Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cup Half Empty Media

If you have read or watched any media report on the Iraq surge interim report, you would think that it is a complete failure. However, here are the benchmark facts after only ONE MONTH of the full surge troops being in place:

8 of the 18 benchmarks have made satisfactory progress:
  • Forming a Constitutional Review Committee and then completing the constitutional review.
  • Enacting and implementing legislation on procedures to form semiautonomous regions.
  • Establishing supporting political, media, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan.
  • Providing three trained and ready Iraqi brigades to support Baghdad operations.
  • Ensuring that the Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for outlaws, regardless of sectarian or political affiliation, as Bush says Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has pledged to do.
  • Establishing all of the planned joint security stations in neighborhoods across Baghdad.
  • Ensuring that the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature are protected.
  • Allocating and spending $10 billion in Iraqi revenues for reconstruction projects, including delivery of essential services, on an equitable basis.

2 of the 18 are too mixed to determine progress:

  • Enacting and implementing legislation addressing amnesty.
  • Enacting and implementing legislation establishing a strong militia disarmament program to ensure that such security forces are accountable only to the central government and loyal to the constitution of Iraq.

2 of the 18 are unsatisfactory but with some components of progress:

  • Reducing the level of sectarian violence in Iraq and eliminating militia control of local security.
  • Enacting and implementing legislation establishing an Independent High Electoral Commission, provincial elections law, provincial council authorities, and a date for provincial elections.

6 of the 18 are unsatisfactory

  • Enacting and implementing legislation on de-Baathification.
  • Enacting and implementing legislation to ensure the equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources of the people of Iraq without regard to the sect or ethnicity of recipients, and enacting and implementing legislation to ensure that the energy resources of Iraq benefit Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs, Kurds, and other Iraqi citizens in an equitable manner.
  • Providing Iraqi commanders with all authorities to execute this plan and to make tactical and operational decisions, in consultation with U.S commanders, without political intervention, to include the authority to pursue all extremists, including Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.
  • Ensuring that the Iraqi Security Forces are providing evenhanded enforcement of the law.
  • Increasing the number of Iraqi security forces units capable of operating independently.
  • Ensuring that Iraq's political authorities are not undermining or making false accusations against members of the Iraqi Security Forces.

Seems to me that shows progress on some level for 12 of the 18 in only one month of full surge. Not only is the cup not half empty, it is 2/3 full!


Little Miss Chatterbox said...

This has been so frustrating how the Drive By Media has spun this. Even Drudge didn't do a good job of conveying how much good news was in this. When Rush talked about it you would've thought he was talking about a completely different scenario.

I just don't get how the American Media can be for us losing.

Shannon W. said...

CT, now you're playing with numbers just like the other side is.

if 2 of 18 are too mixed to determine, it cannot fall in the progress category (yet anyways)

if 2 of 18 are only partially progressing, and cannot yet be determined *how* partially progressing they are, it cannot be counted either (just yet).

so saying 2/3 of the cup is full, or 12 of 18 is JUST as misleading as the report you detest.

you can only accurately and fully count 8 of the 18 as positive for now, so you cannot say that the cup is more than half full.

just calling you out on what you're calling others out on. ; )


Cajun Tiger said...

Shannon...I concede the point that it isn't exactly 2/3 so I did tecnically exaggerate that point to make a point, guess more accurate way could have been to say 2/3 of them have positive progress which is way better than even half full =)

skye said...


What this INTERIM reports reveals is progress is being made, and that our presence there is still acutely needed. When a baby falls during its first attempt to walk, do you declare the infant's attempt a failure or note that the baby is starting to stand on his/her own.

I wonder how our own continental congress would have meet such benchmarks?

Shannon W. said...

I'm not disagreeing with CT's original point; I'm just saying don't exaggerate your numbers or you'll be just like those you detest. Hold yourself to a higher standard, even if others don't, and avoid the temptation to stretch the numbers a bit to make your point. Say 'over 44% of the standards are being positively reached or worked at, with another 22% on the right path. Thus, about 2/3 of the measures are being addressed in at least some fashion.'

Shannon W. said...

and I do have to say, Skye, that your conclusion that we are still needed b/c progress is being made is a small jump. You're assuming that there is only way to stabilize that region and since we are at least partially successful in doing that currently, it means that we have found the one and only way, so let us keep working at. Many times, with many things, there is more than one correct path to an achievement.

so yes, we are doing some good over there and the media needs to lessen up some on the bashing, but we need to keep an open and humble mind and accept that there may be other options for the Iraqis to stabilize themselves and that a US military presence is not necessarily the ONLY option.

Some would argue that since the US military has been there since the beginning, we haven't even really seen what would happen if they were left on their own, b/c they haven't been on there own yet.

I'm not saying that we MUST pull out right now, I'm just saying that we should be careful in making absolutist, pride-filled comments that the USA is their only hope. We don't know; maybe we're just agitating the situation, and if we were gone, they would eventually smooth things out. The ethnicities of Iraq have been doing government since Babylonian times and even before. Maybe they know how to run their own country and they need us with our guns to step back from the volatile situation. We're holding a flame in a tinderbox room, and while it is helping the situation in shedding light in the area, we must also be careful we don't set off explosions.