Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Just another year in the life and death of Iraq

By Michael J.W. Stickings

We mostly focus on days and months here, but, well, how about a look back at the entirety of 2006? It wasn't good:

As enraged crowds protested the hanging of Saddam Hussein across Iraq's Sunni heartland Monday, government officials reported that 16,273 Iraqi civilians, soldiers and police died violent deaths in 2006, a figure larger than an independent Associated Press count for the year by more than 2,500.

The tabulation by the Iraqi ministries of Health, Defense and Interior, showed that 14,298 civilians, 1,348 police and 627 soldiers were killed in the violence that raged in the country last year.

Remember, this is three years after the invasion. And it'll soon be four years after the invasion. And then four years after the end of "major combat operations". And all this -- or most of it -- because Bush's war has been so badly botched, so grossly mismanaged. True, much of this violence is sectarian in nature, but it seems to me that the Iraqi blood is on the hands of the warmongers, including the president, as well as on the hands of the perpetrators of the sectarian violence.

They should have seen it coming. They should have planned for it. They should have had a strategy to deal with it. But they didn't.

And now -- what now? It's too late to make up for all the mismanagement.

The war is lost. And the blood still flows.

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