Five more U.S. soldiers died today in Anbar province, bringing the death toll for the month to 96. That’s a total that hasn’t been exceeded since January, 2005, twenty-two months ago. And what kind of administration response is there to this carnage? A change in semantics. Whether we were ever “stay-the-course” or not now seems to be the major discourse. But you know what? Whatever we were, or are, it’s not working! And we still haven’t heard the Bush administration utter a single new, original, different thought, about what we should do.

We are apparently putting a lot of hope in this Baker report, that won’t be released until sometime after the election. Because apparently he is going to be some kind of genius who will figure out a way for us to “win the war” and make everything better. Harps will play, angels will descend, deus ex machina, and we will finally be greeted as liberators.

And we aren’t going to see this report until a minimum of 13 days from now (Baker hinted that the report might not be out until early next year), because we wouldn’t want it to sway the election. We wouldn’t want the public to possibly hear that we might be doing something wrong over there. Well, by my math, that means, that at the current daily rate for this month, that another 48 U.S. soldiers will die before we even start to talk about doing something differently. That means another 48 of these will be coming home.

How does a commander-in-chief explain to the families of those 48 that it was not a good political idea to have asked for an idea or a report about some possible ways to have prevented such a thing from happening? Will he say that he was worried about how the report might have played out in AZ-05 or NC-11? That he and his chosen advisors weren’t bright enough to have come up with these ideas on their own?  

As near as I can tell, there’s only one sure way to stop this death toll from going higher. It’s called troop withdrawal. You can call it “cut and run”, you can call it “defeatist thinking”, apparently now, you can even call it “stay the course”. I don’t care what you call it. Just start doing it. Because our troops are currently stuck in the middle of a civil war where the only thing the two warring sides can agree upon is that they don’t want us there.

I’m just saying…….