While our intrepid reporters and all-knowing, all-powerful editors are taking a much deserved (according to them) snooze, another extraordinary milestone was reached in Iraq.
Deaths of US soldiers from combat are the lowest ever:
Five American troops died in July as a result of combat in Iraq, by far the lowest monthly U.S. death toll of the five-year war.
"As conditions permit" is exactly in tune with John McCain and, according to the most recent polls, the American people. No doubt contributing to the support for McCain's position by the people is the low casualty rate. Whether that can be maintained against an expected surge in violence by the remnants of al-Qaeda and Iranian backed militias as we approach the election remains to be seen.
The number of Iraq-related American troop fatalities in July -- a total of 13 when noncombat deaths and the discovered bodies of two missing soldiers are included -- is a dramatic drop from just over a year ago, when more than 100 troops a month were confirmed dead for several months in a row.
In a brief statement at the White House early Thursday, President Bush suggested that the decreasing violence in Iraq would allow him to withdraw additional U.S. troops before he leaves office. He said that the top American commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, would make recommendations in September for "further reductions in our combat forces, as conditions permit."
But for now, this is fantastic news - even if few are reporting it or giving it much prominence.