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Thursday, September 07, 2006


no dropoff in Baghdad deaths

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, September 07, 2006 permalink View blog reactions
The much-heralded August drop off in deaths, as reported by the Baghdad morgue, was used to paint the results of Operation Forward Together as a success. The numbers were just revised upward by the Ministry of Health, however - tripled.


It turns out the official toll of violent deaths in August was just revised upwards to 1535 from 550, tripling the total.
Violent deaths now appear roughly in line with the earlier trend: 1855 in July and 1595 in June. Officials at the Baghdad morgue have no good explanation for the dramatically revised number. We'll see what the U.S. military has to say.

more detail from IHT.

Baghdad recorded more than 1,500 violent deaths in August, according to final figures released this week by the Health Ministry. The final count was roughly the same as the figure the ministry released for July, before the U.S.-led security crackdown began in the Baghdad area.

The final figure was also nearly three times the preliminary count released by the same ministry last week.

If accurate, the final figures cast doubt on U.S. and Iraqi claims of a significant reduction in the level of violence here since the crackdown was launched Aug. 7.

Nevertheless, U.S. officials were sticking by that claim Thursday.

Asked about the latest Iraqi figures, U.S. spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Johnson referred The Associated Press to a statement on a U.S. military Web site which said the murder rate in Baghdad dropped 52 percent from the daily rate for July.

"The violence Baghdad endured in July receded during the month of August," the Web statement added. "Attacks in Baghdad were well below the monthly average for July."

Iraqi officials could provide no explanation for the difference between the preliminary and final August figures. But it could have resulted in part from a late August surge in deaths.

More than 250 people were killed in Baghdad in the final week of the month.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.