Iraqi civilian deaths rose in August

Civilian deaths rose slightly in August from July’s figure as a huge suicide attack in the north two weeks ago offset security gains elsewhere, according to figures compiled Saturday by The Associated Press.

U.S. deaths remained well below figures from last winter when the U.S began dispatching 30,000 additional troops to Iraq.

At least 1,809 civilians were killed last month, compared to 1,760 in July, based on figures compiled by the AP from official Iraqi reports. That brings to 27,564 the number of Iraqi civilians killed since AP began collecting data on April 28, 2005.

Troop cut? What troop cut?

The chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on Friday denied a newspaper report that he will urge President George W. Bush to cut U.S. troop levels in Iraq next year.

“The story is wrong,” Marine Gen. Peter Pace said through a spokesman. “It is speculative. I have not made nor decided on any recommendations yet.”

Helicopter crash kills 15 soldiers in Iraq

While the White House propaganda machine churns out pap claiming progress in President George W. Bush’s failed Iraq war, another 15 American soldiers die in that civil-warn torn country.

This time, an apparent mechanical problem cost soldiers their lives in the crash of a Blackhawk helicopter — the deadliest chopper crash since January 2005.

As the carnage continues in a war with no end in sight, more and more Americans are left to ask: How much is enough? How many more must die in a failed war fought on lies and hidden political agendas?

Bringing the bodies home

Women have throttled up through many a glass ceiling since Jackie Fleming’s mother first zipped up her go-go boots and boarded a Pan American Airways Boeing 747 for its inaugural Washington D.C. to London flight.

“They actually checked their legs for scars. The skirts were so short,” Fleming says with an amused bewilderment. In the sexy ’60s flying was still stylish and her mother was an airborne pioneer.

Anti-war volume is about to increase

The cacophony about Iraq is about to take on a shrillness and volume not heard in Washington, or beyond, since the nation was rent in two by the Vietnam War.

The anti-war forces, who take credit for the decline in public and political support for continuing the fight in Iraq, are readying a series of rallies, vigils and other events in a run-up to what they promise will be a massive march from the White House to the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 15.

‘We have robbed Iraq of self-respect’

A constant mantra from President George W. Bush is that we must listen to the soldiers “on the ground” in Iraq to get the real story on what is happening in his failed war.

A number of soldiers who just finished a 15-month deployment in that war-torn country have told their stories in an Op Ed published Sunday in The New York Times and what they saw and experienced shows just what Bush fails to admit: that his war is a monumental failure.

The Patraeus effect

“The only thing this surge will accomplish is a surge of more death and destruction.” That was the prediction of blogger and anti-war activist Arianna Huffington last December — one month before the Senate unanimously confirmed Gen. David Petraeus as commander in Iraq.

“I believe … that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything.” That was the judgment of Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid in April — two months before the reinforcements that Petraeus needed to fully implement his new “surge” strategy had arrived in Iraq.

General claims troop surge is working

The thousands of extra US troops pumped into Iraq this year are aiding security, the US Army’s former commander there said Tuesday, as yet more bloody bombings were reported in the war-torn nation.

“Our guys are seeing progress on the security front,” General George Casey told reporters here after a weekend visit to Iraq. “The surge is having the intended military effect.”

Within hours of his comments, at least 200 people were reported killed and more than 200 wounded when four suicide truck bombs targeted people from an ancient religious sect in northern Iraq.

Bombs kill four U.S. soldiers in Iraq

Four more U.S. soldiers were killed in roadside bombings in the Baghdad area, including three in a single strike, the military said Tuesday, raising to at least 19 the number of troop deaths in the first week of August.

The numbers signaled a resurgence in attacks after July saw the lowest number of U.S. casualties in eight months. U.S. commanders have warned they expected militants to try to upstage a September report on military and economic progress in Iraq.

Generals project two more years of war

The senior U.S. commander in Iraq is preparing a plan for military operations that sets summer 2009 as the goal for achieving a sustainable level of security throughout the country, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

The draft, developed by Gen. David Petraeus’ staff, lays out a series of security-related goals over two years, envisioning U.S. troops in the war zone through 2009.

The plan, first reported by The New York Times, comes as Democrats in the U.S. Congress press for a strategy change that leads to withdrawal.