From the magnificent James Taranto:
Oh, the Humanity!
A report from the Integrated Regional Information Networks of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs brings what sounds like good news from Baghdad:
Iraqis are breathing a sigh of relief as violence in their war-torn country is ebbing and the number of violence-related victims has dropped sharply since the beginning of this year, according to statistics compiled by the country's interior, defence and health ministries.
"Violence-related deaths in September dropped remarkably to levels not seen in more than a year as the number [of violence-related deaths] stood at 290 while in September 2006 the number was about 1,400," Adel Muhsin, the health ministry's inspector-general, told IRIN in a phone interview.
But relief from violence is not without cost, IRIN notes:
Taxi driver Ahmed Khalil Baqir used to station himself outside Baghdad's main morgue, waiting for grieving families who went there to claim their relatives' dead bodies.
"I was totally dependent on them for my living," Baqir, a 44-year-old father of four, said." I never thought about picking up people in the street as I was being hired five to eight times a day by these families. But now it is a waste of time to wait there and these days I wait only for about three hours in the morning and I continue my work picking up passengers in the street."
And to make matters worse, he has to face competition from all those out-of-work hearse drivers.