BAGHDAD (AP) - The U.S. military said Tuesday that a Marine was killed in fighting west of the capital, bringing the American death toll for July to at least 73 - still the lowest in eight months. An Apache helicopter also went down Tuesday after coming under fire in a predominantly Shiite area in eastern Baghdad, but both crew members were safely evacuated, the military said.....FULL STORY
As US military leaders suggest, it is still too soon to be overly optimistic about the downturn of US casualties in July. Although, it is rather encouraging when you consider that this has occurred while troop levels have increased. In my mind, there is still hope for Iraq. General Petraeus has asked the American people and Congress to give him until September and I think it is a reasonable request, especially since Congress already agreed to do so when they approved the troop surge. We don't have to go into how crucial Iraq is in the war on terror. It is the Gettysburg of this conflict, so much is riding on the outcome. That's why if we see hope, we should give it a chance to grow.
Maybe the casualty numbers represent some hope, maybe the terrorists are just taking a break. Come September we'll know. That is, if Congress will allow it.