Thursday, May 11, 2006

Instapundit, Power Line, and other right-wing blogs have been linking to "Iraq Index Shows Progress Being Made," a post from Bill Crawford at All Things Conservative. Crawford cites the latest Brookings Institution report on Iraq (PDF) as evidence of progress.

Let me clarify: he cites the Brookings report selectively, to say the least.

Here are a few of his bullet points, along with information he fails to disclose:

Crude oil production reached 2.14 million barrels a day (MBD) in April of this year. It had dropped to 0.3 MBD in May of 2003.

True (see page 29 of the report). But that's less than in every month but one from December 2003 through July 2004, and less than in September and October of 2004. Crude oil production peaked at 2.514 million barrels a day in September '04. This is progress?

Electrical output is almost at the pre-war level of 3,958 megawatts.  April's production was 3,600 megawatts.  In May of 2003, production was only 500 megawatts.  The goal is to reach 6,000 megawatts.

True (p. 31). But again, this is a decrease from previous months. Electricity production exceeded 4,000 megawatts in 7 of 12 months in 2004. Now it's below that. In fact, this April '06 number is the lowest monthly total since April '05.

The unemployment rate in June of 2003 was 50-60%, and in April of this year it had dropped to 25-40%.

Er, yes (p. 32). But the report says unemployment has been at 25-40% since November '05. Before that it was 27-40% from January through October '05. And in December '04 it was 28-40%. And before that it was 30-40% from June through November '04. Rather slow progress, I'd say.

Iraqi military casualties were 201 in April of 2006, after peaking at 304 in July of 2005.

That should be Iraqi military and police fatalities, but the number is correct (p. 9). Problem is, that's a higher number than in November, December, January, February, or March.

There is plenty to [be] pleased about here, and much progress for the mainstream media and the left to ignore.

There is plenty to be dismayed about here, and much trouble for the Pollyannas of the right to conceal from you, and from one another.

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