Lets try this, with apologies to Sonny and Cher fans:
The beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding
A rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da
“La de da de da,” indeed. So what’s the latest?
Washington (CNN) — The US Special Operations head said Tuesday that the US and its allies had eliminated more than 60,000 ISIS fighters.“We have killed over 60,000,” Gen. Raymond “Tony” Thomas, commander of US Special Operations command, told a symposium Maryland.Thomas oversees America’s elite Special Operations troops, including Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets, which have played a large role in combating the terror organization, including raids against key leaders.
60,000? That’s out of a corps of how many?
The number of fighters in the Islamic State’s army largely “remains the same” as it did a year ago, a U.S. official briefed on the latest intelligence estimate tells Fox News.
Officially, ISIS is estimated to have between 20,000 and 25,000 fighters based on the new intelligence estimate, as first reported by USA Today. A year ago, ISIS was estimated to have between 19,000 and 31,000 fighters.
So the report is, allied forces have killed more than there are. And their troop strength remains the same. It’s the magic of counting coup. Allow me to reprint something I posted last February. It’s a back and forth from the Stanley Kubrick movie Full Metal Jacket:
Lockhart: Joker, where’s the wienie?
Lockhart: The kill, Joker, the kill. I mean, all that fire power, the grunts must have hit something.
Joker: Didn’t see ’em.
Lockhart: Joker, I’ve told you we run two basic stories here—grunts who give half their pay to buy gooks toothbrushes and deodorant—winning of hearts and minds. Okay? And combat action that results in a kill—winning the war. Now you must have seen blood trails, drag marks?
Joker: It was raining…, sir.
Lockhart: That’s why God passed the law of probability. Now rewrite it and give it a happy ending. Say, uh, one kill. Make it a sapper, or an officer… which.
Joker: Whichever you say.
Lockhart: Grunts like reading about dead officers.
Joker: Okay, an officer. How about a general?
Yes, that was the subject of body count from the Vietnam unpleasantness 50 years ago. The story from CNN goes on to quote
Multiple American officials have told CNN in the past that the Pentagon does not officially tally body counts.Carter’s predecessor, Chuck Hagel, said that the practice of counting the number of enemies killed wasn’t a particularly useful one.“My policy has always been, don’t release that kind of thing,” Hagel told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in December.Hagel, a veteran of the Vietnam War where the American military’s enemy body count statistics were disparaged for being overly optimistic, criticized releasing the figures.“Body counts. I mean, come on, did we learn anything from Vietnam?” he asked. “Body counts make no sense.”
Yes, body counts do not make sense, unless you are an insurance underwriter. It’s possible none of this matters. It’s possible none of the 60,000 had life insurance.
And the beat goes on.