Tuesday, October 30, 2007

American Death Toll Down in Iraq
But the War is Far From Over

One day left in October, and it looks like the U.S. death toll is going to be lower than it's been for a couple years. The Pentagon's representative said that it's too early to call this a trend. Iraq is still a dangerous place.

There's still fighting going on, and the sort of toss-a-grenade-out-the window violence that killed a shopper in Baghdad recently.

And, American soldiers are getting killed: 2/3 from combat this month.

As tragic as these deaths are, Iraq is looking less hopeless. Provincial security has been steadily being transferred to Iraqi (or Kurdish, in the north). Iraq's utilities are getting repaired and rebuilt after three decades of neglect, and sheiks are deciding that Al Qaeda isn't a good group to support.

"Less hopeless?" I'd say "hopeful."

I've compared aspects of the War on Terror to World War II. There are similarities. But the current conflict isn't a replay of that mid-century war.

For starters, WWII had a few well-defined nations threatening the rest of the world. The War on Terror is being fought against a loose collection of Islamic groups, with territories that shift from year to year.

I'll be surprised if I live to see the end of the War on Terror. But I hope that my children, or their children, will be free from religious fanatics who favor violence when it comes to spreading their beliefs.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.