Monday 16 Jul 2018 | 19:08 | SYDNEY
Monday 16 Jul 2018 | 19:08 | SYDNEY

Iraq: If it bleeds, it leads


Rodger Shanahan


26 October 2009 16:08

Which these days is about the only reason Iraq knocks Afghanistan off the front pages, as the coverage of yesterday's twin suicide bombings showed. Interestingly, General Ray Odierno, the US commander in Iraq, gave a rather prescient interview to the BBC less than a week ago urging the world not to forget Iraq and the need to finish what had been started there. 

The problem is, there's still attacks on the civilians here in Iraq, there's attacks against the government of Iraq, all aimed at destabilising the government itself, and the political process.

What Odierno highlights is the belief that, given low US monthly combat deaths, Iraq is yesterday's news. The problem is that Iraqi civilian and security death tolls are not low. A well researched website that I regularly peruse is, which lists monthly casualty figures for Iraqi civilians and security forces.

The true measure of success in Iraq will be when the local population believes it is better off after the invasion than before it. And while Iraq may (or may not) hold democratic elections next January, when 200-300 Iraqis are still being killed every month, success is very relative term.

Not that the media cares that much, now that low US casualty rates mean that it's yesterday's war.