Thursday, August 24, 2006

Iraq: Doin' super!

From InstaPundit, this is just remarkable:

I don't recall Bush ever saying that Iraq would be a "day at the beach," and in fact casualties to date are considerably lower than what was generally expected for the ground war to Baghdad, where you generally heard figures in the 10,000 range. It's more the duration, and the extent of the bad press, that has exceeded expectations...

Yes, that's right, Iraq is taking just a wee bit longer than we thought to become paradise on earth. And it's probably all the press's fault anyway if it's not. Other than that, things have been going great!

What a laughable lightweight.

UPDATE: As a counterpoint to these trenchant observations from the ever-shrinking ranks of Happy Iraqers, we offer this piece by the Washington Post and highlight this telltale passage:

While still committed to the venture, [Bush] officials have privately told friends and associates outside government that they have grown discouraged in recent months. Even the death of al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq proved not to be the turning point they expected, they have told associates, and other developments have been relentlessly dispiriting, with fewer signs of hope.

Bush acknowledged this week that he has been discouraged as well. "Frustrated?" he asked. "Sometimes I'm frustrated. Rarely surprised. Sometimes I'm happy. This is -- but war is not a time of joy. These aren't joyous times. These are challenging times and they're difficult times and they're straining the psyche of our country."

But why should they be discouraged? Only 3,000 Americans have died in Freedomland. That's really not that much, especially when your perspective on the war is from behind a keyboard.

LATER: Just wanted to fact-check that 10,000 number that Prof. Reynolds threw out there. Sure enough, it came out of thin air. Check any news database, transcripts of news shows, the great Google-ometer. No one, nowhere was predicting 10,000 casualties from the ground war alone.

In fact, take a look at this study by The Brookings Institute, conducted before the war, which took into account news reports and previous estimates from Gulf War I. It predicted anywhere between 100 to 5,000 deaths (a pretty wide range), but it also noted that the high range figures "appear relatively unlikely to occur."

And here's an article in The Boston Globe, published a month before the war, noting that few were making predictions about casualties. It did note, however, that the Pentagon had ordered 7,000 body bags (in addition to about 8,000 on back-order).

Maybe the Professor can provide a cite or two for his 10,000 figure. Otherwise, he should take a bow for slaying yet another Strawmonster.

MUCH LATER: Here's a study from Barry Posen in 1990 (for Gulf War I) that cited a New York Times article quoting sources in the Pentagon saying that 10- 20,000 troops could die. Perhaps that's what he was thinking about.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:50 AM

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