In the next few weeks, the U.S. will almost certainly cross the threshold of 2,000 casualties in the Iraq War.
What’s sad is that you have to dig around most newspapers to find any mention of the mounting death toll. The New York Times is one of the few newspapers to track each announced casualty, but even that little (or not so little) box is hard to find — today it was on page A8.
In fact, stories on the day-to-day battle to defeat the Iraqi insurgency are hard to find these days. The exception is the conservative-driven storyline that we should “stay the course” in Iraq. You see a lot of Republicans, such as President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, saying that it would be wrong to “quit,” “abandon” or “cut and run” from the insurgency — even though it’s hard to find any Democratic leader calling for that.
A gameplan to defeat the insurgency? Yes. To train the troops? Sure. To transfer power to the Iraqis? Absolutely. To bring in NATO or the United Nations? Perhaps. To focus our attention on hunting down Osama Bin Laden and dismantling Al Qaeda? Absolutely.
But “cut and run”? That made for a good Bush campaign speech, but find the Democratic Congressional leader with such legislation in the works. The rest — Cindy Sheehan, the marchers in Washington — is not much more than background noise to the people who can actually do something about policy.
“The American people and Congress are growing increasingly frustrated with the refusal of the Bush administration to come clean and talk straight about the war in Iraq,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said last week. “Our troops and the American people need the president to pay more than just lip service to a strategy for the war in Iraq, they need him to lay out what that strategy is with clear markers by which success can be measured.”
And rest assured, the Bush Administration will “stay the course,” at least until next year, and then only if they lose control of the House or Senate. And while the odds of Democrats taking control of the House or Senate may be improving, they remain iffy.
The death toll will continue to mount. We are not in the “last throes,” as Vice President Cheney spun in May. Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq, told Congress Sept. 29 that insurgencies last an average of nine years, and “there is no reason to believe this one will take any less time.” That same day, U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte told the Defense Department intelligence conference that the U.S. is still struggling to understand the nature of the insurgency.”
For a better idea of how many U.S. casualties there have been, check out this short movie. Needless to say, it’s highly critical of the Bush Administration — as we all should be when it comes to this war.
The reasons behind the Iraq war amount to the second-greatest intelligence failure in U.S. history — surpassed only by our inability to stop the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Each U.S. death is a reminder of that failure by our so-called “leaders,” who tried to convince the world of some tangential relationship between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden — a relationship that never existed.
The death toll will continue to mount. 2,000 deaths — likely to be reached in just a few weeks — will almost certainly not be the last threshold the U.S. crosses.
This item first appeared at Journalists Against Bush’s B.S.Powered by Sidelines