As the world awaits Gen. David Petraeus' progress report on President Bush's troop surge, even war critics concede that deploying 30,000 additional GIs has improved Iraq's security. Largely overlooked, however, is how increased safety has helped U.S. soldiers and contractors rebuild the country's physical and institutional infrastructure.
As the sixth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, approaches, we should be grateful: al Qaeda has not successfully attacked Americans a second time on American soil. We also should be distressed: Americans are debating whether to fight al Qaeda -- or whether to retreat from the one battlefield on which we have a chance to seriously damage al Qaeda, both militarily and ideologically.
Iraq war commander General David Petraeus hinted at US troop cuts there by March, setting the stage for his pivotal testimony next week before Congress on President George W. Bush's surge strategy. "There are limits to what our military can provide, so, my recommendations have to be informed by -- not driven by -- but they have to be informed by the strain we have put on our military services," Petraeus told ABC News Tuesday.
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.
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."
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?
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.
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.
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 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.