Sunday, May 13, 2007

Beware! Spinmeisters!

Here's a quote from The Los Angeles Times, Iraq's Interior Ministry said 234 people — men whose bodies were found throughout the capital — died at the hands of death squads in the first 11 days of May, compared with 137 in the same period of April. The tally so far for May is more than half the total for all of April, when 440 bodies were found. That was a decline from previous months.

Calling the increase "very minimal," U.S. military spokesman Army Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV said that "there has been a slight uptick, and we're obviously very concerned about it."

Notice the spin: Caldwell says "slight uptick." The Iraqi interior ministry says 237 in 11 days, which, when compared to 137 in the first 11 days in April, somehow becomes a "slight" increase (not to get into the difference between uptick and increase--"uptick" sounds less important than "increase," doesn't it? Hmm. Ask the dead.).

Is the surge working? Is Mr. Bush ever going to shift from a military posture to an ideological posture in the Iraqi battlefield?

Trust but verify.

Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan.

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