The military announced the deaths of seven American soldiers and marines near Baghdad on Monday, making October the fourth deadliest month for troops here since the war began.
The attacks brought the number of Americans killed in October to 92, the highest monthly toll since January, when 106 American troops were killed in violence ahead of national elections here.
Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita tells us not to worry.
"We are seeing more powerful capabilities," he said, "but we're getting better at interrupting the enemy's decision cycle, and getting better intelligence that is allowing us to stop more of these things, find more of them."
So, we've just had our fourth highest death toll since the fall of Hussein's statue, but we're finding and stopping more attacks?
"Curly Joe" Di Rita is running neck and neck with Scott McClellan for the most unbelievable administration spokesperson in Washington.
Both mouthpieces, of course, are following the fundamental assumption of their bosses: Simply saying something makes it true--whether it's true or not. These folks truly seem to believe they can spin reality from thin air.
Speaking of the fall of Hussein's statue, you knew that was staged by the U.S. Army, didn't you? Some colonel with a psyops team designated the statue as a "target of opportunity" and used loudspeakers to urge locals in the area to assist.
You probably remember the images they showed on American television. They were relatively close shots that gave one the impression the entire square in downtown Baghdad was awash with newly liberated Iraqis. In reality, no more than 150 people were involved. Click here to get the wide-angle view.
If you're going to create reality, I guess it helps when you have the cooperation of the U.S. News media.
Not much about our war in Iraq is real except, lamentably, the death, maiming, and destruction. Victory is just around the corner but we may need to "stay the course" indefinitely. We're beating the insurgency even as it gets stronger. The mission has been accomplished at least four times, but there's no telling when we'll accomplish it for the last time.
Everyone wonders what the Iraq strategy really is. I've decided it boils down to this. Bush and the chicken hawks won't leave Iraq until they run out of excuses to stay. But take heart, there's a silver lining. They're running out of excuses.
Remember way back when the reason for invading Iraq was about removing Hussein from office and getting rid of his WMD? Well, we got those blocks checked a while back.
Remember the talk about a free and democratic Iraq? The constitution's ratified, and an elected government will be in place by Christmas.
What then? Stick around and prove we can't defeat the insurgency? No need for that. We've already proven it.
Of course, there's the argument that we'll need to stay and ensure none of Iraq's neighbors invade the new democracy. But that's an insane argument. Who in the world--in their right minds or otherwise--wants to repeat what we just went through?
Come January, Mister Bush and his very best friends will have to get very, very creative. Whatever excuses they come up with then, they'll have to be good.