Measuring Progress by Chaos in Iraq

Measuring Progress by Chaos in Iraq


A CNN headline just flashed across the screen: “President Bush cites progress in Iraq crackdown.” This from Bush, on the day that 93 Iraqis were blown up in the holy city of Karbala and nine American soldiers killed in twin attacks on Monday, the deadliest day for US troops since February 7, when a helicopter went down in Falluja.

If Bush measures “progress” by rising casualties, then the surge is going swimmingly. This is not the first time–and it won’t be the last–that the Administration has argued that Iraq is turning the corner during one of its bloodiest moments.

But the act is beyond dated. In the latest USA Today poll, only 28 percent of Americans think the US will “win” the war. Even the White House can’t define what a victory would look like. Maybe Bush should start reading polls, along with the newspaper.

And Congress ought to as well. Six in ten Americans want their elected representatives to set a deadline for withdrawing all US troops by the end of 2008.

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