Wednesday, August 11, 2004

1000 dead, revisited
Last month I wrote about the upcoming milestone of the 1000th American military death in Iraq. Today Reuters is running the first major media piece that I have seen on this topic. They point out some obvious things. Compared to Viet Nam it's a small number, but it's bigger than any military loss we've had since then. Bush's best strategy is to promise to stay the course while Kerry's is to mostly express respectful sorrow and otherwise remain quiet. The titled experts quoted by reuters seem to be less cynical than I am, none of them mentioned Rove trying to use the milestone as a campaign tool.

My feelings remain about the same as they were last month; we should avoid any appearance of crass exploitation on our side and be prepared to cry bloody murder if the Republicans try to make campaign props out of the dead.

One interesting point Reuters hinted at, but didn't expressly point out is that the 1000 mark is likely to arrive about half-way between the RNC convention and the first debate. That means it could be the thing that destroys whatever convention bounce Bush gets and send him into the debates on the defensive. To my thinking, this makes it all the more likely that Rove will try to appropriate the dead as a tool to be used against the Democrats.

No comments: