Tuesday, July 18, 2006

God help us

What have we done to Iraq?
An average of more than 100 civilians per day were killed in Iraq last month, the highest monthly tally of violent deaths since the fall of Baghdad, the United Nations reported today.

The death toll, drawn from Iraqi government agencies, was the most precise measurement of civilian deaths provided by any government organization since the invasion and represented a dramatic increase over daily media reports.
United Nations officials also said that the number of violent deaths had been steadily increasing since at least last summer. In the first six months of this year, the civilian death toll jumped more than 77 percent, from 1,778 in January to 3,149 in June, the organization said.
Bush, at a press conference June 14, after returning from Iraq:
Q Is the tide turning in Iraq?

THE PRESIDENT: I think -- tide turning -- see, as I remember -- I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of -- it's easy to see a tide turn -- did I say those words?

Q (Inaudible) --

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I probably ought to then reflect on those words and think that -- I sense something different happening in Iraq. The progress will be steady toward a goal that has clearly been defined. In other words, I hope there's not an expectation from people that, all of a sudden, there's going to be zero violence -- in other words, it's just not going to be the case.
Is it possible that, after his little trip, even he's beginning to realize what he's done?

Update: Here's what gets me. Bush has incessantly referred to Iraq as "the central front" in the war on terror, but if you follow the link to the press conference above, you'll find that he repeatedly makes it just a part of his war.
See, Iraq is a part of the global war on terror. It's not "the" global war on terror, it's a theater in the global war on terror. And if we fail in Iraq, it's going to embolden al Qaeda types.

[snip]


And I want to repeat something: Iraq is not the only part of this war. It's an essential part, but it's not the only part of the war on terror.

[snip]


The American people have got to understand that Iraq is a part of the war on terror.
To me that sounds like he wants to distance himself from it while still fighting it. What say you?

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