Four years ago, President Bush delivered his now-infamous “Mission Accomplished” speech aboard the carrier Abraham Lincoln, declaring that military aggression was a successful and appropriate response to the alleged threats posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime. Judging by the current situation, Bush might do well to pick a new slogan about the war in Iraq. Congress is marking the date by handing Bush a passed bill that sets Oct. 1 as the date for the U.S. to begin bringing our troops home (a plan the president says he’ll veto). With more lives lost on both sides of the battle and more members of Congress on both sides of the aisle doubting that victory is possible, it appears Bush was more than a little hasty with his pronouncement.
The deaths of more than 100 American troops in April made it the deadliest month so far this year for U.S. forces in Iraq, underscoring the growing exposure of Americans as thousands of reinforcements arrive for an 11-week-old offensive to tame sectarian violence.
More than 60 Iraqis also were killed or found dead across Iraq on Monday. Casualties among Iraqi civilians and security forces have outstripped those of Americans throughout the war. In March, a total of 2,762 Iraqi civilians and policemen were killed, down 4 percent from the previous month, when 2,864 were killed. Iraq’s government has yet to release any monthly totals for April.