"U.S. Casualty Rate High Since Handover." When three U.S. Marines were killed in action near Baghdad the day after the June 28 "handover" of "sovereignty," it presaged one of the bloodiest months for Americans in Iraq since the war began -- and that month is still not over. White House hopes for a more pacified colony aside, Bryan Bender of the Boston Globe (July 19) reports on the "upsurge in the pace and sophistication of the attacks against U.S. and coalition troops, even as more Iraqi security forces, government ministers, and civilians have also become targets." www.boston.com/news/world/articles/2004/07/19/us_casualty_rate_high_since_handover?mode=PF
"Truth Emerges About Bush Misleading on Medicare." Thanks to Bush-backed changes in Medicare, it's now estimated that employers will eventually reduce or eliminate prescription-drug benefits for 3.8 million retirees -- one-third of the total who now have employer-sponsored drug coverage. Back when he was promoting the Medicare bill, notes that relentless news gleaner, MoveOn.org's The Daily Misleader (July 14), Bush promised retirees wouldn't be dumped. The Misleader also informs us that, unknown to most, the Medicare bill thoughtfully includes a big tax break for companies who cut off their retirees. www.daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1923670&l=45848
"Not Good Enough." On the admittedly tricky matter of administering justice to terrorist suspects, "[i]t is hard to think of any government that has got it as wrong as counterproductively as the Bush administration has at Guantánamo Bay." So editorializes The Economist (July 3), which argues that the denial of due process to some 600 Guantánamo detainees has been disastrous, if only for the "enormous propaganda coup" it's handed to America's enemies. In the wake of Supreme Court decisions partially addressing the issue, the magazine calls for Congress to step into the legal vacuum that Bush has sullied with ham-fisted authoritarianism. www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2877213
"Nuclear Terror: Has Bush Made Matters Worse?" Stuart Taylor Jr. supported the invasion of Iraq. Now he thinks he was wrong, not least because the pre-emptive attack has had the opposite of one intended effect, making the world safer from a potential nuclear terrorist strike. In his column in National Journal (June 26), Taylor explores the Bush diplomacy failures, and misguided spending on missile-defense systems, that have left us in a world where if nothing changes for the better, such an attack is, in the words of one expert, "inevitable."