Friday, November 9, 2007
Progress Or Metastisization?
By now the consensus is that things are going better in Iraq, and that all the major casualty figures are significantly down. Call me a cynic, but when I see the Iraqi government announcing that 46,000 Iraqi refugees returned home from Syria in the same week that the Iraqi Red Crescent announces that 67,000 Iraqi have fled their homes during the month of September, it makes me wonder. Even if both reports are correct, it still leaves a net outflow of refugees and suggests that the violence, like so many Iraqis, is just being internally displaced.
Most of the reassuring casualty reports I've seen have been sourced to the Iraqi government or the American military. Both have a vested interest in showing progress. Even assuming civilian sectarian killings are down, if you take a glance at the weekly summaries of recent incidents over at Iraq Body Count, you'll notice how many Iraqi police (read: militia members) are being targetted.
To my mind, taken together all this certainly reflects a significant change in what's going on over there. But I'm not so sure that's progress.