence of world views, I think it only exists between the elites/fringe elements of the parties; not with the ordinary citizenry. I just think there’s a little more civilizational common ground than you’re intimating, even if the far ends of the spectrum try to act otherwise.
 
Written By: James O
URL: http://
JamesO,

I see your point, but this goes considerably deeper than the opposing fringes.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
This story has to be false. According to the Daily Kos, over 1.2 million Iraqi civillians were killed by since the war began. That is nearly 5% of the entire Iraqi populaion, and more than 3 times the number of civillians killed in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the bombing of Dresdin, and the Firebombing of Tokyo combined! How can there be an empty morgue anywhere in the country?

It was a phone poll of 1461 people, so it must be true, and of course, mainstreaming this number won’t have any effect on terrorist propaganda, nor will it provide an impetus for revenge attacks on America for decades to come, even if we pull out of Iraq completely tomorrow.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
The cultural aspect of individual conduct would not be sufficient unto itself to prevent violent criminals from doing what they do, and there are sociopaths in every society. So, you would need to still bring the bad boys to justice and hang them as appropriate, and that can be accomplished without the institutional formalities of government.
Indeed, there are sociopaths in every society. However, even sociopaths are influenced by culture.

And the West was kind (in a sorta way) to sociopaths who restricted their violence to saloon shootings with other armed men. Contrary to the movies, no one seemed to care who drew first if the participants were both armed men who were not trying to avoid trouble.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I see the usuals haven’t landed here - nothing to defend I guess.
No doubt it would be bad form to imply Reuters is, um, practing as a collection of Rovian BushBot stooges.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Look, D*gn*bb*t, I clicked on comments because I thought Ollie would show up. I’ve had a tough day at work and I was just looking for a little comedic solace. But the Q&O Permalink, again (G*ld*rn*t!), doesn’t come through. I’m beginning to think Ollie sightings are sourced here by a "senior intelligence official" leaking to InterPress.
 
Written By: stevesh
URL: http://
Because a) Temporary gains due to an influx of U.S. military are clearly an indicator of the future of the occupation and b) Surely the media has been so on the ball with this war to date, what with carrying the water for the administration and all.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
b) Surely the media has been so on the ball with this war to date, what with carrying the water for the administration and all.
I read the left and run into this claim repeatedly but I always wonder why the left believes it. The media is, regrettably, forced to report what the President says, along with his staff and some prominent Republicans who support the war. But how this translates into "carrying water for the administration" I have no idea.

Most of the news in the mainstream media about Iraq focuses on American and Iraqi casualties, the problems of Iraq, plus Haditha, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, FISA, etc exposes or attempts at such, with frequent editorializing about how badly the war is going.

If the media is interested in carrying water for the administration they are doing a terrible job of it.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
That’s why they were very skeptical of the run-up to the war and have continually probed administration claims of progress since the war began, right?

Oh wait, they haven’t.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Oliver — The difference is that they have not probed these matters to your satisfaction—which judging by the number of front page stories on Abu Ghraib has no bottom.

How many stories of American heroism in Iraq or Iraqis welcoming Americans have you seen in the media? There have been plenty of both.

 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
The majority of media outlets (not the monolithic "The Media") reflected almost zero questioning of motives into why we were headed into Iraq in 2002 or 2003.

It was completely appropriate (though in hindsight perhaps not quite so much) that immediately following 9-11 there was little presentation of the critical views of America on pages and TV. I thought it was the right take. But a country and it’s fifth estate always need to question so it’s population can question back.

Subservience isn’t a welcome response in a mature country.

- Temple Stark
 
Written By: Temple Stark
URL: http://www.templestark.com

 
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