Friday, December 08, 2006

More discrepancies minimalised

According to this story, George W. Bush was challenged by a reporter when the President described the soaring violence in Iraq merely as “unsettling”.

“It’s bad in Iraq,” Mr Bush corrected himself.

How bad? Disastrously bad? No, according to the President, the situation is merely disappointingly bad.

“I thought we would succeed quicker than we did,” he offered. “And I am disappointed by the pace of success.”

See, folks. Iraq is not a disaster. Rather, it’s a success waiting to happen, albeit hampered by a disappointing pace of success.

Many will agree with Mr Bush that, all things considered, this is a somewhat disappointing outcome of the Bush administration’s response to the unsettling events of September 11 2001.

Goat Friday


“Ma-a-a and Kid”

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Iraq Study Group observes ‘discrepancy minimisation’

From the Iraq Study Group Report:

In addition, there is significant under-reporting of the violence in Iraq. The standard for recording attacks acts as a filter to keep events out of reports and databases. A murder of an Iraqi is not necessarily counted as an attack. If we cannot determine the source of a sectarian attack, that assault does not make it into the database. A roadside bomb or a rocket or mortar attack that doesn’t hurt U.S. personnel doesn’t count. For example, on one day in July 2006 there were 93 attacks or significant acts of violence reported. Yet a careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light 1,100 acts of violence. Good policy is difficult to make when information is systematically collected in a way that minimizes its discrepancy with policy goals.

Just a thought, but that observed tendency to discrepancy minimisation may help illuminate why President Bush rejected as “not credible” the recent Johns Hopkins/Lancet study of mortality in Iraq.