February 26, 2005

U.S. Death Toll In Iraq Approaches 10,111,011,100

Or in base 10, 1500, according to the editorializing ghouls at Reuters:

The U.S. military death toll is nearing 1,500 in the 23-month Iraq war, with casualties easing in the weeks since the historic Jan. 30 elections but with little evidence the insurgency has been crippled.

Little evidence the insurgency has been crippled, except for this:

Iraq's January 30 election marked an important step on the road to a secure, prosperous, and democratic Iraq... Successful elections in Iraq are a blow to the forces of terror. In time, the defeat of terror in Iraq will set that nation on a course to lasting freedom, and will give hope to millions.

... this:

BAQUBA, Feb 19: Iraqi security forces on Saturday arrested the alleged commander of an insurgent cell close to Al Qaeda frontman in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, police said.

... this:

Iraqi state television aired a video Wednesday showing what the U.S.-funded channel said was the confession of a captured Syrian officer who said he trained Iraqi insurgents to behead people and build car bombs to attack American and Iraqi troops.

... this:

Early July 2004, a week or so after the CPA left Baghdad and Iyad Allawi’s interim Iraqi government took over: I was sitting in the Corps’ Joint Operations Center(JOC) in Al Faw Palace, Baghdad, drinking a big cup of tea. The JOC had a huge screen covering an entire wall, like a movie theater screen divided into ceiling-high panels capable of displaying multiple computer images and projections. A viewer could visually hopscotch from news to weather to war. In the upper right-hand corner of one panel Fox News flickered silently–and for the record, occasionally CNN or Al Jazeera would flicker there as well. Beneath Fox ran my favorite channel, live imagery from a Predator UAV circling somewhere over Iraq. That July day the Predator appeared to be flying above an irrigation canal. The biggest display, that morning and every morning, was a spooling date-time list describing scores of military and police actions undertaken over the last dozen hours, Examples: “0331: 1/5 Cav, 1st Cavalry Division, arrests two suspects after Iraqi police stop car"; “0335 USMC patrol vicinity Fallujah engaged by RPG, returned fire. No casualties.” The spool went on and on and on, and I remember thinking : “I know we’re winning. We’re winning because –in the big picture– all the opposition has to offer is the past. But the drop-by-drop police blotter perspective obscures that.”

... this:

Insurgents used a mentally handicapped child as one of the suicide bombers who launched attacks on Iraq's Election Day, the country's interior minister said yesterday. "A handicapped child was used to carry out a suicide attack on a polling site," Falah al-Naqib said. "This is an indication of what horrific actions they are carrying out."

... this:

Letter seized in raid on known Al Qaeda safe house in Baghdad contains detailed proposal for waging 'sectarian war' in Iraq in next few months; Americans say letter was written by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Jordanian identified by Bush administration in days before war as main link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's government; letter notes that extremists are failing to enlist support inside country, and have been unable to scare Americans into leaving...

... this:

It was difficult not to cringe during Reagan's speech in 1987. He didn't leave a single Berlin cliché out of his script. At the end of it, most experts agreed that his demand for the removal of the Wall was inopportune, utopian and crazy. Yet three years later, East Germany had disappeared from the map. Gorbachev had a lot to do with it, but it was the East Germans who played the larger role. When analysts are confronted by real people, amazing things can happen. And maybe history can repeat itself. Maybe the people of Syria, Iran or Jordan will get the idea in their heads to free themselves from their oppressive regimes just as the East Germans did. When the voter turnout in Iraq recently exceeded that of many Western nations, the chorus of critique from Iraq alarmists was, at least for a couple of days, quieted. Just as quiet as the chorus of Germany experts on the night of Nov. 9, 1989 when the Wall fell. Just a thought for Old Europe to chew on: Bush might be right, just like Reagan was then.

..and this:

As 55 people died in Iraq on Saturday, the holiest day on the Shiite Muslim religious calendar, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said that much of Iraq was "functioning quite well" and that the rash of suicide attacks was a sign that the insurgency was failing. Clinton, a New York Democrat, said insurgents intent on destabilizing the country had failed to disrupt Iraq's landmark Jan. 30 elections. "The concerted effort to disrupt the elections was an abject failure. Not one polling place was shut down or overrun," Clinton told reporters inside the U.S.-protected Green Zone, a sprawling complex of sandbagged buildings surrounded by blast walls and tanks. The zone is home to the Iraqi government and the U.S. Embassy. The five-member U.S. congressional delegation arrived in Baghdad as a series of suicide bombings and explosions killed 55 people, including an American solder. Much of the violence was aimed at Shiite Muslims, commemorating Ashoura, the festival marking the 7th century death of a leader of their sect. "The fact that you have these suicide bombers now, wreaking such hatred and violence while people pray, is to me, an indication of their failure," Clinton said.

Don't you wish there was some sort of Big Media Sergeant Friday saying authoritatively, "Just the facts, sir, just the facts"?

Posted by Charles Austin at February 26, 2005 11:31 AM

It's simple: at Reuters the US loses. Even when it's winning.

Posted by: Patrick Chester at 04:52 PM

Couple that to the apparent trend of most defeatists to react from the gut and not from the brain, and it always looks bad in Iraq. The war in Iraq is not over by a long shot, we will be involved there for at least 3 more years, but slowly and with persistence, the situation becomes more favorable for the IRaqis and democracy.

Thanks for a great post.

Posted by: SFC SKI at 12:09 AM