The number of Iraqi civilians killed fell from at least 1,023 in September to at least 875 in October, according to the AP count.
That’s the lowest monthly toll for civilian casualties in the past year, and is down sharply from the 1,216 recorded in October 2006. The numbers are based on daily reports from police, hospital officials, morgue workers and verifiable witness accounts. . . .
The drop in deaths among U.S. military personnel in Iraq was even more striking, according to AP’s records—down from 65 in September to at least 36 in October. The October figure is by far the lowest in the last year, and is sharply lower than the 106 deaths recorded in October 2006.
…except that the media isn’t quite sure what it all means yet:
…the meaning of these statistics is disputed, and experts generally agree that the struggle for security and stability is far from over. . . .
The relative period of calm—if that’s what it is—came during the Muslim fast of Ramadan, a time when militants have in the past escalated their attacks on U.S. forces.
The funny thing is that when violence in Iraq is escalating, the journalists always know what it is and the meaning is never disputed. When violence is escalating, they call it “civil war” and imply that it means the war in Iraq is a failure. Like this report from November 2006:
As the sectarian violence in Iraq escalates into what the US media is now calling a civil war, Mr Bush said he would press Mr Maliki to develop a strategy to stop the killings.
Escalating violence = civil war
Decreasing violence = confused journalists
But don’t you ever accuse these brave and courageous journalists of not being objective.