The Guardian Looks at Iraq
"2007 is America's deadliest year in Iraq", announces the Guardian.
This year has been the most deadly for American troops in Iraq since the invasion nearly five years ago, US military figures out today show. ...
The US military deaths are dwarfed by Iraqi civilian casualties, although the fluctuations show the same pattern. It is difficult to obtain accurate figures on civilian casualties but the Associated Press said Iraqi civilian deaths peaked in May with 2,155 killed, falling to 718 in November and 710 in December. ...
The Guardian also mentions that violence has been down of late. However, that is partly ascribed to the restraint of the Mahdi Army.
Along with the increase in American troops, Iraq's lessening violence has been attributed to a freeze on activities by the Mahdi Army, the militia of radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr....
The newspaper darkly hints that Osama Bin Laden may soon reassert his mastery of the battlefield.
Petraeus also drew attention to the significance of Sunni tribal leaders transferring allegiance to the Iraqi government. In the western province of Anbar, and in Baghdad, coalition of Iraqis known as Awakening Councils or Concerned Local Citizens groups that receive US money and expertise have been joined by Sunni Arabs previously opposed to the invasion. Their coalition in Anbar province, a Sunni stronghold, now numbers 70,000 fighters. These Sunnis are threatened by Osama bin Laden in a video released on Saturday that is the fifth message attributed to him in 2007.
The only sure way to avoid casualties, the smart thing to do, is apparently to retreat.
Unlike the American figures, UK military deaths in 2004 were the lowest since the beginning of British operations in Iraq, known as Operation Telic, in March 2003.
The Guardian's narrative is comprised exclusively of certain elements: casualties are a metric which remains in the story. But certain others are missing from the tale of war never to return. For example, concepts like the "enemy", "enemy casualties", "victory" and "defeat" are probably deemed too old fashioned to remain.