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October 25, 2007

Beauchamp Is A Distraction From The Fact That Not A Single Soldier Was Killed In Anbar Last Week (First Time Since 2003)

I'm sure Andrew Sulivan, T-Bogg, Amanda Marcotte, DKos, etc., are all over this story, rather than squandering their talents on the distraction of l'affaire Beauchamp.

U.S. combat troop deaths and other violence in Iraq are down significantly in some of the most dangerous places of insurgent activity, including Al Anbar province, military officials in Washington and Baghdad said Wednesday.

Maybe most significant was that last week there was not a single military casualty — Iraqi or U.S. — in Anbar, said Maj. Gen. Richard Sherlock, a Joint Chiefs spokesman. It is apparently the first time since March 2003 that could be said.


The numbers might be the most positive sign yet of progress against insurgent activity since January.

Sherlock also listed several other statistics that he said showed terrorist activity is decreasing:

— Violence in and around Baghdad is down 59 percent.

— Car bombs are down 65 percent.

— Casualties from car bombs and roadside bombs are down by 80 percent.

— Casualties from enemy attacks down 77 percent.

— Operations against Iraqi security forces are down 62 percent.

— Assassination attempts for sectarian reasons are down 72 percent.


Earlier Wednesday Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, and Iraqi Gen. Abud Qanbar briefed reporters from Baghdad, also showing violence decreasing since the surge peak.

Odierno said that with the decrease in violence, he expected the U.S. military to be able to hand over 40 to 50 percent of operations to the Iraqis by the end of 2008.

"We are anxious for them to take over full responsibility as they are anxious to take full responsibility," Odierno said.

"You will see steady progress over the next 12 months of us turning large portions of Baghdad (over) to Iraqi security forces as we continue to have success. I think it will be somewhere between 40 and 50 percent by the end of the year," he said.

He added he "doesn't have a crystal ball" but this is the plan.

"The terrorist operations have decreased to their lowest levels," Qanbar said.

Obsidan Wings and other liberal blogs were whining that they didn't want to cover Beauchamp anymore.

Well, here's the thing: You guys don't cover the news, you cover right wing bloggers, so tough shit, what we're covering, you have to cover. It's your model of "covering the news," not mine. I didn't get into blogging to document what some douchebag typed into a computer. (Well, technically, I did get into blogging partly for that reason, but I've evolved.)

But, in case you find yourself so overwhelmed by Beauchamp coverage and aren't sure what the "real issues" might be, the "real issues" you're so eager to write about: You might want to consider finally acknowledging the remarkable turnaround in Iraq at some point.

Or will you just continue in your Community-Based Reality in which none of these horrible facts are true?

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posted by Ace at 07:04 PM

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