Just in time for Memorial Day, the AP resurrects the "grim milestone:"
Americans have opened nearly 1,000 new graves to bury U.S. troops killed in Iraq since Memorial Day a year ago. The figure is telling - and expected to rise in coming months.
This is interesting. The AP acknowledges that the strategy has changed significantly, if only to point out that the changes have left us more "vulnerable:"
Thousands more American soldiers are patrolling the streets and living in isolated outposts across Baghdad, leaving them more vulnerable to attack. He (Michael O'Hanlon) also said the increase in raids on extremist Shiite militiamen had brought a wave of retaliatory attacks.
Jules Crittendon notes the absence of any AP reference to "grim" milestones in Afghanistan. It's as if there isn't even a war happening there. Crittendon also puts some context to the AP's endless body counts:
In case you care, Terrorist Death Watch’s tally of officially announced terrorists offed by U.S. forces in Iraq since June 1 last year is 1,578. I suspect that number is conservative. The Associated Press remains noticeably disinterested in that number. In addition to that, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of terrorism suspects taken prisoner. There are car bomb factories and Iranian weapons smuggling operations that were shut down. There are people who have come forward with information. There are Iraqi units that have come on line, combat effective, playing a growing role in operations.
Since Memorial Day last year, we’ve seen Anbar turn, we’ve seen Sunni-Shiite reconciliation become popular enough that Moqtada al-Sadr is now trying to get in front of it. We’ve seen businesses reopen and people return to their homes in Baghdad. We’ve seen Shiite militias aggressively engaged and Sunni insurgents on the run. We’ve seen the number of sectarian murders drop. Those facts typically get buried when they are mentioned at all, unless there’s an uptick in death, when they suddenly become news again, to be cited as evidence of failure. AP prefers its milestones grim.
We have seen a backlash in the face of these advances, as our enemies attempt to undermine the surge strategy. The enemy, unhappy with the surge, has responded with a car-bomb campaign. This has been a great relief to the Associated Press and others who would like to see us lose in Iraq. Each car bomb has been savored by the Associated Press, like every American death, another sign of hopelessness to cling to.
Read it all.