Saturday, August 25, 2007

Surging Iraq to death

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Or: Just another year in the life and death of Iraq. The AP reports on the surge and the death toll:

This year's U.S. troop buildup has succeeded in bringing violence in Baghdad down from peak levels, but the death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago.

Some of the recent bloodshed appears the result of militant fighters drifting into parts of northern Iraq, where they have fled after U.S.-led offensives. Baghdad, however, still accounts for slightly more than half of all war-related killings — the same percentage as a year ago, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.

The tallies and trends offer a sobering snapshot after an additional 30,000 U.S. troops began campaigns in February to regain control of the Baghdad area. It also highlights one of the major themes expected in next month's Iraq progress report to Congress: some military headway, but extremist factions are far from broken.

In street-level terms, it means life for average Iraqis appears to be even more perilous and unpredictable.

And this death toll is just what is known to the AP. What of all the deaths that have gone unreported? What of the non-lethal casualties? And what of the violence more generally?

Read the AP article for the sobering statistics.


Certainly not to the warmongers, the Bushes and Kristols, who are calling for more time, more war, with no apparent end to any of it. Drunk as they are, the truth, as reflected in these numbers, must mean nothing to them. Or, rather, they mean success, once twisted around the filtered through the prism of righteous delusion.

Bush said this today in his weekly radio address: "We are still in the early stages of our new operations. But the success of the past couple of months have shown that conditions on the ground can change -- and they are changing."

The "early stages"? -- "success"? -- "change"? Their war evidently isn't the real war. Their Iraq is evidently not the real Iraq.

There has been more than enough time and more than enough failure.

And it is long past time for this madness to end.

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