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Troop Combat Losses Plummet to Lowest Since Invasion Itself

June 20, 2008
Successful Troop Surge has Crushed al Qaeda and Pacified Iraq, but Obama and Liberals Continue to Deny It

Despite the fact that the remarkably successful 2007 surge increased the number of American troops in Iraq, May 2008 combat casualties plummeted to their smallest number of the entire war.

This is also despite intense battlefield operations that have decimated al Qaeda and pushed it to the brink of collapse. After all, one would logically expect that the troop surge and intense combat operations would increase troop casualties, but their success has had precisely the opposite effect.

As Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Hayden stated to The Washington Post, “Near strategic defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq. Near strategic defeat of al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Significant setbacks for al Qaeda globally.” This is because al Qaeda converged on Iraq as its most-important theater of battle, so the surge’s success had the broader effect of crippling it worldwide.

And lest one conclude that this improvement stems from American troops withdrawing while Iraqis slaughter themselves, Iraqi military and civilian casualties have also plunged. In fact, the number of violent incidents in Iraq has reached the lowest level since March 2004, over four years ago.

Perhaps even more importantly these military and safety improvements have in turn spurred dramatic political improvements in Iraq. Among other advancements, Prime Minister Maliki has consolidated his authority, and the political reconciliation among various Iraqi factions that was a stated benchmark of progress in the country is taking place.

In other words, the surge hasn’t merely been a military success, but a political one as well.

This remarkably good news can no longer be denied or ignored, even by Barack Obama, the mainstream media and liberals who labeled the surge futile. But where is their acknowledgement or recognition of our troops’ accomplishments?

Senator Obama’s reluctance is understandable, of course. When the surge began in January 2007, he foolishly predicted its inevitable failure. Similarly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – Nevada) astonishingly pronounced that, “this war is lost” soon thereafter.


Anyone who personally knows men and women in uniform serving in Iraq can attest to the fact that those soldiers and Marines almost invariably report unbelievable improvements in Iraq. And as demonstrated above, the raw numbers confirm those first-hand accounts.

Yet somehow, Senator Obama thinks he knows better.

He continues to bury his head in the sand, refusing to return to Iraq to witness firsthand the obvious improvements on the ground there. Amazingly, he has also refused to meet with General David Petraeus, the man who conceived and led the surge, and who frequently returns to Washington, D.C.

Obviously, Senator Obama is afraid that such visits would highlight for American voters the fact that his judgment was wrong, and Senator John McCain’s judgment was correct.

Confronted with the inability to deny this progress, he instead seeks to run out the clock until November’s election, hoping that less-informed voters won’t recognize the falsity of his repeated claim that we have “simply thrown U.S. troops at the problem, and it has not worked.”

That’s simply not true, and Senator Obama is either recklessly distorting the facts or is so catastrophically uninformed that voters must question his fitness for the White House. He maintains that American presence in Iraq “distracts” us from defeating al Qaeda, but the fact is that our success in Iraq has nearly weakened the terrorist organization to the point of collapse worldwide.

Even worse, Senator Obama continues to promise that he’ll remove American combat forces from Iraq as President. This would foolishly unravel our troops’ astounding success there and consign Iraq to a future of chaos on the scale of 1970s Cambodia or Vietnam.

If Senator Obama is truly a “post-partisan” and “new kind of politician,” then he will acknowledge his mistake and commit to complete America’s victory there.

Our troops deserve no less. America deserves no less.
Founded in 1998, the Center for Individual Freedom is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with the mission to protect and defend individual freedoms and individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

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