Glenn Reynolds, Nov 21:
IRAQ: “So far this month, the civilian casualty count is well below the casualty count in October and below the six-month average. The security force casualties reduced 21 percent over the past four weeks, and are at the lowest level in 25 weeks, he said.”
Associated Press, Nov 20
Gunmen shot and killed a television comedian Monday who was famous for mocking everyone from the Iraqi government to U.S. forces to Shiite militias to Sunni insurgents.
Walid Hassan’s slaying came as the Iraqi death toll rose to more than 1,300 for the first 20 days of November – the highest for any month since The Associated Press began tracking the figure in April 2005. …
The Iraqi death toll this month is already well above the 1,216 who died in all of October, which had been the deadliest month in Iraq since the AP began its count.
The actual totals are likely considerably higher because many deaths are not reported. Victims in those cases are quickly buried according to Muslim custom and never reach morgues or hospitals to be counted.
Hmmm, who to believe? If you follow the links, you’ll find that Reynold’s source is a coalition spokesman, Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell. Caldwell says that casualties are down but oddly enough doesn’t tell us how many there were. Good thing this wasn’t published in a scientific journal with a detailed methodology and confidence intervals and stuff because then Reynolds would not have believed it.
And since when has the coalition been doing body counts?
Update: Reynolds added this:
UPDATE: The U.N., on the other hand, says that civilian casualties are up In this, as in most things, I’m not inclined to trust the U.N. But your views may differ.
I rest my case.