So what happened to that Iraqi civil war? Apparently the factions all took up a life of crime.
On Sept. 1, the bullet-riddled bodies of four Iraqi men were found on a Baghdad street. Two days later, a single dead man, with one bullet in his head, was found on a different street. According to the U.S. military in Iraq, the solitary man was a victim of sectarian violence. The first four were not.
Such determinations are the building blocks for what the Bush administration has declared a downward trend in sectarian deaths and a sign that its war strategy is working. They are made by a specialized team of soldiers who spend their nights at computer terminals, sifting through data on the day’s civilian victims for clues to the motivations of killers.
The soldiers have a manual telling them what to look for. Signs of torture or a single shot to the head, corpses left in a “known body dump” — as the body of the Sunni man found on Sept. 3 was — spell sectarian violence, said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Dan Macomber, the team leader. Macomber, who has been at his job in Baghdad since February, rarely has to look it up anymore.
“If you were just a criminal and you just wanted to take somebody’s money, just wanted to discipline them, you’re not going to take the time to bind them up, burn their bodies, cut their arms off, cut their head off,” he explained. “You’re just going to shoot them in the body and get it over with.” That, the team judged, is what happened to the four Shiite men, sprayed with gunfire and left where they dropped.
Drive-by AK47 robberies – just like Detroit!
If I wanted to give this silly exercise the benefit of the doubt I would ask whether anybody bothers to check whether the bullet riddled “crime victims” still have their wallets. But let’s get real. The idea that a FOB computer ranger can divine the motives behind a killing based on an Excel spreadsheet is simply ludicrous. It took these people years to grasp the difference between Shiite and Sunni. Like so many that have come before, this story just lays bare the fundamental dishonesty of general Petraeus’s slick, hyper stage managed sales job.
But hey, thumbing the casualty counts only seems fitting for a war sold on the basis of slick, hyper-stage managed, consciously dishonest sales jobs. Or have we found those WMDs yet? No? Looks like Petraeus fits right in.