The bad news: 38 percent of Americans still approve of the way Mister Bush is handling the war. What they think there is to approve of is beyond me.
An editorial in today's New York Times gives us a pretty good low down on the situation in Afghanistan. "Afghanistan is out of the headlines, but its war against the Taliban goes on. These days, it is not going well."
The problem, it seems, is Pakistan. General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's military ruler, is "passively" aiding the Taliban. In March, Taliban fighters started showing up in greater numbers along the Afghan-Pakistan border with "suspiciously sophisticated" weapons. 38 US soldiers have died in combat in Afghanistan this year along with hundreds of Afghans, and next month's primary elections are threatened.
And this just in: Afghanistan is still a narco-state.
The Time 's Craig S. Smith reports that "A day after losing 15 marines in fighting along the Euphrates River, the American military command [in Iraq] said Thursday that suicide attacks had declined as a result of its three-month campaign to stem the flow of foreign fighters coming down the river valley from Syria."
Note they're talking about "suicide" attacks. The total number of attacks of all kinds remains constant.
Brig. Gen. C. Donald Alston, chief spokesman for the American command, said 13 car bombings occurred in Iraq last week, only three of which were suicide bombings, the lowest weekly figures since the current counterinsurgency campaign in western Anbar Province began. The military regards car bombings, suicide bombings in particular, as a rough measure of foreign fighter activity because it contends that most of the suicide bombers are foreign militants.
Only three of thirteen bombings were suicide attacks. Mission accomplished, huh?
"When I look at the bar charts, the statistics are a clear indication that the tempo of suicide attacks has decreased," General Alston said, noting that the percentage of car bombings involving suicide bombers was as high as 60 percent a few months ago. He expressed optimism that the flow of foreign fighters was ebbing. "This is not an expanding insurgency," he said.
Ah, the insurgency is not expanding. Um, is that supposed to be a good sign, General?
MSNBC reports the Marines have launched a new offensive. No word on how this new offensive might bring improved success over the old offensives.
I'm never quite sure what to make of the Boston Globe's Mike Barnacle, but I sure cheered his rant on this morning's Imus program. It's time for the mainstream media to stop helping the administration soft peddle this woebegone war and start showing the delusional 38 percent what it really looks like.