October 2, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 10/02/2007

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Other Killings By Blackwater Staff Detailed - Blackwater security contractors in Iraq have been involved in at least 195 "escalation of force" incidents since early 2005, including several previously unreported killings of Iraqi civilians, according to a new congressional account of State Department and company documents. (READ MORE)

With More Than $20 Million, Obama Reports Strong Quarter - Democratic presidential candidates continued to pile up record amounts of campaign cash over the past three months, newly released figures show, further distancing them from their Republican counterparts. (READ MORE)

'You can't armor your way out of this problem' - BAGHDAD -- On Aug. 3, 2005, the deadliest roadside bomb ever encountered by U.S. troops in Iraq detonated beneath a 26-ton armored personnel carrier, killing 14 Marines and revealing yet another American vulnerability in the struggle against improvised explosive devices. (READ MORE)

Most in Poll Want War Funding Cut - Most Americans oppose fully funding President Bush's $190 billion request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a sizable majority support an expansion of a children's health insurance bill he has promised to veto, putting Bush and many congressional Republicans on the wrong side of public opinion on upcoming foreign and domestic policy battles. (READ MORE)

Roh Crosses 'line,' Walks to N. Korea - In a short stroll heavy with symbolism, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun walked into North Korea this morning at the heavily armed border village of Panmunjom. (READ MORE)

UAW Deal Hurts Canada's Auto Towns - Canada's automotive manufacturing base took a major hit last week when General Motors Corp. offloaded its retired worker health care costs to the United Auto Workers union. (READ MORE)

Senate Approves Defense Bill - The Senate yesterday overwhelmingly approved a $648 billion defense authorization bill that faces a veto by President Bush over a provision that protects homosexuals under federal hate-crime laws. (READ MORE)

Chiefs Decry War in Pakistan - Pashtun tribal chiefs, who for centuries have held sway in the Hindu Kush mountain range along the border with Afghanistan, say they are being thrust into an Iraq-style war between violent Islamists and the Pakistani army. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Jason's Iraq Vacation: No more bridges - I'm tired of bridges. Not the literal kind, like the one here that is in a perpetual state of getting blown up and rebuilt. No, I'm talking about figurative bridges, like the kind that I promised Rache we wouldn't have to deal with anymore when we got married. In fact, we crossed so many "bridges" during our relationship that she had that phrase, "No more bridges", inscribed on my wedding ring. (READ MORE)

W. Thomas Smith Jr.: Fires Raging Across Lebanon - BEIRUT — Fires were set simultaneously across the entire country of Lebanon a few hours ago. We don't know why or the exact number yet. The papers are reporting eight. But we know there are at least 32 (probably more) burning from the south to the north, and from the coast to the Bekaa Valley. Just got off the phone with Camille Chamoun, the grandson of the late Lebanese president of the same name. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Al Qaeda and the Taliban's Pakistani insurgency - The Taliban and al Qaeda continue to conduct their violent insurgency in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province, and beyond. The desired state, which has been outlined by the actions of the Taliban and statements by al Qaeda, is the overthrow of the Pakistani government. The latest attack occurred in the settled district of Bannu in the Northwest Frontier Province. (READ MORE)

Greyhawk: Phony Soldiers and Otherwise - Don Surber: "Senate Plurality Leader Harry Reid voted against denouncing the Betray Us ad, in which a general that Reid voted to put into battle was smeared by MoveOn." Today, Reid denounced Rush Limbaugh for calling the phony “soldier” Jesse MacBeth a phony soldier. Since we pretty much started the whole discussion here some time ago, I must say I'd enjoy seeing the Senate debate the entire story of Jesse MacBeth and his claims: “...according to Macbeth, his squad of Rangers gunned down Iraqis praying inside a mosque on a holy day, then hung some of the bodies from rafters, and defaced the mosque with graffiti.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Marco Martinez: Marine Hero: The 5 Things I Saw that Make Me Support the War - Liberals often like to say that "violence is senseless." That’s wrong. Violence isn't senseless. Senseless violence is senseless. And I should know. Before being awarded the Navy Cross and having the privilege of becoming a Marine, I was a gang member. Sometimes it takes having used violence for both evil as well as good to know that there's a profound moral difference between the two. eople often ask me whether I still support the war. I never hesitate when answering: "Absolutely I support completing the mission," I tell them, "Now more than ever." (READ MORE)

