The U.S. military announced the death of six soldiers yesterday, “taking the number of deaths this year to 851 and making 2007 the deadliest year of the war for American troops.”
While the violence rages in Iraq, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is ready to declare mission accomplished. Yesterday, speaking to an audience who greeted him with “warm applause,” Lieberman declared that the U.S. was turning the corner in Iraq:
“I’m proud to say that the tide has turned in Iraq and we’re winning that war,” Lieberman said. “And if we don’t let down our troops, they’re going to bring home a victory that will protect us here at home from today’s threat — totalitarian terrorist Islamism that’s trying to take our liberty from us.”
In reality, the U.S. is drifting further away from “victory.” In October, civilian deaths increased, according to statistics obtained by the Iraqi government. A recent report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq reconstruction last month found little prospect of “lasting” reconciliation in Iraq.
Lieberman’s prediction is the latest in a line of premature declarations of victory. Throughout the war, he has repeatedly called for staying the course, claiming that we are “winning” the war:
— “Overall, I would say what I see here today is progress, significant progress from the last time I was here in December. And if you can see progress in war that means you’re headed in the right direction.” [5/30/07]
— “The last two weeks…may be seen as a turning point.” [12/17/05]
— “Does America have a good plan for doing this, a strategy for victory in Iraq? Yes we do.” [11/29/05]
— “We have to stay the course in Iraq now. … If we do that, we will…have won a victory in the war on terrorism.” [1/4/04]
Lieberman will readily ignore the realities in Iraq in order to push for his goal of unending war in the Middle East.