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July 25, 2008

US Iraq Death Toll in July? Four
But See Correction At End

...with (pounding wood) just six days left in the month.

A Pentagon official notes this Grim But Not Nearly as Grim as the Liberals Would Like Milestone in stating that the surge, by any metric chosen, has been an unqualified -- and for many, an unwelcome -- success.

The surge in Iraq has been a success by any measure, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said during a news conference July 23.


The surge has allowed Iraq to make improvements from security, political and economic standpoints, Morrell said. The last of the five surge brigade combat teams recently left Iraq.

“By every metric that we measure violence in Iraq, there has been a dramatic improvement from where things were before the surge,” Morrell said. “I'll just point to one, and that is [that] in July of last year, we had 79 U.S. [servicemembers killed in action] in Iraq. We have four thus far this month.”

The dramatic security gains have provided room for political and economic successes. “You name it, it is happening in Iraq,” Morrell said. “Do you want to talk about political gains? We've had basically all the major benchmark legislation passed.”

The Sunni bloc has returned to the government, 10 of 18 Iraqi provinces are under local control, and Najaf International Airport has reopened. “You see a $300 million luxury hotel opening up in the Green Zone [and] $50 million in refurbishment of the airport road,” Morrell said. “There's economic investment, and there's political progress. There's increased security. All those things are undeniable, and they are attributable to the fact that we plussed up forces in there.”

Moqtada al-Sadr moved briskly through the fashionable Paris throngs, his trademark Armani duster coat snapping smartly in the vigorous breeze blowing up from the quays below.

At a dilapidated phone kiosk outside 27 1/2 Rue Montaigne, he fingered a curious coin -- a small white-gold coin depicting an eagle gripping a bloody heart in its talons, a micro-computer chip gleaming in the eagle's left eye -- and clinked it into the phone's coinslot. He casually glanced about to see if he was being observed; thankfully the assortment of Left Bank cafe-goers and fat happy tourists had other concerns besides a stylish and brutally handsome man in a telephone booth.

He authoritatively punched the secret code into the phone -- Six Six Six -- and was swept by pneumatic action through a series of of stainless steel tubes snaking their way through the Paris Underground. The black wings of his coat furling around him like piratical war-flags, he was deposited upon the Italian marble flooring of his European lair -- his "Outer Sanctum," he thought to himself as his sensuous lips curled into an enigmatic half-grin.

He was immediately greeted by his ruthlessly efficient and efficiently ruthless manservant -- or, more properly, womanservant -- Contessa Connie Moistburrow, her blazing red hair framing a face that recalled, simultaneously, an innocent schoolgirl and gorgeous whore who worked the roughest docks. In hell.

Her face lighted up upon seeing Moqtada's eyes, his deep dark pools of raw sexuality and restless intelligence and also confident masterfulness a hint of artistic brilliance. Plus he looked like he probably had a big one.

She could hardly stop herself from embracing this man, this black-clad sex-god, but her training halted her mid-step and she struck an attentive pose.

"The modifications have been made to your personal gyrocopter," she said, her breasts heaving beneath the sheer silk of her shirt. I'm pretty sure you could see some nipple poking through on the right, but maybe that was just her IdentiBadge. Sure looked like a nipple, though.

"This pleases me," Moqtada said with a knowing smile, for he knew this simple statement -- "This pleases me" -- filled his lovesick whore-child of a chief assassin with happiness, and also vaginal lubrication.

"What are your orders, My Leader?" Contessa Connie Moistburrow asked, but her tone said Tie me up like a coked-up gibbon having an epileptic seizure. And stick a wallet in my mouth so I don't bite off my tongue. From all the man-matter you'll be filling my she-void with.

"Have the men assemble in the Hall of Victory -- at dawn."

"At dawn, sir?"

"Well, dawn-ish," Moqtada said. "It is Casual Friday, after all. And it's Achmad's birthday. We'll have a bit of cake and then -- we don our Strike Armor. Our Casual Friday Strike Armor, though. I want to see lots of Hawaiian shirts over their cybernetic active torso defenses. There's no reason we can't have a bit of fun while conquering the infidel pig monkeys."

-- Excerpt from Sex-Assault on Fortress Loveblast (A Moqtada al-Sadr Action Thriller), by Moqtada al-Sadr, published by everyone in the mainstream media. Copyright 2008.

(A previous excerpt is here, as well as in the comments.)

Correction: A Better Where alerts me to the fact that iCasualties says 11 have been killed -- seven hostile, four non-hostile.

iCasualties, however, includes at least two "July deaths" which are not July deaths at all -- they include the two soldiers whose bodies were found in July, but who were kidnapped and killed in May of 2007.

I don't know of other cases like that, but I am suspicious of their figures given that misleading method of counting. Also, for example, a Navy man killed accidentally on a flight deck (presumably of an aircraft casualty) is counted as an "Iraq casualty." I guess it is, sort of.

Even taking the rest of iCasualty's figures as accurate, the true numbers would be five killed by hostile fire, four killed by non-combat mishap.

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posted by Ace at 03:11 PM

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