Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Grim News for Democrats: Sharp Drop in U.S. Iraq Casualties

I can't wait to hear the spin on this.

One can envision Dingy Harry preparing his speech claiming victory. Probably will say his declaring defeat back in the spring was part of a carefully coordinated strategy to drive his approval into single digits while ensuring success for America.

Well, as anyone except the New York Times can see, the situation in Iraq keeps looking better. The sooner the job is finished, the better, but I'm sure some entrenched Democrats are still planning for disaster. They have far too much invested in defeat to turn back now.

BAGHDAD - October is on course to record the second consecutive decline in U.S. military and Iraqi civilian deaths and Americans commanders say they know why: the U.S. troop increase and an Iraqi groundswell against al-Qaida and Shiite militia extremists.

Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch points to what the military calls "Concerned Citizens" — both Shiites and Sunnis who have joined the American fight. He says he's signed up 20,000 of them in the past four months.

"I've never been more optimistic than I am right now with the progress we've made in Iraq. The only people who are going to win this counterinsurgency project are the people of Iraq. We've said that all along. And now they're coming forward in masses," Lynch said in a recent interview at a U.S. base deep in hostile territory south of Baghdad. Outgoing artillery thundered as he spoke.

Lynch, who commands the 3rd Infantry Division and once served as the military spokesman in Baghdad, is a tireless cheerleader of the American effort in Iraq. But the death toll over the past two months appears to reinforce his optimism. The question, of course: Will it last?

As of Tuesday, the Pentagon reported 28 U.S. military deaths in October. That's an average of about 1.2 deaths a day. The toll on U.S troops hasn't been this low since March 2006, when 31 soldiers died — an average of one death a day.

In September, 65 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq.

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