May 31 2008

May 2008 One Of Top Two Least Violent Months Of The Entire Iraq War

Update: Civilian deaths in Iraq also plummeted by 50% since one month ago as well:

At least 522 Iraqi civilians and security troopers were killed during the month, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press from Iraqi police and military reports. That’s down sharply from April’s figure of 1,080 and the lowest monthly total this year, according to the AP count.

More here where we learn the civilian casualty rate is the lowest since December 2005. Somehow the claims we are defeated in Iraq sound more and more hollow, more and more desperate, more and more delusional.

Update: It’s official, May 2008 was the lowest month for US fatalities for the entire Iraq War (per Gateway Pundit)

 

null 

End Update

May 2008 is going to go down in the history books as one of the two least violent months in the entire Iraq war – an amazing result given the fact this month has seen major offenses against al-Qaeda and the Mahdi Army across Iraq:

So far this month, 20 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq.

If that number holds through today, May will have the lowest death toll since February 2004, two months before U.S. forces launched a major offensive against Sunni insurgents in Fallujah.

Statistics compiled by the U.S. military show that Iraq troop deaths also are falling, dropping to about 100 through May 24, compared with a peak of about 320 this past July.

That decline is particularly surprising because this month, Iraqi forces swept through the southern port city of Basra, the Sadr City section of Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul.

The role of U.S. soldiers also has begun changing.

In parts of Iraq, soldiers said they feel more like peacekeepers than war fighters.

Indeed, as their Iraqi counterparts lead offensives, U.S. soldiers increasingly are supporting them with logistics by patrolling nearby neighborhoods or training new units.

Just last month in April we saw a spike in violence, making April the deadliest month in 7 months (H/T Gateway Pundit):

 

null 

The fact that both US and Iraqi fatalities are dropping during this period is quite telling. And the fact that we see a 57+% drop in violence in one month, to a 4 year low, is also very telling. It indicates that our enemies are about spent, that there is little punch left in them. Typically when we engage the enemy casualties rise – apparently not this month.

It seems we had to get through this last challenge from the Mahdi Army to finally get on the path to victory in Iraq. My bet is violence in Iraq will remain low throughout the summer, primarily because Iraq is preparing for its own national elections this fall and security is what is going to win votes, not who kills the most fellow Muslims (as has been the way of the Islamo Fascist).

The horror stories of how life was under Islamo Fascist rule continues to echo throughout the country, and that is causing the political backlash against exremists. While the Mahdi were not as brutal as their al-Qaeda cousins, any distinction in their depravity is of little consequence. They oppressed, harassed, raped and killed their fellow Muslims in the name of Allah. It was the exposing of this incarnate brutality of the Islamo Fascists which turned the tide in Iraq and defeated the Fascists. It is something no political party can afford to be tied to right now – which is why the Sadrists sued for peace and gave up the Mahdi Army.

A little trip down memory lane regarding the Iraq War is in order. I plan a longer post to review how things transpired from near defeat to near complete victory, but here are some interesting perspectives from months past.

Back in May of 2007 I noted we were seeing the war for the heart of Islam that we needed to see in order to achieve victory. We were seeing Iraqis fight for their own future, throwing off the jackboot of al-Qaeda and siding with America. While it took longer to play out than I anticipated (I have zero access to military data, just highly biased and inaccurate media reports to sift through) it was clear back then that a fundamental change had taken place. One destined to shape the outcome as Iraqi Muslims took up arms against al-Qaeda Muslim fanatics.

