Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Media exaggerates the threat in Iraq

You don't say...

WASHINGTON (AP)-[off the wire, no link]-The risk to National Guard soldiers of getting killed or wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan has been exaggerated, making recruiting more difficult, the general in charge of all National Guard forces said Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. Steven Blum told a group of defense reporters that more than 250,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen have been mobilized for active duty since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and 262 of them have been killed.

"It is dangerous, but it is - I shouldn't say it to this group but I'm going to - it is misrepresented, how dangerous it really is," he said.

The casualty rate for Guardsmen is "remarkably low," compared with any previous armed conflict, Blum said, adding that he recognizes that every individual loss is a tragedy for that person's family. "But I lose, unfortunately, more people through private automobile accidents and motorcycle accidents over the same period of time," he added.

In all, more than 1,750 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in March 2003 - the vast majority since President Bush declared the end of major combat operations in May 2003.

Copyright © 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.(AP-DJ)--07-12-05 1023EDT

These men and women serving in the Amred Forces deserve our respect as fo their familes. And as far as wars go, this one has been no where near as bad as past wars as far as our casualties are concerned. In the last media inspired "quagmire," Vietnam we had 47,369 KIA, compared to our "quagmire" in Iraq where we've lost 1,752 to date (and that's from an anti-war site). While every life lost is tragic, it is still a necessity. But things are progressing to a point where we are considering a gradual pullout.

LONDON (AP)-[off the wire, no link]-The U.K. hasn't decided to withdraw troops from Iraq, although contingency planning is under way, Prime Minister Tony Blair's office said Monday.

A leaked government memorandum shows the U.K. is considering scaling back its troop presence from 8,500 to 3,000 by the middle of 2006, saving nearly $1 billion annually.

The memo, marked "Secret -U.K. Eyes Only," and signed by U.K. Defense Secretary John Reid, also says there is a "strong U.S. military desire for significant force reductions."

"Emerging U.S. plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006," which would see the multinational force cut from 176,000 to 66,000.

Copyright © 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.(AP-DJ)--07-11-05 1521EDT

If we want this democracy to work in Iraq, we have to do it right. And pre-set timetables and written-in-stone dates by which we'll have everything fixed are ridiculous. Things are going far better than you think. As always Chrenkoff has the latest in good news from Iraq.