BAGHDAD - Iraqi civilian deaths dropped to their lowest level since the start of the Baghdad security operation, government figures showed Sunday, suggesting signs of progress in tamping down violence in the capital.The increased presence in Baghdad has reduced the number of Iraqis killed in tribal 'revenge' killings. Some reduction may be attributable to the migration of Sunnis and Shias into friendlier neighborhoods and cities and through simple attrition. Most of it is due to well-trained American forces frequently patrolling the streets. Might as well wait until the cops pull out before going ahead fullsteam with the hits that have been planned.
But American casualties are running high as U.S. forces step up pressure on Sunni and Shiite extremists in and around Baghdad. ...
While Iraqi civilian casualties are down, U.S. military losses are still running high. June ended the deadliest quarter for U.S. troops in Iraq since the war began in March 2003 — 330 deaths. That surpasses the 316 soldiers killed during November 2004 to January 2005.
In the face of the resounding defeat of the Senatorial amnesty bill and the voluntary resignation of Tony Blair as British PM, President Bush has fewer friends than ever. With a virtual promise of no new major immigration legislation until after the 2008 elections, the media elites who painted so noble a portrait of him have already ended their capricious love affair with him.
He has little choice other than to pour every ounce of political clout he can manage to scrape up into extending the "surge" and like-minded schemes beyond this summer and through most of next year, to hand off the inevitably ugly conclusion of this quixotic war to his successor.
Thus far, the Democratic party has given the citizenry who gave them the Congressional reigns little reason to believe that they'll do a better job of beginning a drawdown than their counterparts on the other side of the aisle did.
The situation is ripe for a Republican Presidential candidate to distance himself from Congress and the Whitehouse. Opposed to hopeless interventionism and open borders, he should be able to run on a viable nationalistic populist campaign platform.