If we focus on what is happening in Iraq we see signs that there has been a fundamental shift with Iraqis shunning both al Qaeda and Iranian intervention. The civil war we wanted is here with the Muslim street rising up against Islamo Fascism. Michael Yon reports back from Iraq, after being pessimistic for months, that success is now very possible thanks to the change in allegiance coming from the local Sunni Sheiks. And there is now also a conflict within the Shiia community in Iraq to push back on the Iranians:

In September 2007 I was able to see some real data as General Petraeus reported to Congress on the enormous progress The Surge had achieved in a few short months. The main thrust of this post was how political momentum was going to impact Iraq’s violence levels. Was Iraq following the trends in violence in Anbar Province where the Surge and Awakening first succeeded? Looking at the curves over time for Anbar I made some predictions for Iraq in general:

I want to skip to slide 8, page number 7 to first focus on the Anbar results, to see the model we hope will be reflected across Iraq. These are not projections, this is what happened in Anbar. In Jun 06 the monthly attack rate was above 800 per month. By Oct 06 the al-Qaeda bloodletting peaked at just under 1400 per month. These are attacks – not deaths, but the deaths and injuries will clearly track with the number of attacks. Then we see the shift in alliance occur and by Feb 07 the attacks dropped down to a little over 1100. So the momentum had shifted at this point. And then another factor took over: acceleration. As the tide turned against al-Qaeda the number of attacks in Anbar started to drop off even faster. By Aug 07 the number of attacks in Anbar were down to 200 per month. Anbar is a large and highly populated Province, so 200 per month is a pretty low level and it is one quarter the level from Jun 2006.

If Anbar truly is the model for The Surge, then we will see in the regions just now feeling the impact of The Surge a slow drop off, followed by a huge acceleration in peace as al-Qaeda is taken down and shunned by the locals (with the US providing them the security and back up to take on the viscous thugs of Bin Laden).

Anbar appears to be ahead of the rest of trouble spots in terms of driving to success, so we should see the same kind of explosion of change (to varying degrees of course).

The stories above make clear the momentum has shifted towards success. And the data shows we may soon be accelerating towards it as al-Qaeda collapses because the Muslim Street has risen up against it.

I think we have passed that tipping point already. But the next 3-6 months will tell for sure. If the violence continues to evaporate, and the government can pull off some key compromise legislation, al-Qaeda will have been defeated and a democratic Iraq will finally stand up to fight al-Qaeda along side us.

This is exactly what happened, albeit a taking a bit longer than I had guessed. But the trend lines across Iraq did follow the Anbar model. There was a slow drop off in the late fall which accelerated into the winter time frame. This year we saw al-Qaeda’s last effort to fight back – their wimpy attempt at executing a “The Battle of The Bulge” like the Nazis tried at the end of WW II. The al-Qaeda last gasp was much less impressive. There was a brief uptick as the Islamo Fascists spent their last efforts. But now we are back on the path to extremely low levels of violence.

Now we find ourselves 8 months since those predictions of mine facing a reality that is much more in line with those predictions than those of the lunatic left:

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi challenged the president over Iraq by sending him a letter, ahead of a White House meeting later on Wednesday.

“As many had foreseen, the escalation has failed to produce the intended results,” the two leaders wrote.

“The increase in US forces has had little impact in curbing the violence or fostering political reconciliation.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi today sent the following letter to President Bush urging him to reject his reported plan to escalate the war in Iraq by increasing troop levels and delaying the ability of the Iraqi government take control of their own future.

Note to General’s Reid and Pelosi: Not only did The Surge drastically reduce the violence and bring security to nearly all of the country, the Iraqis have stood up and taken control of their own future as their recent, on-ongoing efforts in Basra, Sadr City and Mosul have clearly indicated.

Credibility is everything when it comes to national security. Who would you trust with the lives of your loved ones? Those who predicted defeat and where wrong, or those who worked the challenges, rose to the occasion and created victory while changing al-Qaeda from the future of Islam into the enemy of Islam? Both the liberal wingnuts and I are on record with our predictions – and history has determined who had the proper foresight. Only by lying to America can liberals pretend to not have been proven so devastatingly wrong.

