More people are killed in a month in Iraq than in 30 years of conflict in Northern Ireland. In two months, more are killed than in the first world war's Battle of Jutland, the biggest naval battle of all time.Ref the UN Human Rights Report May - June 2006
More are killed in 10 weeks than were killed in the Halabja poison gas attack, Saddam Hussein's single most brutal assault on his people. And in 12 weeks, more are killed than died in the Srebrenica massacre.
It's a tragedy, but there isn't much we can do about the situation in Iraq now -- not without committing another 100k to 200k troops.
As our leader is so fond of pointing out, we can't let a foreign country dictate our foreign policy: but that's exactly what we're doing in Iraq with the "we'll stand down when they can stand up" mentality. We're simply trying to keep a lid on this boiling pot when our presence is part of the "heat".
Tribal and religious identities have been brought to the fore-front. They are driving the civil war we're witnessing. Our military posture and strategy in Iraq has been to designed to "stomp out brush fires" ... however, we have a full-fledged conflagration in the area. Our force is simply not designed to deal with it.... and our foreign policy leaders aren't in a position to call for what's needed if we really want to stop the violence.
This is why fatalities have increased each month... for the last 3 years. Our policy, both strategically and tactically, is simply wrong. Don't take my word for it: listen to our generals who have served in the field: LT Gen. Greg Newbold, Gen. Anthony Zinni, Maj. Gen. John Batiste, and others. Many are calling for Rumsfeld to resign.
The reasonable policy is the one advocated by John Murtha: announce a redeployment... set a date; Tell the Iraqis they have to be ready to secure their country from that day forward. Right now, with the American's doing the heavy lifting, they have little reason to put that target on their back -- the one that says "police" or "infantryman".
I'm a realist: this won't solve the problem. But it may remove one of the forces behind the violence, namely our presence. A redeployment will most definitely get American soldiers out of harms way.
Besides, why are we fighting and dying to ensure a fundamentalist regime is established in Iraq? If you don't think that's true, read the first line of the Iraqi constitution.