May 01 2008

About Those Casualty Statistics From Iraq

Published by at 9:27 am under All General Discussions,Iraq,Sadr/Mahdi Army

April was a tough month for US forces in Iraq. While the death toll is at incredibly low historic levels for conflicts like this, the fact is military action is being taken against the last large Islamo Fascist threat in Iraq – the Mahdi Army. Armed and trained by Iran and working for a crazy cleric who wants to wrest control of the Shiite regions from the other Iraqi Shiite leaders the Mahdi were the last force that could threaten Iraq’s ever stable government. The good news for Iraq and the US they are an weak fighting force who are dying at a rate of maybe 10-30 to one or more against our casualties.

Here is the important fact to note about the April death toll – if you remove those who died in Baghdad as a result of the new action the levels for the rest of the country are the same as they have been for months. April saw 48/49 (depending on the news source) US deaths (combat and otherwise), but the number who died in Baghdad are a good fraction of total:

The jump in April in US soldier deaths in Iraq — at 49 the highest monthly toll since September 2007 — does not reflect deteriorated security in the country, a senior US military official said Wednesday.

“While it is sad to see an increase in casualties, I don’t think it is necessarily indicative of a major change in the operating environment,” said Lieutenant General Carter Ham, Joint Staff director for operations in the US Department of Defense.

“I am not sure a one-month increase would be interpreted by most people as a changed condition” on the ground, he said.

Of the 49 soldiers killed in Iraq during April, 23 died in Baghdad, where US forces have been engaged in intense street fighting with Shiite militias, mainly those of the Mahdi Army of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Therefore if we had not supported Maliki in his effort to purge the Iranian proxy soldiers from Iraq we would have had only 26 dead this month – one of the lowest months since the war started. In other words 47% of those casualties were in facing down the Mahdi Army, something that has to be done to ensure Iraq remains stable and peaceful and all the losses prior to this time will be of real value and not thrown away in a fit of political convenience for votes.

Moreover, Sadr’s Mahdi Army is running out of gas and fighters. There has been a steady decline in their capability as US and Iraqi forces have been decimating the Mahdi throughout April and March.

The wave of violence that roiled southern Al-Sadr City over the past several weeks has ebbed amid a concerted push by U.S. and Iraqi security forces against Shi’ite militia gunmen linked to the Imam Al-Mahdi Army of anti-coalition cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Gunmen used open spaces in southern Al-Sadr city to fire rockets on Baghdad’s International Zone, where U.S. and Iraqi government offices are located, and at Iraqi and U.S. military positions elsewhere. U.S. military officials say they have now, in the main, retreated back into the northern part of the neighborhood, which is in the northeast corner of Baghdad.

“They are not winning, and the continued offensive operations we are doing, in the confines of the areas where we are now, will continue to degrade the militia’s influence on the population,” said Colonel John Hort, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team responsible for U.S. operations in southern Al-Sadr City.

My bet is May will see a huge drop off in violence once all the mopping up of the Mahdi thugs is completed (assuming it is completed in May). In any armed conflict there will be casualties – we have not yet made our troops invincible. But the fact we only last 23 to the nearly 1,000 on the opposing side (again, depending on who is reporting what numbers) is clearly not a defeat and not something the Mahdi can sustain against 140,000 US and 160,000 Iraqi troops. The Mahdi only have about 5,000 decently trained fighters and they are using totally inferior weapons compared to our forces.

The liberal Surrendercrats will wring the hands no matter what, but they cannot end the Iraq effort until next year at the earliest. Sadly for them the Islamo Fascists won’t hold out that long.

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “About Those Casualty Statistics From Iraq”

  1. kathie says:

    Gaining control over the port in Basara will decrease the supplies to the Mahdi fighters and Iranians in Iraq. I have read that the Iranians are planning a Tet like offensive to sway our election. That will be interesting!

  2. WWS says:

    Katie, I believe the Iranians *were* planning that, and if Maliki had followed the British advice of “wait… wait… wait…” then that plan probably would have worked.

    However, Maliki *didn’t* take the advice of his betters, and as a result the forces that were going to carry out that Iranian offensive have been wiped out.

    Of course, the Iranians could attack openly with their own forces, but I don’t think even *they* are crazy enough to relaunch the Iran-Iraq war of the 80’s. They lost a million men in the last round, and even they know they’d lose more this time.

    With regard to AJ’s post, I can just imagine the headlines if the current crop of reporters was around on June 6, 1944.

    “Huge uptick in violence in Europe! Over 1100 hapless American soldiers cruelly slaughtered in a single day! No end in sight – President inexplicably tells country to “stay the course.”

