US combat deaths in Iraq have risen sharply during January despite a drop in the number of attacks and the capture of former dictator Saddam Hussein over a month ago.
As of Thursday, 33 American soldiers and one civilian had been killed by hostile fire during the month. That compares with 24 US combat deaths in December, and a total of 32 coalition combat deaths.
The figures appear to show that the security situation in Iraq is not improving, contrary to earlier claims from the US military and politicians.
Look, I wish I'd occasionally be wrong about these things. But, you know what? The situation isn't good. And, no amount of "CLAP LOUDER!" is going to make it any better. It may get better. I doubt it. Either way, the fact that I'm insufficiently enthusiastic about things which aren't true is going to have little impact..
One rather sad thing is that I have to admit that it's going to be a hell of a lot easier for a second Bush administration to get us the hell out of there than for a Democratic administration to do so. I think a Democratic administration would be preferable, all things considered, but the Republicans will turn the whole thing into a political nightmare.