Wednesday, September 06, 2006


On August 30, 2006, ABC News reported:
The security clampdown in Baghdad may be working, as August brought violent deaths to their lowest level this year.

The Baghdad morgue reports 360 deaths compared with 995 a year ago, and much lower than in previous months (more than 1,000 deaths were reported on average from January through July). July was particularly violent, with 1,855 deaths.

On September 6, 2006, ABC News reported:
It turns out the official toll of violent deaths in August was just revised upwards to 1535 from 550, tripling the total. Now, we’re depressingly used to hearing about deaths here, so much so that the numbers can be numbing. But this means that a much-publicized drop-off in violence in August – heralded by both the Iraqi government and the US military as a sign that a new security effort in Baghdad was working -- apparently didn’t exist.

Operation Together Forward, the main thrust of the new strategy, involves establishing pockets of security in select neighborhoods and then slowly adding more. These latest numbers add substance to fears Together Forward creates a whack-a-mole effect: that is, secure one area and the violence will pop up somewhere else. Violent deaths now appear roughly in line with the earlier trend: 1855 in July and 1595 in June.


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