Tuesday, May 01, 2007

This Is Progress?

The Washington Post reports that the number of terrorist attacks in Iraq - and resulting deaths, injuries and kidnappings - increased by 91% according to stats compiled by the National Counterterrorism Center and released by the State Department yesterday.

The number of terrorist incidents rose from 3,468 in 2005 to 6,630 in 2006. The number of people killed, injured or kidnapped as a result of terrorism in Iraq increased 87%, from 20,685 in 2005 to 38,713 in 2006.

The report also said that the number of terrorist incidents in Afghanistan increased 52% in 2006 from the previous year and the number of people killed, injured or kidnapped in terrorist incidents nearly doubled.

A Bush administration official, asked to comment about the sharp increase in terrorist attacks and deaths, injuries and kidnappings, gave out the usual tripe about "If we aren't fighting them there, we'll be fighting them in Peoria..."

But given the sharp rise in attacks, deaths, injuries and overall carnage, you have to ask yourself, "How well are we fighting them over there?"

POSTSCRIPT: The toll for Coalition Forces in Iraq was particularly high in the month of April. 104 Americans, 12 Brits and 1 Polish soldier were killed during the month for a total of 117 Coalition Force deaths. That is the highest number of Coalition Force troop deaths since January 2005 when 127 were killed.

According to the Washington Post, April was the sixth deadliest month of the war/occupation for American troops. For British troops, April was the second deadliest month of the war/occupation.

In addition, the political reconciliation that Preznut Bush's surge policy was supposed to help forge between warring sectarian parties is NOT occurring. As violence continues to rage in Iraq, various groups continue to pull out of the government:

the largest bloc of Sunnis in Iraq's parliament, the Iraqi Accordance Front, threatened to pull out its ministers from the cabinet, saying that it "had lost hope" in having Sunni concerns addressed by the Shiite-led government. The threat prompted President Bush to phone one of Iraq's two vice presidents, Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni, in an attempt to defuse the potential political crisis, Hashimi's office said in a statement. A Sunni withdrawal could seriously hamper efforts at national reconciliation and further weaken the government. Only two weeks ago, six cabinet ministers loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr resigned from the cabinet.

As Preznut Bush gets set to veto the Iraq war funding bill and word comes from the administration that it will be at least September before the effectiveness of the surge policy can be measured, which way is the trajectory of progress going?

Any honest observer would say down, down, down...

But not Bush and the few apologists he has left. The Washington Post reported yesterday that the reason why Republican members of Congress haven't broken ranks with the preznut on his very, very unpopular war is because the war remains popular with the Republican base (about 30%-35% of the electorate.) If GOP members vote against the preznut's policies, they risk primary challenges from the right and other political problems in their districts and states. Yet William F. Buckley, who believes the war is NOT going better these days, says this adherence to the preznut's war policy is killing the Grand Old Party.

It sure is. But it's also killing a lot of Americans, Brits and other members of Coalition nations, not to mention thousands of Iraqis a month. And the United States' position in the world is now at its most weakened since the end of Vietnam and the Carter years.

Let's remember ALL of this the next time a president decides to railroad the country into a war on false pretenses and trumped-up charges and the news media goes along for the ride.

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