The Corner

Woodward Misleads

Tonight on 60 Minutes  Woodward is going to argue that the administration has been misleading the American people by claiming things are getting better in Iraq, while in fact they are getting worse.

He cites a “Secret” chart showing that attacks have reached almost 900 per week in Iraq, which Woodward says are attacks “against our troops.”  This is misleading on several counts.  First, this blockbuster “secret” information is in fact continually updated and systematically released by the Defense Department in the high-profile quarterly Report on Stability and Progress in Iraq.  ( See p. 31).

Even worse, Woodward implies that the attacks he’s talking about are attacks are ”against our trooops.”  But they are not.  As the Report explains (again, P.31):

For this report, the term “attacks” refers to specific incidents reported in the Multi-National Corps-Iraq (MNC-I) Significant Activities database. It includes known attacks on Coalition forces, the ISF, the civilian population, and infrastructure.

And in fact, as the following page shows, attacks against Coalition forces have dropped since the summer of 2004, while casualties of Iraqi Security Forces have increased dramatically as ISF have moved to take main responsibility for providing security in the country  ( p.32).  Also the attacks remain confined mostly to one out of 18 provinces (Anbar) and Baghdad, while the vast majority of the country —  14 out of 18 provinces — has remained peaceful and largely secure.  In light of these factors, ongoing progress in the political realm is bad news for the insurgency.  Why?  Because insurgencies fighting a domestic government eventually lose if they cannot win.

Meanwhile, the very statistic Woodward cites in support for his proposition shows that his proposition is fallacious, which I’m sure will prove to be the case with much of his latest Potpourri-of-Beltway-Gossip-Posing-as-a-Book. 

Mario Loyola — Contributing editor Mario Loyola is senior fellow and Director of the Center for Competitive Federalism at the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. He began his career in corporate ...

Most Popular

PC Culture

Warren Is a Fraud

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has been telling a story for years. It’s a deeply romantic story about her parents and their young love, fraught with the familial bigotry of an earlier time. Here’s how she told it this week in a video she released in preparation for her 2020 run: My daddy always said he ... Read More
U.S.

Two Minnesota Republican Candidates Assaulted

Two Republican candidates for state office in Minnesota have been physically assaulted in recent days, leading prominent Republican lawmakers to caution their Democratic colleagues against employing inflammatory rhetoric. Republican state representative Sarah Anderson was punched in the arm last week after ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Origins of Progressive Agony

What has transformed the Democratic party into an anguished progressive movement that incorporates the tactics of the street, embraces maenadism, reverts to Sixties carnival barking, and is radicalized by a new young socialist movement? Even party chairman Tom Perez concedes that there are “no moderate ... Read More
Elections

How Will the Senate Races Break?

How will the Senate races break? We have less public polling to go on than in recent years, so answering that question is harder than ever. But the news is more optimistic for Republicans than it was a month ago.   Waves and Breakers Four years ago, I projected in mid September that if “historical ... Read More