Skip to comments.Military deaths in Iraq hit 2,500
Posted on 06/15/2006 7:23:28 AM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
BAGHDAD (Reuters) -- The number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq has reached 2,500, the Pentagon said on Thursday, more than three years into a conflict that finds U.S.-led forces locked in a struggle with a resilient Sunni Arab insurgency.
The news came after a senior Iraqi official in Baghdad said his country's security forces had seized al Qaeda in Iraq documents giving key information about the militant group's network and the whereabouts of its leaders.
"We believe this is the beginning of the end of al Qaeda in Iraq," national security adviser Mowaffaq al-Rubaie told a televised news conference in the Iraqi capital.
In Washington, the Pentagon also said 18,490 U.S. troops had been wounded in the war, which began in March 2003 with a U.S.-led invasion to topple President Saddam Hussein.
Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed.
Rubaie told Reuters earlier this year the insurgency against the U.S.-backed, Shi'ite-led government had been defeated. But violence has continued to rage across Iraq, killing hundreds of people and showing no signs of abating.
Iraqi and U.S. officials have also in the past said al Qaeda, blamed for some of the bloodiest attacks in Iraq in the last three years, was on the defensive.
They have hailed last week's death of al Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a U.S. air raid as a major blow to the insurgency, while cautioning it would not end violence.
About 50,000 Iraqi troops, supported by more than 7,000 U.S.-led forces, launched a security crackdown in Baghdad this week aimed at putting further pressure on militants.
"The government is on the attack now ... to destroy al Qaeda and to finish this terrorist organization in Iraq," Rubaie said.
AL QAEDA HIDEOUT
He added that some documents were found in an al Qaeda hideout where Zarqawi had been, but did not make clear whether this was the place where the Jordanian militant was killed.
Holding what he said was one of them in his hand, he added:
"I present to you a document that was found in one of Zarqawi's computers that reveals many dangerous things and gives details on strategy and plans of the al Qaeda terrorist organization in Iraq."
But a copy of the unsigned document, whose authenticity could not be independently verified, did not identify the anonymous author as an al Qaeda member or give specific information about any planned attacks.
Instead, it suggested that insurgent forces were being weakened by U.S. raids and propaganda and proposed ways to counter this, for example by infiltrating Iraq's armed forces, recruiting new members and manufacturing more weapons.
It also said the best way to get out of "the crisis" was to foster conflict between the United States and another country, like Shi'ite Iran, and by stirring U.S.-Shi'ite tension in Iraq.
Rubaie said the confiscated material showed that al Qaeda's central strategy was to "divide, destroy and rule."
He added: "These documents have given us the edge over al Qaeda and (they) also gave us the whereabouts of their network, of their leaders, of their weapons and the way they lead the organization and the whereabouts of their meetings."
Al Qaeda has vowed to fight on and its new leader in Iraq, little known Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, vowed in a Web statement earlier this week to avenge Zarqawi's death.
The U.S. military said on Thursday it believed the real name of the group's new leader was Abu Ayyub al-Masri. Al-Masri, an Egyptian, trained in Afghanistan and formed al Qaeda's first cell in Baghdad.
I do not believe we will reach 3,000.
I think the tide has turned, and I think Iraq will take on more of it's own security, and will be a lot more effective in stopping the terrorist (as they can also be a lot more ruthless).
A wonderful article on RealClearPolitics today -
June 15, 2006
Why I Left The Left
By Seth Swirsky
I used to be a liberal.
Iraq is the "Normandy" of the War on Terror. The hope, once Iraq and Afghanistan are more stable, is that the nearly 70 million people in Iran will look at those countires (on it's left and right borders) and say: "Why do these people get to vote, send their women to school, and buy Nikes and we don't?" - and then topple their Mullah's dictatorial regime. The President understands the big picture -- that if the U.S. doesn't help to remake that volatile region, we will face a nuclear version of 9/11 within the next two or five or 10 years. He is simply being realistic in his outlook and responsible in his actions. Iraq is succeeding, slowly but surely, but that's not a sexy enough story to lead the news with: the relatively small amount of casualities are. Don't forget, we occupied Germany and Japan for seven years and we still have troops there, more than 60 years after World War II ended.
And what have the Democrats contributed to the war effort since 9/11? Democrat Sen. Russ Feingold has suggested censuring our president; Former President and Vice President Bill Clinton and Al Gore, while visiting foreign countries, have blasted President Bush - acts of unconscionable irresponsibility; Democrat Sen. John Murtha, has invoked a cut-and-run policy in Iraq, supported by Democrat Senate Minority leader Harry Reid and Democrat House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Do they think the Middle East and the World would be safer if we had cut and run, as Murtha's plan wanted us to do? Under that plan, our troops would have been out of Iraq by May 18th and al-Zarqawi wouldn't be dead, but pulling the strings in an Iraqi civil war. With these kinds of ideas and behaviors, I just don't trust Democrats when it comes to our national security.
Rest in peace brave warriors. We will never forget you.
Nothing like seeing a good ZOT every now and then
Eye-opening stuff in that article, m.
Butternut squash is one of my favorite foods! Yes, that is a powerful article.
Safest war in military history. We lost 36,000 in the 3 years of the Korean War. This is unheard of. Our military should be congratulated but these heroes make a great club for the left.
Pray for W and Our Troops
The MSM and the Dems like to frame the issue and have steadfastly tried to separate the war of choice (Iraq) from the war of necessity (Afghanistan). They fail to recognize that Iraq is part of the WOT and the battle against AQ. We shouldn't let them get away with it. Koppel recited the names of the dead lost in Iraq and ignored Afghanistan. It is all part of the antiwar campaign.
Reuters and our news media also fail to mention that Iraqi security forces (military and police) have lost approximately 4800 personnel. The insurgents have also killed another 10,000 Iraqi civilians.
Try the recipe, you'll love it even more, m.