Tuesday, September 07, 2004


According to an AP compilation of Pentagon records and AP reports, U.S. military deaths in Iraq campaign passed 1,000 today.

According to the article, Rumsfeld said America's enemies shouldn't underestimate our willingness to suffer casualties in Iraq and elsewhere. I'm guessing when he says "elsewhere" he doesn't mean within U.S. borders (though who am I to presume):

"The progress has prompted a backlash, in effect, from those who hope that at some point we might conclude that the pain and the cost of this fight isn't worth it," Rumsfeld told a Pentagon news conference. "Well, our enemies have underestimated our country, our coalition. They have failed to understand the character of our people. And they certainly misread our commander in chief."
They hate us because we're free and winning.

In response to the milestone, John Kerry said:

"We must never forget the price they have paid. And we must meet our sacred obligation to all our troops to do all we can to make the right decisions in Iraq so that we can bring them home as soon as possible."

(The obvious Reep-retort to Kerry's statement is "and what exactly are the right decisions?" Excellent question - but damned if I can figure it out. Can you? Can Bush? My guess is no. The follow-up question for Kerry is whether he'll enter into another preemptive military action. I think he won't. Which is why I will vote for him.)

All but 138 deaths came after Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech.

Hey, look, baby starfish!
Small groups of al-Sadr's al-Mahdi Army fighters pounded on the asphalt with hammers to plant mines and explosives in the streets. Fighters in their teens and early 20s trotted toward the clashes -- rocket-propelled grenades in hand -- as children scampered behind them.

I think Whitney sang it best: I believe that children are our future/teach them well and let them lead the way.

Of course, at least they are learning from us:
Late Tuesday, the militia announced a unilateral cease-fire but said it would fight back in self defense. It was unclear whether the statement had any meaning since the militia routinely defends its actions as legitimate self defense.

Sounds kinda pre-emption-y to me.

By the way - the estimated Iraqi toll is at least 10,000.

Despite my somewhat irreverent tone - this is no light news day. Each number is a life now over. I am truly appreciative of their service. And I promise to keep working to make sure we are not asking too much - or the wrong thing - of them.

Pray for peace.

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