More and more American troops dying in Iraq


Last year, before President George W. Bush launched his controversial “troop surge” in Iraq, Pentagon war planners warned him the strategy would sharply increase American troop casualties.

Their dire prediction is become all too true as April became the deadliest month of the year for U.S. troops. More than 100 have died so far, pushing the death toll to 3,351 in what most Americans now feel is an unwinnable war.

Reports The Associated Press:

Five U.S. troops were killed in separate attacks in the capital this weekend, including three in a single roadside bombing, the military said Monday, pushing the death toll past 100 in the deadliest month so far this year.

Both attacks occurred in eastern Baghdad, a predominantly Shiite area where American and Iraqi forces have stepped up their activities as part of a security crackdown that began on Feb. 14 to quell the sectarian violence.

In violence Monday, a suicide car bomber apparently targeting an Interior Ministry convoy struck an Iraqi checkpoint near a busy square in the predominantly Sunni area of Harthiyah in western Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 10, police said.

The bomber detonated his payload, causing part of the road to buckle, as he emerged from an underpass and was heading toward the checkpoint being manned by Interior Ministry commandos. Those killed included two commandos and two civilians.

The violence occurred despite stringent security measures during the security crackdown now in its 11th week.

On Sunday, Iran agreed to join the U.S. and other countries at a conference on Iraq this week, raising hopes the government in Tehran would help stabilize its violent neighbor and stem the flow of guns and bombs over the border.

Senior Iranian envoy Ali Larijani flew to Baghdad on Sunday for talks with al-Maliki and other senior Iraqi officials ahead of this week’s meetings in Egypt — the highest-ranking Iranian official to visit Iraq since the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003.

Earlier this month, U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said Iranian intelligence operatives have been training Iraqi fighters inside Iran on how to use and assemble deadly roadside bombs known as EFPs, or explosively formed penetrators.

He said Iranian support extended to Sunnis as well as Shiites in Iraq, showing reporters photographs of what he said were Iranian-made mortar rounds, RPG rounds and rockets that were found recently in a Sunni neighborhood of Baghdad.

The killings of the Americans came as U.S. troops have been increasingly deployed on the streets of Baghdad and housed with Iraqi troops in joint security stations away from their heavily fortified bases, raising their vulnerability to attacks.

The roadside bomb killed three Multi-National Division-Baghdad soldiers and wounded another while they were on a combat patrol Sunday in eastern Baghdad, the military said. An Iraqi interpreter also was killed in the attack.

Another Multi-National Division-Baghdad soldier on a combat patrol was killed by small arms fire in eastern Baghdad Saturday, the military said in a separate statement.

A Marine assigned to Multi National Force-West was killed Sunday while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, a Sunni insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad, the military said.

The deaths raised to at least 104 American troops who have died in Iraq as April draws to a close, making it the deadliest month since December, when 112 Americans died. The U.S. monthly death toll has topped 100 five other times since the Iraq war began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count based on military figures.

At least 3,351 members of the U.S. military have died since the war started, according to the AP count.

President Bush has committed some 30,000 extra American troops to the security operation in Baghdad, but he also is facing legislation by the Democratic-led Congress calling for the Americans to begin withdrawing from Iraq by Oct. 1. Bush has promised to veto the measure.

It also has been the deadliest month for British forces in Iraq since the first month of the war. The 11 British troops deaths reported this month is surpassed only by 27 who died in March 2003, reflecting increasing violence in southern Iraq where they are based, particularly among Shiite groups vying for influence as Britain prepares to reduce its forces.

In the southern city of Basra, some five people were killed in an explosion Sunday. Iraqi police initially reported that it was a car bomb, but the British military said it appeared that the blast accidentally occurred while explosives and weapons were being moved.

The area is mainly Shiite and rarely sees the car bombs usually blamed on Sunni insurgents, although rival Shiite militias frequently clash and stage attacks.

The U.S. military said Monday that a joint American-Iraqi raid the day before was aimed at capturing “high-value individuals” in the north Baghdad heavily Shiite district of Kazimiyah and left one Iraqi soldier and eight gunmen dead.

Iraqi police officers in the area said the raid was targeting a local office of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and that the guards clashed with the forces.

The military statement said eight individuals were detained and later turned over to the Iraqi security forces. It added that none of the targeted individuals were captured as a result of this operation and all detained individuals were later released.

In northern Iraq, a parked car bomb struck a police patrol in the Raas al-Jada, a mainly Sunni Arab area in the northern city of Mosul, killing one policeman and wounding two others, police Brig. Gen. Mohammed Idan al-Jubouri said.

The attack occurred at 8 a.m., about four hours after some 50 gunmen attacked a police station in the same area, prompting a firefight and clashes as police chased the gunmen through the narrow streets. Four of the gunmen were killed and two others detained, while one policeman was wounded, police said.

Police also cordoned off the area and blocked five bridges after four mortar rounds landed on the police command headquarters elsewhere in Mosul, causing no damages, said Brig. Saeed Ahmed al-Jubouri, the media director for the provincial police.


