The Pentagon's View of Iraq

The Pentagon released its quarterly report on progress in Iraq last Friday, after a week. What timing - the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day. It's sure to get a lot of attention there.
Attacks and civilian deaths in Iraq have risen sharply in recent months, with casualties increasing by 1,000 a month, and sectarian violence has engulfed larger areas of the country, the Pentagon said Friday in a strikingly dismal report to Congress.

The quarterly report, based on new government figures, showed the number of attacks in Iraq over the last four months had increased 15% and Iraqi casualties had risen by 51%. Civilian and military deaths and injuries have surpassed 3,000 each month since May.

Over a longer period, the increase in violence is more dramatic. Weekly attacks have nearly doubled, from 423 in spring 2004 to 792. More than 110 people a day died violently in Iraq in the last three months, the report said, up from fewer than 30 a day in 2004.
Even the supposed security improvement for Baghdad gets figured into the story and dismissed:
The Iraqi government reported that violent deaths in Baghdad declined sharply in the first several weeks of August, but civilian deaths rose again in the last week. The current report covers a three-month period that ended in early August.
I wish that things were going better in Iraq, but the tinkerbell strategy has thus far yeilded only defeat, so what does my wishing have to do with reality? The reality is that the country of Iraq has been well and truly boned by the incompetance of the Bush Administration.

The President has made clear that military action against Iran is inevitable in his agenda, and his neoconservative followers - his only supporters left - are already openly advocating for that military attack. Do we, as a nation, want the Republicans to take us into yet more Iraqs? Do we trust them to do the job right, when they've screwed up so badly and cost us so much? The reasons for a Democratic Party controlled Congress just keep mounting. Re-elect the Republican majorities and we will have more wars.

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