Mary Ann Glendon: Judges Who Can Take The Judicial Oath - And Mean It - With the Supreme Court resuming its work this week, and with presidential primaries on the horizon, it is an opportune moment to reflect on the importance of the President's power to nominate federal judges. An independent and impartial judiciary is the very bedrock of our justice system. (READ MORE)

Dennis Prager: Columbia's Bollinger Meant Well; Liberals Often Do - The president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, really gave it to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He really did. He called Ahmadinejad a "petty and cruel dictator" and many other harsh names. All richly deserved. And it is likely that President Bollinger felt that he had done a good thing. (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: Columbia, Duke and the Media - On page 28 of last Sunday's New York Times, right opposite the page where the obituaries were, at the very bottom was a news item almost exactly the size of a 3-by-5 card. It was a fraction of an Associated Press dispatch about Richard Brodhead, president of Duke University, apologizing for "not having better supported" the Duke lacrosse players last year when they were accused of rape. (READ MORE)

David Limbaugh: At War with Being at War - New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman must be awfully tired of the global war on terror (GWOT). In his column "9/11 Is Over," he laments that "we've become 'The United States of Fighting Terrorism.' I will not vote for any candidate running on 9/11. We don't need another president of 9/11. We need a president for 9/12." Alrighty, then. Let's just declare the war over. (READ MORE)

Rich Lowry: Clarence Thomas: His Grandfather's Son - If only Clarence Thomas weren't a black conservative, his new memoir, "My Grandfather's Son," would be hailed as a kind of classic, a powerful, moving tale of a black man's ascent from bone-crushing poverty to the pinnacle of the American system of government. But Thomas has a unique lot in life. (READ MORE)

Gary Aldrich: Hillary’s Preference for Women - A gay advocacy reporter recently asked Hillary Clinton a rude question about her sexual preferences during an interview. Sean Kennedy, News and Features Editor of The Advocate wanted her response to numerous curiosities surrounding her marriage to Bill - The Wanderer - and specifically if she preferred the sexual company of women. Hillary Clinton advised that she is "not a lesbian." (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: Nuclear Secrets - Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld famously kept a satellite photograph of the Korean Peninsula in his office at the Pentagon. The picture was taken at night and showed a brightly illuminated South Korea under a sea of darkness where the North was known to be. Only the city of Pyongyang gave off a faint glow. The photo could serve as a metaphor for the six-party nuclear-disarmament talks, which keep getting murkier when they should be opening more to world scrutiny. (READ MORE)

Bret Stephens: The Queerest Denial - The Islamic Republic of Iran has been doing a brisk business in harassing, entrapping, lashing, imprisoning and executing homosexuals since nearly the moment it came to power in 1979, with little notice in the West beyond the occasional human-rights report. So when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the startling claim at Columbia University last week that "we do not have homosexuals in Iran like you do in your country," it offered what could have been a learning opportunity to those who think Iran is just another misunderstood regime with an equally misunderstood president. (READ MORE)

