Monday, June 11, 2007

Beyond Paris Hilton and Tony Soprano

She’s in jail, he’s gone, the weekend’s over, but the war in Iraq goes on and people keep dying.

In dry, actuarial terms, this week’s Time tells it all:

“According to figures compiled by the Brookings Institution at the end of May, the number of sectarian murders, carried out mainly by Shi'ite death squads against Sunnis, has risen noticeably in recent weeks after a drop-off that began in the latter part of February. Sectarian deaths are often described as ‘extra-judicial killings’ (EJKs) and involve the abduction, torture and murder of the victim, with the body usually left on the street.

“In May...there were roughly 700 EJKs across Baghdad. While still lower than the pre-surge figure of 800 in February, that's a substantial increase from the estimated 500 in each of March and April, the first two months of the surge.

“So far in June, about 20 bodies have appeared on the streets of Baghdad a day; at that rate, at least 600 murder victims will surface in Baghdad by the end of June. Meanwhile, the number of bombings targeting civilians in Baghdad, the chief tactic of Sunni extremists out to kill masses of Shi'ites, has remained roughly the same since the surge began, at about 50 per month.”

Our own people keep dying at a slower rate, but we are past 3500 now and counting. While those talking heads in Washington give us more words, that will be the reality.

Paris Hilton had what for breakfast?

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