Saturday, October 30, 2004

Iraq War

I haven't written much about the Iraq War lately, in part because the election is using the war in various ways. Bush still wants to be seen as the war president and Kerry wants to point out the mistakes made but doesn't want to be on the peace side. But I can't ignore the subject for very long.

The American casualty totals.

Since the war began...1,118 deaths (combat, 862)
Total wounded..............8,039

Iraqi civilian deaths estimated between 14,181 and 16,312.

Recently (10/24) we had the story about insurgents dressed as policemen that killed 49 freshly trained Iraqi Army soldiers and three civilian drivers in remote eastern Iraq. Those victims, heading south on leave, were pulled out of three minibuses and shot, most of them execution-style in the head.

Then a militant group said Thursday (10/28) in an Internet message that it had killed 11 Iraqi security officers it was holding hostage, the group said it had beheaded one of the soldiers and shot the other 10.

On October 23rd two suicide car bombs killed 22 Iraqi police and 46 others were wounded.

Clearly we are having trouble keeping the American trained Iraqi security forces alive. It seems like as fast as we train them they are killed. There are also reports that these security forces have been infiltrated by insurgents which is leading to the deaths.

And in the last week we have the story of the missing explosives from the Al QaQaa weapons complex. This story has been riff with misinformation and counter stories. As of today we think that some of the explosives were removed by American troops, but that some are still not accounted for. The facts are still not fully explained.

What the story does recall is the fact that so much of Iraq was not protected from looters in the first month of the war. Certainly weapons caches were looted during that time. We know that one nuclear facility had been looted for the drums needed for collecting water in those early days and that Iraqis had radiation sickness. We well know that hospitals, banks, museums, and stores had been looted.

To me this latest story only confirms what we all have known for quite some time now, that the necessary troops needed to provide security was not planned for by the Bush Administration. And still today security in Iraq is not what it should be. Iraq has been blunder after blunder, mistake followed by miscalculation mistepping to more errors.

Bush is not a war president, he is a maker of quagmire.

Iraq War casualties...


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