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Rising Death Toll in Iraq Undercuts Right-Wing Noise Machine

War supporters have been relentless in promoting the line that the surge is "working" and has achieved military success. One thing that is certain about these people is that they never let the facts get in their way of perpetuating a war that the American people want to bring to an end:

This year's U.S. troop buildup has succeeded in bringing violence in Baghdad down from peak levels, but the death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago.

Some of the recent bloodshed appears the result of militant fighters drifting into parts of northern Iraq, where they have fled after U.S.-led offensives. Baghdad, however, still accounts for slightly more than half of all war-related killings the same percentage as a year ago, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.

[...]

Iraq is suffering about double the number of war-related deaths throughout the country compared with last year an average daily toll of 33 in 2006, and 62 so far this year.

Nearly 1,000 more people have been killed in violence across Iraq in the first eight months of this year than in all of 2006. So far this year, about 14,800 people have died in war-related attacks and sectarian murders. AP reporting accounted for 13,811 deaths in 2006. The United Nations and other sources placed the 2006 toll far higher.

In addition to the rising death toll that has accompanied the surge we are seeing a continuing massive dislocation of Iraq's populace as sectarian cleansing gathers steam.

According to the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization, the number of displaced Iraqis has more than doubled since the start of the year, from 447,337 on Jan. 1 to 1.14 million on July 31.

Smack in the face of the steadily deteriorating situation in Iraq, neoconservatives and war supporters have managed to sucker much of the MSM into repeating the line that our strategy in Iraq is finally working. In reality, the only aspect of the war that has substantially changed in the past six months is our capitulation to the Sunni insurgency. After battling these groups needlessly for four years, we have finally reached the conclusion that Iraq's Sunnis are a natural ally for the US in our efforts to block Iranian expansionism in the region. People who we once lumped together with Al Qaeda as "terrorists" are now referred to as "concerned local nationals". Ironically, these same Sunni insurgent groups had offered nearly four years ago to cooperate with the US against Al Qaeda jihadists, and these offers were summarily rejected.

Still throughout all of this, the death toll from Iraq's brutal civil war continues to rise this year. This is largely because the murderous Shiite militias who are responsible for 75% of attacks on US troops continue to run amok and build their strength. The US has no strategy whatsoever to deal with these groups, and, in fact, has facilitated their takeover of the Iraqi police and military.

In the end, the surge has accomplished nothing at all other than providing political cover for Republicans who are deeply worried about the 2008 elections. George Bush's "play out the clock" strategy on Iraq has bought him another six months to avoid being the President who has to make the fateful decision to finally pull out of Iraq. Now, he has to figure out something new for the remaining 17 months of his beleaguered and faltering Presidency.


Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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