With all my focus on Katrina, I’d almost forgotten that Bush has us knee deep in an Iraquagmire. The good news is that the American deaths have dropped to only 13 so far this month, a rate of less than one soldier per day compared to the average of two-and-half per day we had been seeing. That’s great news, unless, of course, you’re one of the thirteen or one of the families of the thirteen. The count stands at 1,897 American lives lost, and that’s only counting the ones in Iraq when they died.
But that doesn’t mean that the insurgency is in their “last throes”. Why, just this morning…
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — A wave of suicide bombings and other attacks rocked central Iraq Wednesday, killing at least 151 people and wounding more than 300, police said.
Al Qaeda in Iraq, a group led by militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, apparently has said it is responsible, saying the attacks are in retaliation for the U.S.-Iraqi military offensive in the northern city of Tal Afar. U.S. and Iraqi forces launched the operation last month to root out insurgents in the border city near Syria.
In one of the biggest strikes, at least one suicide car bomb exploded near a gathering of laborers in Kadhimiya — a Shiite area of north-central Baghdad. At least 112 people have been killed and another 200 wounded, emergency police said.
Later Wednesday, a suicide car bomber targeted shoppers in a busy Shiite neighborhood in northwestern Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 22 others.
In Taji, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of Baghdad, men wearing Iraqi army uniforms stormed homes and shot 17 Shiite men execution-style, police said.
Iraqi army convoys and a checkpoint also were targeted Wednesday.
Three Iraqi soldiers were killed in a suicide car bombing in western Baghdad.
Two police and three others were killed in a drive-by shooting. A suicide car bomb struck police investigating the incident, injuring four police officers.
Three Iraqi soldiers and one civilian also were killed and 25 civilians wounded when a suicide car bomb exploded in central Baghdad near an Iraqi army base at al Muthanna airfield, police said. A firefight immediately followed the bombing.
In addition, six American convoys and targets suffered attacks, and five U.S. soldiers were wounded.
Gunmen also assassinated a leader of a powerful Shiite tribe Wednesday near Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, his family said. Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Aboud Al-Ambagi, one of the leaders of Al-Ambagiye, and his nephew were killed.
When you add up 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Katrina, Bush is going to have at least 10,000 American deaths on his watch. That’s not to say Bush caused 9/11 or Katrina, or that some or even most of those deaths might have occurred during a Gore or Kerry presidency. It is to say that when the question is asked in 2008, “Are you better off today than you were eight years ago?”, there will be 10,000 people not answering at all.