Casualties suffered by the coalition have levelled off at around 18 per day. This has been stable for the last 10 months or so and is lower than the higher rate of 26 per day experienced from April - November '04. That's not totally bad news but it's not really good news either. The figures for Iraqi casualties tell a much grimmer picture. Iraqi casualty rates have risen steadily since January 2004 (with one blip), going from 26 per day then to 63 per day now. According to the US military's own figures, the insurgency is causing more than twice as many Iraqi casualties now as it did in January 2004.
He is right, although it's probably worth pointing out that there are more Iraqis "in service" now than there were in January 2004 (when we'd disbanded the police and army: probably something of an error, that). Hwe rails once more against the Bush/Blair combine, and reminds us that these are more than statistics.
And it is important not to forget that each of these numbers represents a real person with their own family and their own friends and their own favourite TV programmes and their own hopes and dreams for the future. Each of these statistics represents a real person dead or injured. The limbs of real people are being blown off, the skin of real people is being burned off their bones. Families are being torn apart. These things are happening in Iraq every day. The situation is desperate and it's getting worse by the week. Something has to be done.
Yes, yes; so everyone keeps saying. The question is, what should be done? Perhaps try to form an elected Iraqi goverment, help them form a contitution, and help to train their troops? Apparently not.
Bugger off and leave them to it? That hardly seems fair. So. What. Do. We. Do? Can anyone think of anything? At all?
People seem very eager to bash the Iraq situation, and many people have also maintained that they saw this coming some time ago. Well, that's fantastic, and you are far more perceptive than our leaders (when has that ever been disputed?); however, given that we are now in there, and the situation is as it is, what should we do?
There seem to be a lot of people bashing Blair/Bush for what is happening, and almost no one actually presenting any kind of "acceptable" solution.