They say numbers don't lie. Three-and-a-half years after the war in Iraq began, the numbers do tell a story.
Yes, millions of Iraqis did vote to elect a coalition government last winter — thanks to a ramped-up presence of nearly 150,000 U.S. troops. The violence in Baghdad, though, is so virulent, so widespread that those U.S. troops won't soon be coming home. The Pentagon announced this week that troop levels will stay that high until some time next year.
How can that be, though? Haven't thousands more troops — Iraqi and U.S. — been deployed there to quiet things down?
Here are the numbers: 3,590 civilians were killed in Baghdad in July. And, yes, the death toll dropped in August to 3,009. But that's still a hundred a day — a hundred dead civilians a day.
If you were keeping score at home it would be hard to add that all up and come up with victory.
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By Harry Smith