Bring ‘em on!

I don’t care how many Osama tapes come out over the next few days as the demon campaigns for shrub. I simply don’t believe the American people can ignore the horror that Iraq has become. For thinking people, the re-appearance of Satan only underscores the total waste of American lives in Iraq.

Eight American Marines were killed in fighting west of Baghdad on Saturday, the military’s bloodiest day in nearly six months. A car bomb killed at least seven people in attack on an Arab television network in the capital, and Iraqi troops fired wildly on civilian vehicles, killing at least 14 people, witnesses and hospital officials said.

The U.S. military said nine Marines were also wounded in the fighting in Anbar province west of the capital which includes the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah. The statement gave no further on how or where they were killed.

It was the most U.S. deaths on a single day since May 2, when nine U.S. troops died in separate mortar attacks and roadside bombings in Baghdad, Ramadi and Kirkuk.

The deaths came as U.S. forces are gearing up for a major assault on Fallujah, seen as the toughest bastion of Sunni Muslim guerrillas, ahead of crucial elections due by Jan. 31.

Fierce clashes erupted Saturday in Fallujah as an American military convoy entered the southeastern industrial Shuhada neighborhood and nearby Nueimiya village — an apparent probing foray on the city’s edges. Explosions and gunfire rocked the area and smoke was seen billowing in the air, witnesses said.

Failure on all fronts, al Qaeda and Iraq. And Osama, who we were going to get dead or alive, is thumbing his nose at us 3 years after the tragedy. There’s no denying he won.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

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