Andrew Lubin: The Surge: Sitrep South of Baghdad - The rational behind the Surge strategy was to bring stability and constancy to the villages and towns in Iraq. With the insurgents killed, captured, or fleeing due to the increased American military actions, the local Iraqi populace could finally concentrate on rebuilding their towns, governments, schools, and essential services as their own Iraqi Police and Army units used the American time and treasure to build and train their organizations. While known today as “The Surge Strategy”, it was known and used prior to Bush-Petraeus as the Marines employed it last year in Ramadi. Iraq is the perfect example of the “The 3-Block War” and their concept of “Clear-hold-Build” worked well in Ramadi, in Anbar, and is now successful Baquoba, Diyala Province, and south of Baghdad. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Glove Does Not Fit, Must Acquit - Sy Hersh launches pre-emptive “Bush lies people will die” strike vs. campaign on Iran. New Yorker’s “Shifting Targets“ suggests the developing case for striking Iran is a cynical Bush ploy … excuse me, make that a cynical Cheney ploy … to bomb the daylights out of Iran just because, maybe as a last hurrah, rather than something that perhaps represents … a developing case for striking Iran. Hersh’s latest steaming pile seeks to debunk the notion of Iran as a threat to stability in Iraq, the region and the world, as Hersh plays geopolitical Johnny Cochran for the defense: (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: (Video) Country music’s newest anti-terrorist anthem - It’s the flip side of Michael Moore’s comment that “[i]f someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him. Boston, New York, D.C., and the planes’ destination of California—these were the places that voted AGAINST Bush.” Except, um, this is satire and he actually said that, on September 12, 2001 no less. Thankfully, his views have “evolved” since then. (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: Dingy Harry demands an apology from Limbaugh Updated: Reid questions Rush’s patriotism - To whom, Jesse MacBeth, Micah Wright and all the other phony soldiers whom Limbaugh was talking about? Seriously. This is childish. This demand is coming from a senator who slandered Italian-Americans over 18 months ago and never apologized. It’s coming from the senator who declared the war lost months ago. It’s coming from the senator who declared that he wouldn’t listen to Gen. Petraeus no matter what he said, months before he even said it. (READ MORE)

Jon Henke: Battlespace preparation and the blogosphere - The fact that the media and the blogosphere have spent an inordinate amount of time recently on rhetoric from Moveon.org and Rush Limbaugh says a great deal about our political discourse. And it's not good. But you know, I don't really blame the pundits and partisans for that. It's what they do; it moves the ball down their field. Instead, I blame the media for enabling the circus - for allowing the partisan point-scoring and feigned outrage to take precedence over....well, everything else. (READ MORE)

McQ: Busting Incrementalism - SCHIP step one - Recently the editorial board of the Atlanta Journal Constitution presented its "myth busting" opinion about the SCHIP program being pushed in Congress which will greatly expand its reach from poor children to middle class children by redefining eligibility. Unsurprisingly the AJC is for it. Mike King, writing for the board offers these "corrections" to myths as proof that the suspicions by those opposing this expansion of government simply aren't true. I'll take them one at a time: (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Al Qaeda in Iraq — And Italy - I reported yesterday on the audio statement released by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the emir of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Later yesterday one of al-Baghdadi’s associates, Saber Fadhi Hussien, was arrested in Italy in connection with a plot to attack American military installations in Iraq. According to AKI: “Terrorism: Iraq suspect arrested in northern Italy” (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: The Daily Kos Post Of The Day: Does Anyone Really Think That Bush Is Going To Give Up The Power Of The Presidency When His Term Is Over? - ProudBushBasher, a diarist -- not commenter -- the most influential and "mainstream" liberal blog in America, the Daily Kos... “Does anyone really think that Bush is going to give up the power of the Presidency when his term is over? Do you THINK that Cheney is ever going to leave that office to someone else? Do you think that Cheney is going to leave a trail behind that someone else will be able to go through? Do you think these people want a new President and Vice President of another party to GO THROUGH the mess they have left over the past eight years?” If you happened across an open diary in someone's house and read paranoid bilge of this sort in it, you'd be seriously worried about the sanity of the person who had written it. Yet, it's still apparently good enough to cut it on America's most prominent political blog. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Reid: Iraq war is ‘to bring to others the freedoms that many take for granted’ - “Our troops are fighting and dying to bring to others the freedoms that many take for granted.” — Senate Plurality Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada. Ah Democrats. Too clever by half, again. In denouncing Rush Limbaugh, Reid had to admit that in Iraq: “Our troops are fighting and dying to bring to others the freedoms that many take for granted.” This is the same Harry Reid who in April pronounced the war in Iraq was lost. (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: al-Dura Denied - The televised death of Muhammad al-Dura on Sept. 30, 2000 at the beginning of the al-Aqsa Intifada was replayed over and over again as propaganda by Palestinians, in a conflict that eventually claimed thousands of lives. Seven years later, the footage has been denounced as fauxtography by the Israeli government: “Seven years after the death of the Palestinian boy Muhammad al-Dura in Gaza, the Prime Minister's Office speaks out against the "myth of the murder". An official document from Jerusalem denied – for the first time – that Israel was responsible for the death of al-Dura at the start of the second intifada.” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Hillary 1993: Nationalize Health Care Through The Kids - Defenders of the S-CHIP expansion refute the accusations of its critics that it amounts to a Trojan horse for nationalized health care. However, The Politico notes that a 1993 memo from Hillary Clinton's health-care task force proposed using children as a mechanism in order to take control of health-care delivery for all Americans. The revelation gives the White House new momentum for its expected veto: “Back in 1993, according to an internal White House staff memo, then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s staff saw federal coverage of children as a ‘precursor’ to universal coverage.” (READ MORE)

