Monday, December 25, 2006

US Deaths in Iraq Exceed 9-11 Count

ABC News

BAGHDAD, Iraq Dec 26, 2006 (AP)— Two more American soldiers were killed in Iraq, officials said Tuesday, pushing the U.S. military death toll to at least 2,974 one more than the number killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The tragic milestone came with the deaths of the two soldiers Monday in a bomb explosion southwest of Baghdad, the military said.

The deaths announced Tuesday raised the number of troops killed to 2,974 since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes at least seven military civilians.

The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks claimed 2,973 victims in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Opponents of President Bush have criticized him for raising the attacks as a justification for the protracted fight in Iraq. ...(More)

Now take a little look back at how things got this screwed up.

The Unbuilding of Iraq
PERFECT STORM: Wrongheaded assumptions. Ideological blinders. Weak intelligence, missteps, poor coordination and bad luck. How Team BushÂ’s reconstruction efforts went off the rails from day one
By John Barry and Evan Thomas
Updated: 3:32 a.m. PT Sept 28, 2003

Oct. 6, 2003 issue - The Iraq war had yet to begin, but some nasty fighting was already going on back in Washington between the Department of Defense and the Department of State.

LAST FEBRUARY, retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner was trying to put together a team of experts to rebuild Iraq after the war was over, and his list included 20 State Department officials. The day before he was supposed to leave for the region, Garner got a call from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who ordered him to cut 16 of the 20 State officials from his roster. It seems that the State Department people were deemed to be Arabist apologists, or squishy about the United Nations, or in some way politically incorrect to the right-wing ideologues at the White House or the neocons in the office of the Secretary of Defense. The vetting process “got so bad that even doctors sent to restore medical services had to be anti-abortion,” recalled one of Garner’s team. ...

... How did we get in this mess? NEWSWEEK interviews with top government officials involved in the planning and execution of the reconstruction of Iraq point to a “perfect storm” of mistakes and bad luck: wrongheaded assumptions, ideological blinders, weak intelligence and poor coordination by White House national-security adviser Condoleezza Rice. Much of the damage was done at the outset—in the first days after the war, when political infighting and wishful thinking prevented the United States from taking control of a bad situation that was turning worse.
... (full article)
Q: Can any sane person think that Bush & Co. can be trusted to fix things in Iraq?
A: NO!!!!

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