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USA Today factoid:
Iraq war about to equal time U.S. spent fighting WWIIOf course, we haven't left Germany or Japan yet either. (Or Korea, for that matter).
The Iraq war is about to reach a benchmark that puts it on par with World War II by one measure: Sunday, it will have lasted the same number of days — 1,347 —that the United States fought the Axis.
On a related note, at the current rate the US military death toll will surpass that of the 1.5-year long Mexican War (13283) in another 10 or 12 years or so. I'm not going to do the math on how long it will take to equal WWII's U.S. death toll (the comparison is ridiculous, and only an idiot would make it) but we've already had more killed than on D-Day. Eclipsing the month-long battle for Iwo Jima could happen soon though - maybe another 4 years or so.
A better comparison might be the Phillipine's war (1899-1902) - 4300 American dead, and loads of accusations of imperialism and torture too. Of course, we have left the Phillipines, so that war appears to be over for now.
In the 3rd Grade, Mrs McCann made me stand in the corner, facing the wall for an entire day.
In the 11th Grade, the teachers handed out so many assignments in the last 2 weeks of school, I had to work thru the night to complete them. I don't even want to mention the cruelty of finals week in University.
Apparently, these acts have reached into the highest offices of Government
MADRID, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorised the mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq..."The methods consisted of making prisoners stand for long periods, sleep deprivation ... playing music at full volume, having to sit in uncomfortably ... Rumsfeld authorised these specific techniques."
Violence? No doubt. Exaggerated? Probably, but false reports and rumors do as much to fan the flames of "sectarian violence" as do actual attacks, especially when those reports are carried without qualification by a supposedly legitimate media source. Is that going on now? Who knows. A direct attack on Sadr's home turf will (perhaps ironically) likely spawn more violence than the attack on a revered shrine. But as the LA Times has more recently demonstrated, unlikely claims will be reported as facts without question.
AR RAMADI, Iraq – Iraqi soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 7th Division, conducted a census and security operation in western Ramadi Friday.
The operation sets the conditions for the 2-1-7 IA to assume the lead and take responsibility for their portion of the city. Once the area of operations is officially transferred to 2-1-7 IA, they will be the third and final battalion in the 1st Brigade, 7th IA to own an area of operation in Ramadi.
The institutions of good governance take an enormous amount of time to be built. Even with good governance, bad things can and do happen. I would note that the Green River Killer in Seattle killed more than 48 woman, and it took Law Enforcement 20 years to catch him.
Stop and think about it for a while. It took 20 years for Law Enforcement in the US to catch ONE particularly nasty murderer. How many particularly nasty murderers did Saddam let out of jail?
Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837...up until fairly recently, Chicago City Governance was considered by many to be corrupt.
In the fantasy world of Television, bad murderers are caught in a single one hour episode. The Corrupt City government can be fixed in a 2 hour movie, In the real world it can take 20 years to catch a single murderer, 200 years to fix a corrupt city government.
Progress building the institutions of good governance is taking place in Ramadi.
Patterico offers a great example of why you can't believe everything (or anything, for that matter) you read in the papers. The LA Times says there was a U.S. airstrike in Ramadi in which "at least 15 homes were pulverized " and "30+ people, including women and children" were killed. Patterico got responses to his own questions on the issue from a PAO In Ramadi and a CENTCOM spokesperson - both stated there was no airstrike at all. The Times had no comment from anyone in DoD, and hasn't updated their story.
Read the whole thing for good reasons to believe the military claims on this one.
I'd add that if it were true, this might be the largest air strike ever in Iraq, requiring multiple platforms to achieve that much devastation. A lot of other nearby structures must have been damaged too. It would be awfully gutsy of DoD to deny that any air strike occurred that day at all, since absolutely no one in the city (including the Reuters reporter Patterico cites who did not mention the incident - and every US military member there) would be unaware of it.
John of Argghhh could tell us how much ordnance his boys would have to lay down to take out a city block - Lex or John Noonan might be able to clarify whether we could (or would, I should say) level that much ground in one shot from above. Can anyone explain why the LA Times can't even balance their story?
While the Marines in Ramadi and an officer at CENTCOM took time to respond to Patterico, the LA Times would not - beyond this:
As I mentioned above, Moore never responded to my e-mail, which I sent out Monday morning. I copied it to the Readers’ Representative, who sent me her own response, which is fairly summarized as follows: “The answer to all your questions is right there in the article.” Of course, it wasn’t — which made the response even more amusing.Update: Here's Lex.
Last year when "Our Guys" were still in the Sandbox, I couldn't go into any store it seemed without hearing "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and it broke me up every time... Seems that's likely again this year because there are plenty of our Guys still there...
So I thought I'd take this opportunity to gently remind everyone as we go about shopping for the holidays, to remember to fill a box or two for our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen.... or be sure to drop by Soldiers' Angels Holiday for Heroes and make a donation to their efforts to be sure that No Soldier Goes Unloved... I've put up my annual list of suggestions if you're stuck for ideas over at Some Soldier's Mom with a link to the mailing dates...