Smooth Stone: Israeli Government Officially Confirms Al-Dura Footage was Staged Blood Libel Against IDF - We all knew it. And the Jew-hating Muslim thugs knew it too. Now the mask is off. From Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center: “In response to a warning letter sent by Shurat HaDin to the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO) more than 9 months ago, GPO Director Danny Seaman has written a formal acknowledgment that FRANCE 2 Television staged the infamous news footage depicting a Palestinian child being shot to death by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in September 2000.” (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: Iran & MAD: Can We Learn to Live With an Iranian Bomb? - On Friday, Siggy wrote an important post pointing out the emerging meme, gathering strength by the day, that the concern about Iran and nuclear weapons is being overblown. “The left is all a twitter because they fear a western effort to make sure Iran doesn’t get the bomb. More than one ‘analyst’ has declared that ‘we can live with’ an Iranian bomb.” Siggy does an exemplary job detailing why an Iranian bomb, indeed why an additional Middle Eastern Muslim bomb (beyond the Pakistani arsenal), would be extremely dangerous. The prevailing ideology of much of the Middle East is Jew-hatred. Historically, Jew haters have always attempted to bring their genocidal desires to fruition. (READ MORE)

Steve Schippert: Recognizing The Two Fronts of al-Qaeda Rhetoric - In The Two Faces of al-Qaeda, Raymond Ibrahim makes a successful attempt to succinctly identify and describe the two profoundly different messages al-Qaeda transmits. One message is for Western consumption and part of a wildly successful propaganda campaign intended to cloak al-Qaeda’s true motivations in words that have a greater chance of resonating with a Western audience largely inclined toward critical self-reflection at times of crisis. That message seeks to position al-Qaeda in the minds of Westerners as simply a reactive force that is itself a victim of US foreign policy and aggression. While this is unlikely to cause overwhelming sympathy for the terrorist group, it does fuel often debilitating Western self-criticism over its own policies. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Blackwater and the Phenomenon of Private Military Companies - Recent hearings by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Blackwater have focused attention on private military companies or PMCs in Iraq. The House Committee's stated goal is to: "determine whether a State Department contract with Blackwater is undermining the overall U.S. mission in Iraq and whether the department has 'responded appropriately to shooting incidents' involving the security firm. The committee is also trying to gauge what U.S. taxpayers pay for Blackwater services." (READ MORE)

LauraW: In The House Of Representatives Today - So, hey, what's happening this morning in the House? What will our esteemed elected officials, who reflect the wishes and needs of their constituents back home, be voting on today? It's not that long, and really ought to be read in its entirety. “HRES 635 IH 110th CONGRESS 1st Session H. RES. 635: Recognizing the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and commending Muslims in the United States and throughout the world for their faith.” (READ MORE)

Ilya Somin: The Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill Controversy and Irrational Hatred of Ideological Adversaries - The publication of Clarence Thomas' memoir will focus new attention on the controversy over who was telling the truth about Anita Hill's charge that he sexually harrassed her. To my mind, the most interesting aspect of this debate is the way in which nearly all conservatives seem to believe Thomas, while nearly all liberals believe Hill. The few exceptions were striking precisely because they were so unusual. (READ MORE)