  1. Sandy Price

    Our troops are sitting ducks in Iraq and we sit here and read the numbers of the dead.

  2. Steve Horn

    And we can’t even get the reality check of seeing the flag draped caskets arriving at Dover AFB. So the deaths are nothing but an abstraction to most Americans.
    And the families of the dead soldiers have to face relegious nuts protesting the funerals – because of don’t ask / don’t tell.
    What does George W. do? He just sits there with that frickin’ smart-assed smirk on his face –

  3. Razor

    We can just thank Bush and Cheney for the additional american deaths as a direct result of thier brain dead decision for a surge, which has had no positive effect in Bagdad. Bush was warned by top military advisors that the surge would only lead to increased death of americans. Bush has blood all over his hands, but does he care? Hell No.

  4. April-May

    John Edwards stated this morning on NPR, “If he vetoes this bill, send him another with another deadline for troop withdrawal. If he vetoes that one, send him yet another.”

    Good idea, that and impeachment.

  5. LurkingFromTheLeft

    …or do what I’ve read Steve Horn ‘say’ here in past postings: just keep sending the same one back to him.

    …we know he’s dumb – maybe he’ll be too stupid to recognize it –

    …nah, we couldn’t get so lucky –

    …he isn’t quite as dumb as The Idiot he plays – close, but not quite –

    …no one could be THAT dumb and get elected TWICE –

    …could they?

    …time to dust off


  6. Steve Horn

    I fail to see how sustaining the war in Iraq can be equated to supporting the troops – were I (still) in uniform I’d much rather NOT be sent off to die just so GW can say “I’m a wartime president” – even if doing so does save George from having to purchase viagra along with his buddy Rush.

    I see now that the whitehouse has stated a willingness to work with congress for a compromise. If we’re looking at ending a war there is no room for compromise – you either cease hostilities or you keep fighting – the attempt at walking down the middle of the road didn’t work in Korea, it didn’t work in Vietnam and it’s not going to work in Iraq.

  7. erika morgan

    I am starting to contemplate creating a public display of body bags to reflect yesterdays deaths, ours, theirs maybe with appropriate flags. What I am looking for is how to honor the injured and, what about the injuries we can’t really tabulate? Also, I am really concerned about the unrecognized damage to our people and our children, caused by the collective responsibility for the violence of war. I know that the pretending to ignore these violence’s makes them more pervasive and dangerous to each of our psyches because they are not dealt with, also our youth have no models of responsible dealing with the guilt.

    On the subject of the war funding I am frustrated enough to wish for the next bill to go up to the White House with one month less money and 30 less days till beginning of troop withdrawal and total withdrawal. By the third bill I agree it should indeed arrive with articles of impeachment for both Chaney and Bush. We really need to stand for government for and by the “PEOPLE” or our democracy is lost for good.

  8. SEAL

    The State Department has issued their yearly statistics for the “War on Terrorism” for 2006. They said there has been a 25% increase in terrorist attacks and a 40% increase in deaths compared to the previous year, 2005. Also, the number of wounded has doubled and kidnappings are up 300%. These figures are for the entire world.

    The report is very pointed in stating that Iran is sponsoring terrorists. Not suggesting or theorizing but flatly stating it is so, holding up their evidence of Iranian manufatured bomb materials they “captured” during a raid. There is no alternative given that those materials may have been acquired from sympathetic rogue elements or blackmarketeers in Iran.

    The body count is well over 14,000 dead and over 20,000 seriously wounded. When they add the less seriously wounded, the total count, world wide, is 58,000 dead or wounded in 2006. However, all but 1,000 of those occured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not only are the “world wide” totals misleading, it causes me to question how the State Department defines “Terrorist.” The only difference between the type of bombings occuring in this war and all of our previous wars is the extraordinary number of suicide bombers we now have. But they even label roadside bombs and mortar attacks as being terrorists.

    If we are going to call what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan “war,” how can any attack by any of the various participants be an act of terrorism? Wouldn’t they be an act of the war? A large part of our SEAL training is the placement of bombs to destroy and kill. According to the State Department’s definitions SEALs are terrorists.

    The condition In Iraq and, to a great extent in Afghanistan, is civil war. Do we label the method the two sides at war use to kill each other, terrorist attacks? That’s what is being done. Virtually every death or injury that is caused by anyone other than us and our trainees during a bonafide military operation is labeled terrorism. That enables the administration to compile the statistics that justify a “War On Terrorism” when, in reality, no such thing exists.

    I have no way of knowing the particulars of any of the 1,000 “terrorist attacks” that occurred outside of the war zones, therefore, I cannot comment about those except to say that, considering what I know they are doing in the war zones I am suspicious about them.

    I must admit that the neocons have concocted a grand scheme. A never ending war. One that can never be won or lost. No peace negotions or surrenders or treaties are possible. They finally have what they have always wanted. We will always be at war. The MIC will rule. And, this is why they will never consider any bill from congress that would end the conflict in Iraq. That is where the statistics that justify their “War On Terror” come from. If you remove Iraq and Afghanistan from the equation, the Terrorism in the world becomes so minor as to be nothing but a police matter. No need for a “war.”