U.S. Deaths In Iraq Hit 101 Mark For October
This is sad news in terms of the human cost and bad news for the GOP a week away from elections:
The October death toll for U.S. soldiers in Iraq reached 101 as National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley made an unannounced visit to Baghdad today to consult with Iraqi officials.
The tally makes October the fourth deadliest month for Americans since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, according to military statistics. The triple-digit toll comes less than two weeks before a U.S. midterm congressional election in which the conduct of the war is one of the major issues.
President George W. Bush is seeking a strategy that will allow the U.S. to quell a surge in sectarian bloodshed while turning the bulk of fighting and security duties over to the Iraqi government.
“The president mourns the loss of every single U.S. soldier that’s lost in this conflict,” White House National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in Washington today.
This is a kind of “high concept” watershed event. The figure 100 or 100 will appear in headlines or at the top of newscasts and it’s easily and quickly recognizeable. The problem is that so far the administration is not offering any new ideas or fine-tuned strategy so voters (including those who have supported the war) feel more of the same will mean better policy. This will likely leave many voters to register their feelings only one way: protest votes.