Paul @ Wizbang: An Overdue Dose of Humility in the Global Warming Debate? - If I didn't know better, I'd say something protruded thru the icecap of global warming hubris I've so often talked about. It seems the ice in the Arctic is humbling the researchers because among other things (gasp) there are factors on this planet they didn't put into their computer models. Is the hubris melting as fast as the Icecaps? We'll see. “Arctic Melt Unnerves the Experts - The Arctic ice cap shrank so much this summer that waves briefly lapped along two long-imagined Arctic shipping routes, the Northwest Passage over Canada and the Northern Sea Route over Russia.” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Blame Canada! - Thanks to James Joyner, I discovered this article about US military deserters seeking asylum in Canada. It's Viet Nam all over again, the attitude seems to be. Except it's not. In Viet Nam, it was some deserters, but also draft dodgers -- young men who had no desire to serve in the military and were facing involuntary conscription. But the draft ended about 25 years ago, and we have no "draft dodgers" any more -- these are all deserters, men (the ones listed here are all male) all voluntarily enlisted in the Armed Forces, and now wish to be released from their pledges. (READ MORE)

Jim Addison: Bloodbath in Burma? - While most contact with the outside world has been cut off in Burma (or "Myanmar," as renamed by the ruling military junta), scattered reports indicate human carnage which could approach the scale of the 1988 atrocities, where over 3000 were killed as the junta "cracked down" on democracy advocates. Marcus Oscarsson relates reports in the Daily Mail that the deaths may come into "several thousands," including hundreds of Buddhist monks who were arrested, executed, and dumped in the jungle. (READ MORE)

Meryl Yourish: Egypt helping Israel’s enemies - Say, those 80 Hamas terrorists that Egypt let through the Rafah crossing? Turns out they got military training in Iran. Peachy. Israel has issued a message to Egypt expressing the seriousness with which it regards Cairo’s decision to allow at least 80 Hamas members to cross into Gaza last Sunday, because some of those who crossed have recently undergone extensive military training in Iran and Syria, security sources said. And oh, yeah—Egypt is lying about breaking its peace treaty with Israel. (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: Analyzing civilian casualties in Iraq - If you read only one blog post today, see John Wixted's tour de force analysis of civilian casualties in Iraq. Using the data from the anti-war Iraq Body Count, he shows (i) that IBC data corroborates General Petraeus (which fact IBC declined to acknowledge), (ii) that the Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army is by and large working with the United States, rather than against it, and (iii) that al-Qaeda's suicide bombings are almost certainly intended primarily to influence American public opinion rather than the political or military conditions in Iraq. (READ MORE)

Pros and Cons: Surprising Iraqi progress, on the one hand, despite continuing problems - IEDs continue to be the enemy’s most effective weapon. Low tech, hard to block or detect even with policing technology, and as this Washington Post series makes clear, persistently deadly. “To the extent we can be said t have lost in Iraq …” Fortunately, except for the fact that we haven’t entirely won yet, the enemy has tried everything it could to beat us straight up (big win for us - “Mission Accomplished” and all that), to beat us in a traditional insurgency (they did better, but we were still winning by 2005) and by fomenting enough inter-ethnic fighting and two front (Sunni and Shiite insurgencies by bombing Samara and having Takfiri Sunnis cooperate with Shiite insurgents in the pay of Tehran to fight American troops) fighting to dispirit coalition forces, and finally by targeting those working for the Iraqi state at all levels and then or its tribal allies. (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: Troll bait - I just feel a perverse need to throw chum in the water. Some folks can find negative economic news no matter what’s going on. Unemployment low? Watch out for inflation! Stock market up? Wait for the correction! Country richer than ever? Not everyone is getting wealthier at the same rate! Late last week, in the midst of several non-sequitur responses to this post, the fact that the dollar was falling against overseas currency was offered to me as Proof of Something Ominous Having to Do With Bush. Relying on my background in economics (one semester of 101 in plebe year, I believe) I replied in part: (READ MORE)

