"For every one that I kill, I create almost 10 more"

A top U.S. commander explains the math of Iraq.

Published May 9, 2006 2:53PM (EDT)

During the 2004 presidential race, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney attacked John Kerry for suggesting that the war in Iraq was making America less safe. "The logic is upside-down," the president said during one campaign stop. "See, we don't create enemies and terrorists by fighting back. We defeat the terrorists by fighting back."

Now, we understand that the accountability moment on Iraq has come and gone, but we wonder if the president will take note of some words from a general on the ground anyway. As the Los Angeles Times reports today, Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the U.S. commander in charge of day-to-day military operations in Iraq, is telling his troops: "We have to understand that the way we treat Iraqis has a direct effect on the number of insurgents that we are fighting. For every one that I kill, I create almost 10 more."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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