From the Associated Press:
What’s interesting about this is the fact that more than likely the Bush administration will flaunt this statistic as some kind of triumph, an indication that their failed policies over there are somehow succeeding. Indeed, a Navy spokesman said:
I can’t help but think that 718 civilian deaths is about 718 too many. How can we say that the murder of that many innocents is somehow a good thing? One could indeed say this is an “improvement in security” but I think it’s hard to really understand the scope of the disaster when this number is an improvement. No matter what happens, the administration insists that we have to continue our occupation. If the death toll goes down, it’s a sign that things are going the right way so we need to “stay the course” and “remain vigilant”; if the death toll rises, it’s a sign that we’re not committed enough so we need to do still more.