Texas Rainmaker: Democrats and Their Phoney Soldiers Campaign - It’s pathetic the depths at which the anti-war Democrats will go to support their position. Now Harry Reid, Leader of a Senate with an 11% approval rating is offering a resolution to condemn a radio personality for comments made on his show. Glad to see the Senate has solved all our country’s other problems and can now focus on these important items. “Last week, Rush Limbaugh went way over the line, way over the line. While I respect his right to say anything he likes, his unpatriotic comments I cannot ignore. During his show last Wednesday, Limbaugh was engaged in one of his typical rants. This one was unremarkable, indistinguishable from his usual drivel, which has been steadily losing listeners for years, [sic] until he crossed that line by calling our men and women in uniform who oppose the war in Iraq, and I quote, ‘phony soldiers.’ [sic] This comment was so beyond the pale of decency, and we can’t leave it alone. And yet he followed it up with denials and an attack on Congressman Jack Murtha, who was a 37-year active member of the Marine Corps, combat veteran.” (READ MORE)

The Shield of Achilles: Media Matters Turns Ugly and Phony - US politics have been quite ugly lately. Expect it to get much uglier, and more expensive before it's done. People are being killed all over the world, and typically, the US media becomes obsessed with political trivialities. Recently, Moveon.org, a front group and fundraiser for Democratic candidates, ran an advertisement against General Petraeus that was a public relations disaster. Although they claimed to get a fund-raising boost from it, it put them in damage control mode and the debate over the ad was essentially distraction from their anti-war message and had little to do with actual issues concerning Petraeus's testimony or the situation in Iraq. (READ MORE)

Tel-Chai Nation: US authorities refused to fund Hirsi Ali's security; she had to return to Holland - Astounding but true (via Hot Air): "Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali returned to the Netherlands, Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad reported on Monday. [...] The former legislator for the Liberal VVD party was allegedly forced to leave the US as American authorities had refused to finance the expenses of her personal security measures. So far, the Dutch government has paid all those expenses, but after more than a year of residency in the US, the Dutch allegedly said they were no longer willing to continue this arrangement." (READ MORE)

ROFASix: Political Snake Oil & anti IED systems - In February of 2006 I posted, "Army Screwing Troops - LA Times". It was about the Ionatron built Joint IED Neutralizer (JIN). Between the newspaper and the politicians, according to the story, soldiers were being killed by IEDs despite that 'fact' that JIN could easily defeat them. That post included a link to a video on the company web site that supposedly showed JIN destructing IEDs. Today, that link is gone, and so is any mention of the JIN hype from that period. (Click Image for Larger View.) In today's Washington Post, the rest of the story has finally come out in "When Physics Gets in the Way". (READ MORE)

William Teach: TLF: The Race Against Warming - Yes, it is more climahystericy. You know it won’t go away any time soon. Like defeat and retreat, forced health care and checkups for everyone, and soaking the rich-plus crying, whining, and personal attacks when the supporters are asked to debate it-climahystericy is here to stay. Just ask Bill McKibben at the Washington Post: “It’s the oldest and most cliched of metaphors, but when it comes to global warming, it’s the only one that really works: We’re in a desperate race. Politics is chasing reality, and the gap between them isn’t closing nearly fast enough. Consider the news from the real world, the one where change is measured with satellites and thermometers, not focus groups:” (READ MORE)

Dadmanly: More War, Says Sy - New Yorker luminary Seymour Hersh documents a purported “shift in targeting” by the President amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran, writing in The New Yorker. Hersh, at his most workmanlike in this piece, methodically builds a case in support of a careful Bush Administration campaign to make sure the US goes to war in Iran: “In a series of public statements in recent months, President Bush and members of his Administration have redefined the war in Iraq, to an increasing degree, as a strategic battle between the United States and Iran. “Shia extremists, backed by Iran, are training Iraqis to carry out attacks on our forces and the Iraqi people,” Bush told the national convention of the American Legion in August.” (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Gratefully Not Dead: Iraq Civilian and US Military Deaths Plummet - Fair warning: I am not a military strategist, nor do I play one on the internet. But I am an interested layman, and I've read as much as I can understand about counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy without returning to university. From what I gather, one of the predictions of classical COIN is that, as the country fighting the insurgents shifts to a more effective COIN strategy, the indicator of success will be a significant drop in both civilian and military casualties, including deaths. (From now on, I will only discuss deaths, because it's hard to get data on non-fatal casualties.) (READ MORE)

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