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Fallujah and U.S. Fatalities

There's a lot of choose from this morning. Another government agency loses a computer with personal data on it; Democratic presidential candidates tend to inflate their resumes (oh my, what a surprise!): and in Iraq, on a day when U.S. fatalities in that war reach 4,000, we learn from Post reporter Sudarsan Raghavan that the much-advertised return of security to Fallujah is "the result of harsh tactics recalling the rule of Saddam Hussein."

Many of Our Readers Who Comment are devoting their attention to the Iraq stories. Several of them also read the print version of The Washington Post and complained because the article on the U.S. death toll reaching 4,000 appeared on Page A9 instead of A1. The number -- 4,000 U.S. deaths -- was highlighted at the bottom of the front page with a referral to the complete story; it is receiving essentially the same treatment on the home page. I think the complainers have a point.

The comments from these two stories have a similar tone: why are we there? One is a status report on a statistic, the other is a portrait of how a strong man has restored order through the use of tactics that resemble those of a police state. Several ask what will happen after the U.S. leaves, but few supporters of the U.S. position in Iraq have bothered to post and several readers have urged that the troops be brought home.

First the comments on the U.S. death toll reaching 4,000.

lockmallup wrote, "Published on page A9!? This is an A1 story! Horrific! Congress is to blame because they let this senseless occupation go on and on without accountability via impeachment and conviction."

hfl2001 said, "Page A9? You've got to freaking be kidding me. What a joke this paper has become."

angiela_quynh wrote, "Can someone tell me how to deal with it everyday? My husband is in Iraq now:( When will this war end?"

mhitchons asked, "...When General Petraeus reports to the Congress in April, will he be loyal to his men or to this abomination of an administration? How many more have to die before we grow up and admit that our Iraq policy has been an abysmal failure?"

pali2500 said, "Yup, the 'surge' is working."

barbnc observed, "But the surge is working! Falluja is being stablized by brute strength. Our soldiers are being paid fairly. The Washington Post says so. How did this un-american column get in the newspaper?"

jvandeswaluw1 wrote, "Support the troops!! Bring them home now!!"

childressp asked, "...Will someone please tell me what 'victory' looks like? Someone please tell me what 'surrender' means in a war of choice. Someone please tell me why our troops continue to die for an occupation that the nation doesn't want and that doesn't serve our national interest. The war is over, its time to bring our troops home!"

mcafla agreed, suggesting, "Declare victory and leave. The American military did its job getting rid of Saddam. Now we are occupiers and 70% of Iraqis want us out of Iraq. As Senator Webb said we should find a way for them to ask us to leave..."

On the Fallujah story, thall1 said, "And all this time we thought that Arabs in general and Iraqi's in particular did not believe in any torture like "water boarding". We should all ask ourselves if any of what Zobaie [Col. Faisal Ismail al-Zobaie,the Fallujah police chief] says is worth consideration."

BrianX9 wrote, "it is false to say that the US has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on programs to strengthen Rule of Law. The US programs, from "Focused Stabilization" to "Provincial Economic Growth" to everything in between are all designed to strengthen colonial rule."

simonleonard observed that "The more things change, the more they stay the same..."

michael_ah_oleary said, "...Smells of Latin American military dictators of the 80s and 90s. Thank heavens our military advisor man in these countries knows who the bad guys are otherwise mistakes would be made. I suppose after Saddam Mark I, it was not too hard to dig out and dust off the manual to find Saddam Mark II."

OldProgessivefromWisconsin said, "I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala in the early 80's. The police used the same tactics and we commonly saw the piles of tortured bodies along the road... Peace through harsh oppression is not peace and will fester until it explodes in unpredictable ways. I wouldn't want to be related to any of the police. The day will come when the Americans will leave and the people will have their revenge."

negotiator6 asked, "...What is going to happen when the drawdown comes...we have not solved not one things relative to security issues. A civil war or militia war will happen..absolutely!... we need to begin the process of drawdown..the Bush doctrine of securing oil in Iraq has been a dismal failure and his legacy will be of a black hole of death and destruction."

We'll close with Alsatian1 who wrote,"The day after we leave, it all falls apart, no matter what we accomplish. That's the definition of a waste of time."

All comments on the U.S. death toll of 4,000 are here.

All comments on the Fallujah story are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  March 24, 2008; 7:52 AM ET
Categories:  Iraq  
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Next: The Curse of the L-Word


Please, a little perspective on the military death toll. During the Clinton years there were more than 14,000 US service deaths for which we gained little. Service related deaths during the Bush years are far less and have freed millions from least for now.

Posted by: Shmorriss | March 27, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Without investigation, the U.S. Press and TV News will believe and report as posted, everything coming out of the White House and rom NeoCons who spin this war as the "right thing to do". Our leader was in morning out on the White House lawn celebrating the annual Easter Egg hunt with the kiddies. Heres a NEWS FLASH: Bush morns...Crocodile tears.

Posted by: KProctor | March 24, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

When the Media is going to wake up and start checking Facts ? Busg and GOP keep lying to their teeth, and the only think the WashPo is doing is reporting to us what they said, where is the Journalism here ?

Posted by: Tony | March 24, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

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