(see, e.g., here, and also here.)
Now others are noticing. From Think Progress:
Boot: Both Decrease And Increase In Troop Deaths Prove The Surge Is SuccessJust two days ago, however, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Boot argued that the recent increase in U.S. troop casualties showed the surge was working. Acknowledging that April was the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Iraq since August (Boot says 52 soldiers died; in fact 54 did), Boot says the U.S. is approaching “the enemy’s defeat“:
Today, in an online debate on the surge, Boot points to the overall decrease in troop deaths as evidence of its success:I could cite statistics to show how the “surge”—not only an increase in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq but also a change in their strategy to emphasis[sic] classic counterinsurgency—has been paying off: Civilian deaths were down more than 80 percent and U.S. deaths down more than 60 percent between December 2006 and March 2008.
More important, casualties cannot be looked at in a vacuum. A spike in casualties could be a sign that the enemy is gaining strength. Or it could be a sign that tough combat is under way that will lead to the enemy’s defeat and the creation of a more peaceful environment in the future. The latter was certainly the case with the casualty spike during the summer of 2007. … Unfortunate as the latest deaths are, they are in all likelihood a sign of things getting worse before they get better.... In other words: Heads I win, tails you lose.Increased attacks? The insurgency is in its "last throes." Decreased attacks? The insurgency is in its "last throes."
No matter the evidence, the conclusion is always the same: Iraq is just peachy.
This meme ought be picked up by MSM - it's rather damning. If any and all evidence can be used to support the "Iraq is just peachy" narrative, it's pretty clear the "Iraq is just peachy" narrative is assumed as an axiom, with an a priori truth-value of "true". It is not a conclusion based on logic or analysis - rather, it precedes logical argument. "Evidence" is interpreted so as to be consistent with the a priori truth of the axiom, "Iraq is just peachy." The question, "what evidence would indicate that Iraq is not just peachy?" has no meaning: as an axiom, it cannot be falsified within the logical system that accepts it as an axiom.
Mapping this particular logical system to the real world, on the other hand, presents difficulties. "Iraq is just peachy" - while unimpeachable as an axiom of the neocons' logical system - is NOT consistent with what most of us regard as "reality." (In the same way, Euclid's famous Parallel Postulate is not consistent with spherical geometry.)
Said much more simply: if any and all evidence supports the conclusion, "Iraq is just peachy", then "Iraq is just peachy" no longer describes the world, but is simply a fairy tale.
Stop the madness!