March 4, 2010
Despite persistent violence and a critical election coming up, President Obama hardly ever mentions the war in Iraq – where more 110,000 U.S. troops remain – and leading American news outlets have drastically scaled back coverage of the conflict, moving on to domestic issues such as health care and the troubled economy.
In 2009, 149 American troops died in battle in Iraq – a higher loss rate than all but two of the 10 years U.S. forces have been in Afghanistan. But in 2010, Mr. Obama has mentioned the Iraq war just three times during formal speeches – twice in a single sentence during back-to-back events in early February for the Democratic National Committee and once in his Jan. 27 State of the Union address.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
“We have begun to leave Iraq to its own people,” he said in his only line about the war during remarks at the Democratic National Committee meeting on Feb. 6.
The tenuous situation still facing U.S. forces in Iraq was underscored again Wednesday, when a string of suicide bomb attacks struck in quick succession in a former insurgent stronghold northeast of Baghdad, killing 32 people just days before a crucial election that will determine who will govern the country as American forces prepare to depart.
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