11 responses so far

11 Responses to “May 2008 One Of Top Two Least Violent Months Of The Entire Iraq War”

  1. Boghie says:

    AJ,

    Taken together, April and May 2008 was significantly more peaceful in Iraq than any of the years preceding. April and May seem to be the Spring Offensive season for Islamic Terrorists in the region.
    2008: 73 fatalities
    2007: 248 fatalities
    2006: 161 fatalities
    2005: 140 fatalities
    2004: 224 fatalities

    Now, let us look at the first five month totals for the last five years:
    2008: 183 fatalities
    2007: 501 fatalities
    2006: 316 fatalities
    2005: 366 fatalities
    2004: 351 fatalities

    So, the first five month total of Islamic murders against Coalition troops is < 50% of the average and shrinking.

    Folks, the last two months were when the Islamists wanted to make their point. To get you libs to see the omnipotence of the firepower of doom. To make you tremble as Sauron’s eye gazes your way. This was their best effort.

    And, then the Shiite moronothoners capitulated.
    Why??? Look at this:
    2008: 465,662
    2007: 348,700
    2006: 265,600
    2005: 168,227
    2004: 135,712

    Those are the number of Iraqi forces brought to bear against the Islamist terrorists and militias.

    Finally, another set of numbers:
    2008: 159,907
    2007: 161,812
    2006: 152,000
    2005: 161,000
    2004: 162,000

    Those are the numbers of coalition troops in Iraq. Libs, our surge succeeded. We are now below surge numbers and shrinking.

    And finally, fuel available for internal (Iraqi citizens) has grown dramatically as well as crude oil for export. We are talking about increased production of ½ million barrels per day.

    What do these trends portend by, lets say, November 2008?
    My guess:
    At most 180 additional coalition fatalities
    145,000 coalition troops in Iraq.
    Another ½ million barrels of oil on the market.

    Sorry about the long comment.

  2. AJStrata says:

    Boghie,

    Do you have this data linked somewhere? I would love to reference it in an upcoming post.

    AJStrata

  3. robert verdi says:

    Boghie,
    Well said, I would add the amount of Iraqis who voted allowing the creation of a majoritarian government. This allowed what could have been an occupation transform into a partnership. Its not an accident the French Foreign minister visited Iraq yesterday. Politicans are starting to realize Iraq wil be a pivotal player in the middle east and a superb counterbalance to the oil soked tyrannies around it.

  4. Terrye says:

    Four of those 20 died in noncombat related incidents. In fact one of them died in Chicago on leave, but they still considered him in these numbers.

  5. Terrye says:

    Too bad we can’t do have more success with Hezbellah.

  6. Boghie says:

    AJ,

    For the casualty stats there is no better resource than:

    Iraq Coalition Casualties

    For the military force stats (both Iraqi and Coalition), oil and energy production, population transfers and the rest there is no better resource than:

    The Brookings Institute Iraq Index.

    I think there most recent report is always at:
    Iraq Index

    —————–

    On topic, but kinda different…

    All the Libs have been figuring out how we surrender when we lose. They think pulling out is all that has to be done. That the militant Islamists will not continue their struggle. No signing ceremonies in a torture house or any ceremonial head chopping in some city square in Mecca will be needed, but…

    … with the long term trends being what they are, we have to ask ourselves where and how does the militant Islamist movement surrender?

    This is not a snarky question. We civilized people have no desire to kill or destroy.

    Who is the guarantor that militant Islam will cease hostilities toward America, Iraq, Israel, and the West in general?

    Has President Bush again led the way?

    Lawrence Wright, in an interview with Hugh Hewitt, mentioned that the two centers of Islam are Egypt and Iraq. Allowing the civilized element of Iraq to flourish and dominate may prove to re-center Islam to Iraq – the strong horse. A different, but civilized, people and culture – one not wedded to jihad, expansion, and murder.

