Only Donald Rumsfeld could have announced, on the day that the U.S. death toll reached 1,000 in Iraq, that the U.S. military was making "progress" in Iraq.
But that's what he did.
"The progress has prompted a backlash, in effect, from those who hope that at some point we might conclude that the pain and the cost of this fight isn't worth it," he said at a Pentagon press conference on September 7.
What progress is he talking about?
The number of attacks against U.S. forces rose to more than 2,500 in August, 1,000 more than in either July or June and more than three times the number of attacks in March.
And those attacks are taking an awful toll.
"About 1,100 U.S. soldiers and Marines were wounded in Iraq during August, by far the highest combat injury toll for any month since the war began," Karl Vick of The Washington Post reported on September 5.
This is definitely not progress.
At the Sept. 7 press conference, General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, acknowledged that insurgents have control of several cities in central Iraq and that the new Iraqi military was not prepared to confront them yet.
That's odd, because President Bush had praised the Iraqi army in his speech at the Republican Convention.
As this debacle drags on, Rumsfeld and Bush are sounding more and more like McNamara and Johnson.
Copyright 2004 The Progressive