Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Report on the American War Dead in Iraq and Afghanistan
In Iraq, 10 died from IED explosions, one was killed in a accident (in Kuwait), three from non combat causes, one from what was only called enemy actions, and two, Austin Pratt and Peter Neesley, in situations which are being investigated. Only four were killed by small arms. That is not a lot of combat any way you look at it.
In Afghanistan, three were killed by IEDs, one died from a non combat related illness and one from a non combat cause. That's almost no combat at all.
No women died but we lost three officers--Captain Adam Snyder, 1st Lt. Jeremy Ray and Captain Rowdy Inman.
Yeah, the surge change in tactics has failed and the Taliban is poised to retake Afghanistan.
It is incredible to me that there are sentient Americans (all on the Left, apparently) who believe those false talking points. It's a wilful ignorance. There is no other way to explain it.
Military progress is always heartening, but should we completely disbelieve and ignore the challenges we are facing in Afghanistan, none of which have to do w/ a stand up fight. Things like increased opium production and the impediments to rebuilding a country ravaged by nearly three decades of war and neglect, b/c the number of war dead had decreased. As Roger well knows, one would expect the a decrease of casualties w/ the a decrease in combat operations due to the fact it is winter in Afghanistan.
It is wilful ignorance, Roger, to dance the Kazachok b/c of a decrease in American dead in Iraq while disregarding the fact that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people are no closer to political progress, much less political reconciliation, than when the surge began.
It is also well to remember that the Sunni groups that we have armed and supported to fight AQM are not enthralled w/ the Shiite led governmment in Baghdad.
Given the complete lack of intelligence contained in any of your comments that I have read to date, I would prefer you to stay stupidly silent.
what you said is: "Of course the liberal 'know nothings' who touted the monthly war deaths as proof of failure or lose [sic] will stay stupidly silent on this."
That remark defies engagement. If you had pointed out, perhaps, that Democratic prediential candidates have shifted their focu away from the war b/c of the success of the surge, one could engage w/ that observation.
Instead, you made a blanket assertion, insulting in itself, that slanders liberals and others opposed to the invasion. As much engagement as you are likely to receive is my response to Roger.
My advice to you is to listen to what you write b/f you post it. If you want engagement, then say something intelligent. Bashing people w/ whom you do not agree w/o posing a position is simply not intelligent.
As much e
If you identify that strongly with liberals who touted the monthly war deaths as proof of failure, as to have taken personal offense, then I apologize.
To quote Delbert McClinton: "The more your lips keep movin', the more you keep osin' ground."
Tony, the Afghans have grown poppies for millennia. How is their chief cash crop evidence of our failure or impending doom? Infrastructure needs work but it's never been actual Nirvana there even before the Soviet invasion. The Iraqi parliament got more done last year than your ilk in our Congress; are you ready to pull the plug on our country?
Finally, we have to talk generally here because there is no single person out there to address; it's not like a phone call here. It would be preferable to argue the merits than attack the authors, but then again, I often go ad hominem on Democratic leadership so I guess it is the default state to do so on blogs. Mike in Prague was big on the dreaded Taliban Spring Offensive last year. Are you ready to board that train, Tony? Good work quoting Delbert. I'm about to play Paradise and Lunch in a few minutes. Finally, political reconciliation means what in a largely tribal society? If the neighbors are getting along, who cares if there's a bill in the Iraqi parliament decreeing that neighbors should get along?
See if you can obtain yesteday's NYT Book Review which was devoted entirely to essays and reviews of books on the Muslim world, current and historical.
As you know and lysander will now ne apprised, I supported since its inception. I did not know whether it would succeed but confronted w/ the failed "stay the course" policy or the impracticality and impossibility of withdrawal, the logical alternative was to put more troops on the ground.
The decrease in violence is certainly an end in itself, but if there has been any political progress, I haven't seen it.
What does political reconciliation mean in a tribal society. That ios a good question. You know my position on the viability of deocracyin tribal societies and certainly one review I read this weekend has made me even more pessimistic. It would be helpful if the Iraqi parliment would pass legisaltion regarding sharing oil revenues. Everybody gets along much better if the economy is moving.
This raises the issue of what is the endgame in Iraq? I do not see a stable, peaceful democracy in our lifetime. I would settle for stable and non violent but I don't see that happening either. I just see a permanent American presence to keep the level of violence down.
No, no one would confuse Afghanistan w/ Nirvana. I am not on board w/ the dreaded spring offensive and I do not see the Taliban as a threat to coalition military forces. I do worry about
the Taliban resurging politically, not aon a grand level but on a village level. I mean, they are terrorists after all.