Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The New Agenda: Promoting Defeat

"It's Worse Than You Think" proclaims Newsweek.

It's the same old defeatmongering whine that we've heard for the past year: a few anecdotes of violence; the same old anonymous quotes of despair from US officials; the same proclamations that we've achieved nothing, and have nothing to look forward to; the deadlines we have met are meaningless and the deadlines to come are unachievable. And even if we did meet our political goals it would offend somebody.

It's not only that U.S. casualty figures keep climbing. American counterinsurgency experts are noticing some disturbing trends in those statistics. The Defense Department counted 87 attacks per day on U.S. forces in August—the worst monthly average since Bush's flight-suited visit to the USS Abraham Lincoln in May 2003. Preliminary analysis of the July and August numbers also suggests that U.S. troops are being attacked across a wider area of Iraq than ever before. And the number of gunshot casualties apparently took a huge jump in August. Until then, explosive devices and shrapnel were the primary cause of combat injuries, typical of a "phase two" insurgency, where sudden ambushes are the rule. (Phase one is the recruitment phase, with most actions confined to sabotage. That's how things started in Iraq.) Bullet wounds would mean the insurgents are standing and fighting—a step up to phase three.

Standing, fighting, and being mowed down by 25mm slugs.

As Disraeli said, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Why do authors Scott Johnson and Babak Dehghanpisheh profess wonder at the "apparent" rise in gunshot wounds in August 2004? Were they unaware of the Al-Sadr standoff in Najaf? We spent a week or so strafing and bombing the Mehdi Army into retreat; their sniping and shelling make up big part of that strange increase in August attacks.

Newsflash to Newsweek: In war, shooting the hell out of our enemies is progress.

This story should be noted, because by a strange coincidence Senator Kerry's new message is a verbatim ripoff.

George W. Bush keeps saying that things are getting better even when we all know that's just not true. The fact is, no matter what he says, all of us can see for ourselves what's happening in Iraq we can see it on the front pages and on the nightly news. But why would we expect George Bush to level with us about Iraq? He never has.

So I'll be straight with you: things are getting worse. More than a thousand Americans have been killed. Instability is rising. Violence is spreading. Extremism is growing. There are now havens for terrorists that weren't there before. And the Pentagon has even admitted that entire regions of Iraq are now controlled by insurgents and terrorists. The situation is serious and we need a president who will set a new direction and be straight with the American people.

President Bush spoke to a group of the National Guard. Senator Kerry speaks there Thursday, but he just couldn't wait two days to retaliate against the President's mean-spirited, partisan optimism. Instead of dividing this country, President Kerry would unite us in a deep sense of malaise--and from there the country could only go up.

I'll bet real money that Senator Kerry does not expand on this defeatism in front of the same audience on Tuesday. We need a new President who will be straight with the American people--but first he's got to be elected...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, excellent website. A great Iraq resource is Deaths in Iraq. It breaks all of the casualties down by age, race, branch of the military, country, etc.