From Cloud CooCoo-Land, Once More With Feeling

John McCain just cannot let go of his delusions. I think we opined earlier that it might be a communicable disease caught from our illustrious leader Junior. Ah, well, keep your mouthes and noses covered ….

McCain Touts Iraq’s Progress During Visit: Says Americans Don’t See Country’s Gains

BAGHDAD (April 1) – Sen. John McCain criticized reports out of Iraq he said focused unfairly on violence, saying Sunday that Americans were not getting a “full picture” of progress in the security crackdown in the capital.

McCain, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, was combative during a press conference in the military’s media center in the heavily guarded Green Zone, and responded testily to a question about remarks he had made in the United States last week that it was safe to walk some Baghdad streets.

“The American people are not getting the full picture of what’s happening here. They’re not getting the full picture of the drop in murders, the establishment of security outposts throughout the city, the situation in Anbar province, the deployment of additional Iraqi brigades which are performing well, and other signs of progress having been made,” said McCain, of Arizona.

He said the Republican congressional delegation he led to Iraq drove from Baghdad’s airport to the center of the city, citing that as proof that security was improving in the capital. Prominent visitors normally make the trip by helicopter.

The delegation was accompanied by heavily armed U.S. troops when they were not in the Green Zone, site of the U.S. Embassy and Iraqi government. They traveled in armored military vehicles under heavy guard.

Read it here.

To offset Cloud CooCoo-Land Boy’s impressions of Iraq and Baghdad with a little factual information, we offer this:

Iraq death toll jumps 15 percent in March
Wisam al-Okaili, AFP

April 1, 2007

BAGHDAD (AFP) – At least 2,078 people died in Iraq last month, 15 percent more than in February despite a massive security crackdown in Baghdad, the epicentre of violence, a security official said on Sunday.

On average, 67 people died across the country every day in March, compared to 64 in February.

A significant increase in Iraqi civilian, army and police deaths was evident last month, the official said, based on detailed statistics collected by the defence, interior and health ministries.

Civilian deaths topped the toll with 1,869 Iraqis killed in insurgency and sectarian bloodletting in March, compared to 1,646 in February.

Another 2,719 civilians were wounded last month, compared to 2,701 in February.

In March, 165 Iraqi policemen were killed against 131 the previous month, while 44 Iraqi soldiers died compared to 29 in February, the official said.

In March, 277 Iraqi policemen and 51 soldiers were wounded against 147 and 47, respectively during February.

The official said the death toll among militants had fallen to 481 in March compared to 586 killed the previous month.

But those arrested surged to 5,664 in March against 1,921, reflective of the massive Iraqi-US security operation launched on February 14 in which 80,000 troops have been deployed in and around the capital to root out insurgents.

The US military also lost 85 personnel in March, taking to 3,244 an AFP tally based on Pentagon statistics as of April 1, compared to 3,159 on February 28.

The US military losses, heavily outweighing the deaths of Iraqi soldiers if not Iraqi policemen, come despite Washington’s claim that Iraqi forces are leading the security crackdown in the capital.


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