The new biography of George W. Bush is titled “Dead Certain.” Today we get a cheery headline from the Pentagon, “Combat Deaths in Iraq Decline,” which should be called “Dead Wrong.”
Not only is the conclusion faulty, but the numbers themselves have been doctored. Using as its source iCasualties.org, the report says about fatalties that “by June, the number fell to 93, then to 66 in July and to 57 in August.” But the figures on the web site are 101, 79 and 81 respectively.
For those months a year earlier, the numbers were 61, 43 and 65. The only “decline” seems to be in the veracity of the people trying to make a case that the Surge is saving American lives.
Those numbers, right or wrong, represent young men and women with grieving families who will not find comfort in any statistics about this endless mayhem. But the least they, and we, should be able to expect is the simple truth of how many there are.
Today the President is in Anbar, saluting the “remarkable turnaround” there. The only turnaround worth hailing would be that of our troops starting to leave.
For more on this subject, see this.