George W. Bush gave another White House speech on Monday in which he again misled the American people on the Iraq war and, at the same time, moved to new depths in his penchant for using the troops and their families as cheap props to eke out another sliver of faith in his failed policies.
I'm sure White House staffers don't tell these families how their anguish is to be used and Bush didn't waste much time yesterday before harnessing that grief to bolster his disastrous non-strategy in Iraq. The family of Michael Carlson, who died in Iraq two years ago, was present and Bush lowered the ethical bar still more by using the Carlson family -- and even a poem about being a soldier that Michael had written in high school -- to goad Congressional Democrats into accepting his ridiculous stay-the-course policy.
Bush using troops as props ? Say it ain't so! Do you suppose he acknowledges to these families who have sacrificed their loved ones for his occupation that the only tangible outcome of his "surge" tactic has been an increase in U.S. losses?
Over the past six months, American troops have died in Iraq at the highest rate since the war began, an indication that the conflict is becoming increasingly dangerous for U.S. forces even after more than four years of fighting.
From October 2006 through last month, 532 American soldiers were killed, the most during any six-month period of the war. March also marked the first time that the U.S. military suffered four straight months of 80 or more fatalities. April, with 58 service members killed through Monday, is on pace to be one of the deadliest months of the conflict for American forces.
Senior American military officials attribute much of the increase to the Baghdad security crackdown (NB note: also known as his "surge" policy), now in its third month. But the rate of fatalities was increasing even before a more aggressive strategy began moving U.S. troops from heavily fortified bases into smaller neighborhood outposts throughout the capital, placing them at greater risk of roadside bombings and small-arms attacks
This photo has made its way around the internets more than a few times, but I don't think that it can possibly be emphasized enough. What a perfect metaphor for the "War President."