Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Adapting to win?

The latest from the GOP is nothing but sheer spin. Spin in a frightening degree of ferocity. What RNC Chair Ken Mehlman said Sunday on Meet the Press was language replacing effective policy:
MR. MEHLMAN: Look, the fact is that our mission in the war in Iraq is critical. We agree on that; we agree it’s wrong to cut and run. But look, we’re not coming in and saying “Stay the course.” The choice in this election is not between “Stay the course” and “Cut and run,” it’s between “Win by adapting” and “Cut and run.”

Let me tell you what we’re doing. The fact is, before the successful Iraqi elections, the number of troops went up from 137,000 to 167,000. That’s adapting to win. Recently, the increased troops in Baghdad, adapting to win. We changed how the training of Iraqi forces occurred to involve more Iraqis.

That’s adapting to win.
The situation in Iraq is dire, and the remedy is not a squeaker in the 2006 elections. The remedy is a tough choice, an honest choice. Is this the central front of the war on terror? If so, what exactly does that mean?

The New York Times will run this on their front page tomorrow. These are cold, brutal numbers:
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 15 — July appears to have been the deadliest month of the war for Iraqi civilians, according to figures from the Health Ministry and the Baghdad morgue, reinforcing criticism that the Baghdad security plan started in June by the new government has failed.

An average of more than 110 Iraqis were killed each day in July, according to the figures. The total number of civilian deaths that month, 3,438, is a 9 percent increase over the tally in June and nearly double the toll in January.

The rising numbers suggested that sectarian violence is spiraling out of control, and seemed to bolster an assertion many senior Iraqi officials and American military analysts have made in recent months: that the country is already embroiled in a civil war, not just slipping toward one, and that the American-led forces are caught between Sunni Arab guerrillas and Shiite militias.


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