    Pray, hope…

    I would love to go to Iraq as a tourist. Istanbul was stunning. Baghdad would be amazing. Babylon anyone. Nineveh. To see the cradle of civilization…

  7. Terrye says:

    Lorie Byrd had an interesting point:

    Victor Davis Hanson recently wrote: “The successful toppling of Saddam was followed in short order by the shutdown of Dr. Khan’s atomic shop, the surrender of WMDs by the Libyans, and the supposed sidetracking of the Iranian nuclear bomb program (at least according to the National Intelligence Estimate) — and yet no one thought the timing of all these events was odd (even when Ghaddafi himself reportedly connected his decision to abandon a weapons of mass destruction program to Saddam’s fate).”

    Perhaps one of the most convincing reports of America’s success against al Qaeda comes from those in the terrorist organization themselves – a topic of discussion for several years now on Islamic terrorist web sites. StrategyPage.com reports the primary cause is believed to be “Moslems killed as a side effect of attacks on infidel troops, Iraqi security forces and non-Sunnis.”

    The same report goes on to describe how the surge appears to have achieved great success in the battle against al Qaeda in Iraq. “When al Qaeda could not, in 2007, exercise any real control over the parts of Iraq they claimed as part of the new Islamic State, it was the last straw. The key supporters, battered by increasingly effective American and Iraqi attacks, dropped their support for al Qaeda, and the terrorist organization got stomped to bits by the ‘surge offensive’ of last year.”

    For presidential candidates to say now, knowing what is known five years later, with 20/20 hindsight, what decision they would have made regarding the threat posed by Saddam Hussein is irrelevant. Only what the candidate would have done knowing what was known then is any indication of what they might do in the future. The candidate who becomes president will not have a crystal ball and will have to make decisions knowing only the information available in the past and present.

  8. [...] execution of the war has been stupendous since General Petraeus leveraged the growing Sunni split with the barbaric al-Qaeda (The Awakening) [...]

  9. Boghie says:

    AJ,

    I think the funniest chart one could photoshop would be of:

    Al Gore standing with a pointer in front of the Iraq casualty chart.

    Global Baloney Warming goes up exponentially.

    Violence in Iraq trends down exponentially.

    It would be gloriously funny.

  10. DubiousD says:

    AJ:

    iCasualties reports 480 Iraqis killed in May 2008, as opposed to the AP’s tally of 522.

    http://icasualties.org/oif/

    Note that although 19 US KIA have been reported thus far for May 2008, the DoD has yet confirm 1 additional death. That would make 20, tying May 2008 for the lowest month of US casualties.

    The good news is that, even counting that one additional unconfirmed death, May 2008 still had the lowest overall military casualty rate since the start of the war. Here’s why: this past month, 2 non-US Coalition soldiers were killed in addition to our own. That makes 22 total Coalition KIA (again, assuming the DoD confirms that one remaining American death.)

    Back in Feb 2004, 20 US soldiers were KIA + 1 British solder + 2 other Coalition soldiers. That makes 23 overall, one more than this month.

  11. AJ: Do you see how dishonest the media is being on this casualty count?

    They DO NOT want to print the headlines “lowest casualty count since the war began”, which it is, because only 19 US forces have been killed/died in Iraq.

    I know, I have tracked this literally every day, since the war began, and have my own Excel spreadsheet on it.

    No, the media is reporting “21″ KIA’s in Iraq, so they can report “one of the lowest months”, but NOT the “lowest” ever.

    Because, if you to to iCasulaties, and look up the month of May 2008, you’ll see that only 19 US service members have been killed, which would qualify it as the LOWEST since the war began.

    The media knows this, they’re misreporting the number on purpose, which they’ve never done before, they are including 2 KIA’s from the Republic of Georgia, that were killed in Diyala Province at the beginning of the month of May; that’s how they are deriving their “21″ number of killed in Iraq this month; it’s NOT “21″ US Fatalities, it’s “21″ coalition fatalaties.

    I know they know this, they have not in the past misprepresented the combined number, but they have now, for the first time ever, so that there is no “credit” for the lowest casualty figure ever!

    Check it out yourself!