Monday, five American soldiers were killed in two separate roadside bomb attacks and a sixth soldier died Monday night in combat, making 2007 the deadliest year of the entire American occupation of Iraq.
At least 852 American military personnel have died in Iraq so far this year, and this year isn't over yet. This is the highest annual toll since the invasion of Iraq began in March 2003. Military officials attribute the rise this year to an expanded troop presence during the so-called surge, which brought more than 165,000 troops to Iraq.
2007 will be far deadlier than the second-worst year, 2004, when 849 troops died. The United States has not experienced this many military deaths since the Vietnam era. Our overall losses in Iraq since the invasion four years ago have now reached 3,856. The total is likely to exceed 4,000 deaths by the end of 2007.
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, released this statement yesterday...
"No statistic can capture the pain and loss endured by the families of the fallen in Iraq, particularly the children of parents who will not be returning home. Those who have lost loved ones, and those still serving in Iraq and around the world, are in our thoughts and prayers every day as we work to bring an end to the President's disastrous war.
"While nothing compares to the loss of life in Iraq, the financial costs of the President's policy are enormous and growing, with $10 billion being spent each and every month of the war. The total cost for the Bush Administration's Iraq war could rise as high as $2 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
"With every passing day, the President's Iraq policy leaves the United States more isolated at a time when we must reclaim our moral leadership and rally the world to fight against terrorism. The choice is between a Democratic plan for responsible redeployment of our troops and the President's plan to spend another trillion dollars for a 10-year war in Iraq."
Then, over from right field with his head in the sand, comes this from Senator Joseph Lieberman, (I-CT), also yesterday:
"I'm proud to say that the tide has turned in Iraq and we're winning that war."
(Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Independent, CT, November 6th, 2007)
Of course, despite the growing death toll and huge national debt, Sen. Lieberman hasn't changed that much. He said this two years ago:
"The last two weeks.. .may be seen as a turning point." (Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Independent, CT, December 17th, 2005)
Meanwhile, violence against Iraqis continues.
A mass grave was found Saturday during a joint American-Iraqi operation in the Lake Tharthar area, a desolate rural area near the site of another grave, holding 25 bodies, that was found less than a month ago.
At this point, the people that speak straight and clear about the ending the war can absolutely be heard over the politicians that mumble and avoid.
This isn't about politics - it's about life and death - and right and wrong. The candidates that know the occupation in Iraq is wrong are the only ones that will be able to lead us out of this mess.
John Edwards released this statement yesterday:
As president, I will immediately withdraw 40,000 to 50,000 troops to jump-start the political solution that will end the violence, launch a diplomatic offensive with all local, national, and regional parties, and completely withdraw all combat troops within nine to ten months.
On such an important question we need honesty and answers, not double-talk and evasions. We need more honesty - and elected officials that will act boldly to stop the killing.
We cannot suffer these losses anymore.
It's just got to stop.