Once again Paul Krugman nails it. Bush and his latest sycophant, Gen. David Petraeus, are telling more lies. Next week Petraeus will lie through his pearly whites to Congress and the American public. He might fall short of Bush’s claim that we are "kicking ass," but he will certainly tell us that things are getting better. But as Krugman notes, this will be a lie!
First, no independent assessment has concluded that violence in Iraq is down. On the contrary, estimates based on morgue, hospital and police records suggest that the daily number of civilian deaths is almost twice its average pace from last year. And a recent assessment by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office found no decline in the average number of daily attacks.
So how can the military be claiming otherwise? Apparently, the Pentagon has a double super secret formula that it uses to distinguish sectarian killings (bad) from other deaths (not important); according to press reports, all deaths from car bombs are excluded, and one intelligence analyst told The Washington Post that "if a bullet went through the back of the head, it’s sectarian. If it went through the front, it’s criminal." So the number of dead is down, as long as you only count certain kinds of dead people.
Unfortunately, the spineless Democrats will not call him on it. Krugman is correct when he says
Democrats will look at Gen. Petraeus’s uniform and medals and fall into their usual cringe. They won’t ask hard questions out of fear that someone might accuse them of attacking the military. After the testimony, they’ll desperately try to get Republicans to agree to a resolution that politely asks President Bush to maybe, possibly, withdraw some troops, if he feels like it.
I’m starting to wonder who is worse, the liars or the enablers.