Grim Milestone: Violence in Iraq down 70%

…since June, apparently.

Violence in Iraq has dropped by 70 percent since the end of June, when U.S. forces completed their build-up of 30,000 extra troops to stabilize the war-torn country, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.

Washington began dispatching reinforcements to Iraq in February to try to buy Iraq’s feuding political leaders time to reach a political accommodation to end violence between majority Shi’ites and minority Sunni Arabs that has killed tens of thousands and forced millions from their homes.

While the leaders have failed to agree on key laws aimed at reconciling the country’s warring sects, the troop buildup has succeeded in quelling violence.

Under the plan, U.S. troops left their large bases and set up combat outposts in neighborhoods while launching a series of summer offensives against Sunni Islamist al Qaeda, other Sunni Arab militants and Shi’ite militias in the Baghdad beltway.

Interior Ministry spokesman Major-General Abdul-Karim Khalaf told reporters that there had been a 70 percent decrease in violence countrywide in the three months from July to September over the previous quarter.

Man that’s grim. That’s Phatty McGrim. So very grim, in fact, that I might even describe the news as Grimmy McGrimmerson and the Grims.

Good thing the news media finally picked it up and ran the stor-Buhhhwwwhat!! Oh wait – they didn’t:

Despite the announcement coming well before deadline yesterday — the Reuters article has a 1:01 pm ET timestamp — the major newspapers apparently didn’t consider the violence drop newsworthy today. The Los Angeles Times covers the National Assembly’s proposal to limit US military missions in Iraq. The New York Times reports on Kurdish terrorism in Iran. The Washington Post didn’t even bother to have a report on Iraq for its morning edition today.

Some might call this all a coincidence — that the three most influential newspapers in the US would all ignore the announcement of statistics that underscore the success of the American military in Iraq this year. Some might believe that all three had more important priorities than to note how well the new strategy and tactics adopted by General David Petraeus have worked in saving lives as well as defeating terrorists. Arguments will be made as to how these casualty declines don’t really matter, even though all three newspapers have had no trouble giving large headlines to casualty increases in the past.


The New York Times editorial ran this clever satire honest opinion:

Even Closer to the Brink – First line: “The news out of Iraq just keeps getting worse.

Grim: The state of American news media.

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