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2007 most deadly year for U.S. troops in Iraq

This morning the Pentagon announced 5 U.S. troop deaths, bringing the total of military personnel killed in Iraq in 2007 to 852. That's 2 more than 2004, and of course, the year isn't over yet. This is despite the fact that U.S. troop deaths have dropped dramatically in September and October (65 and 39, respectively). That's still way too many dead American service people in pursuit of a fool's errand.

The article referenced above also notes a shift in Iran rhetoric from the military, if not the Bush administration:

A military spokesman said Iran appears to have kept its promise to stop the flow into Iraq of bomb-making materials and other weaponry that Washington says has inflamed insurgent violence and caused many American troop casualties.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last week that Iran had made such assurances to the Iraqi government.

"It's our best judgment that these particular EFPs ... in recent large cache finds do not appear to have arrived here in Iraq after those pledges were made," Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, director of the Multi-National Force-Iraq's communications division, told reporters Tuesday.

Cheney must hate Secretary Gates. He's ruining all Cheney's plans! Still, I wouldn't expect that this information alone will stop the Bush administration from carpet bombing Iran before the 2008 election. It would show too much foresight and restraint to do anything but that.



OT: Nice Obama article in the Atlantic by Andrew Sullivan:


I liked it, too. Sullivan hits on one of the many reasons I like Obama:

"Obama’s candidacy in this sense is a potentially transformational one. Unlike any of the other candidates, he could take America—finally—past the debilitating, self-perpetuating family quarrel of the Baby Boom generation that has long engulfed all of us. So much has happened in America in the past seven years, let alone the past 40, that we can be forgiven for focusing on the present and the immediate future. But it is only when you take several large steps back into the long past that the full logic of an Obama presidency stares directly—and uncomfortably—at you.

At its best, the Obama candidacy is about ending a war—not so much the war in Iraq, which now has a mo­mentum that will propel the occupation into the next decade—but the war within America that has prevailed since Vietnam and that shows dangerous signs of intensifying, a nonviolent civil war that has crippled America at the very time the world needs it most. It is a war about war—and about culture and about religion and about race. And in that war, Obama—and Obama alone—offers the possibility of a truce."

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