  3. robert verdi says:

    In three weeks we toppled Saddams regime which had lasted for thirty years. There has been hard fighting ever since. First the Sunni Insurgency and the Triangle of Death, then Zargaqwi and his genocidal campaign with Al Qaeda, then Sadr and the Mahdi army. Some times we fought one at a time, some times all three. We could have called it quits at any time, pulled out of some areas, stayed in others, but we didn’t. Over time we began to defeat Al Qaeda, then the Sunni Insurgency opted out of the struggle and those same people turned on the Jihadists. We could have stopped there and left the shiasmiltia and criminals under Sadr have their fiefdoms, but the goal is Iraqi freedom, for all, from Basra, to Tal Afar, and now to Sadr city. We could have opted for the fake stability of militia control, minityrants is what they are, but we, the Iraqi people, and President Bush never gave up. This is what Iraqi Freedom is about, freedom from the tyrant, and freedom from the demons that have cursed Arab countries, terrorists, warlords, and facists. God bless the USA and the Iraqi people.

  4. conman says:

    Let me get this straight. The situation in Iraq isn’t getting more violent despite the recent uptick in US military engagements and deaths (not to mention increases in civilian deaths as well) because . . . we really shouldn’t count those US soldiers killed by Islamo Fascist. Wow – try getting the US soldiers being shot at in Bagdad to buy off on that theory. While you are at it, you might as well declare the whole Iraqi war and occupation an incredible success since only a handful of US soldiers have been killed by some cause other than Islamo Fascist. Your tortured reasoning is priceless!

    By the way, did you ever stop for a second to think about the significance of why it is necessary for US troops to fight this battle? You claim that the “Mahdi only have about 5,000 decently trained fighters and they are using totally inferior weapons compared to our forces,” and yet the Iraqi security forces can’t even take on such a pathetic miltia group by themselves? How are we ever going to get our troops out of Iraq if the Iraqi security forces are still not sufficiently trained and armed to defend their country after 5 years.

    On that note, I came across this March 14, 2006 post of yours, entitled “Iraq to Take Over Security, Dems Want Surrender,” which demonstrates how wrong you have been about Iraq and how you keep perpetuating your errors. You wrote this post a couple of weeks after the Samarra bombing:

    “I have been expecting this news for a while now since the Iraqi Army and Police have been successful in managing security for the elections and the recent attempts to ignite civil war. President Bush vowed for the first time yesterday to turn over most of Iraq to newly trained Iraqi troops by the end of this year, setting a specific benchmark as he kicked off a fresh drive to reassure Americans alarmed by the recent burst of sectarian violence. Most of the country is now under Iraqi security operations with only some trouble spots left open.”

    Given how dead on your predictions were back then about Iraq, don’t be mad if I’m just a little skeptical this time around.

  5. Dc says:

    Yea “conman”….it’s sort of like there is still global warming..even though the Earth is cooling.

  6. WWS says:

    Note how “conman” continually talks about “violence” being the problem. No accident, since this emphasis means that anything we do to solve the problem (other than growing daisies and inviting the terrorists over for milk and cookies) will increase levels of “violence.

    It’s an argument guaranteed to “prove” that anything we do is wrong. Even running away will be wrong, since the fighting will increase catastrophically if we bug out. But this betrays the inherent racism in Conman’s, and all liberals, positions: Iraqi deaths don’t count, unless they can be directly blamed on America. This is probably the reason there is so little concern on the left for Darfur and Zimbabwe; unless genocide can be blamed on America, it’s not a thing for the left to concern itself with.

  7. conman says:


    I disagree with AJ’s assessment of the increase in violence the last two months and now I’m a racist? Does that mean that the majority of the country who thinks that Iraq is not going well and wants a new strategy are racist as well? AJ and other Bush worshipers such as yourself have been telling us for 5 years that things are getting better in Iraq and we are just about the turn the corner to a florishing democracy, only to be proven wrong every single time. And yet when the rest of us point that out you still have the gall to presume that only you know what is right.

    By the way, I am not the only one that thinks the problem in Iraq is violence and that our objective should be to decrease the violence. Bush thinks the biggest problem is violence – that is why he proposed the surge in the first place. The US military thinks the problem is violence because our soldiers are getting wounded and killed on a daily basis. The vast majority of the country thinks the problem is violence. Only arm-chair generals like you, who get to sit in your comfortable house and argue that we should send our soldiers all over the world fighting “terrorist” because it is not your butt on the line think that the violence level doesn’t really matter.