Double-Speak?: By now you've seen this phrase countless times in various news articles about Iraq in the past few months: "XXX soldiers have died in combat since May 1, when President Bush declared major operations were over." Hell, I just read it today. I suppose some would say it's the only way to differentiate from those killed during the invasion part of the campaign. Also, many are loathe to say "during the occupation" in reference to the post-invasion era. But certainly, reporters could say: "since the re-building of Iraq began" or "subsequent to toppling the Hussein regime." But no, each time another soldier dies, the papers almost gleefully juxtapose that death with the reference to Bush saying "combat" is "over" - when "combat" is clearly not "over".
There's little question Bush was just a tad too happy when we took over Iraq (certainly most countries are thankful they're not in the morass we're in now [I didn't say "quagmire"!]), but he was right to declare "combat operations" over in the sense of theatre maneuverings. Now it's nation-building time (even though Rumsfeld wouldn't let anyone believe it would ever happen), and it's time to face facts that it's going to be ugly for a while before it gets pretty. That said, pot-shots through veiled snide asides in reporting the mounting death toll is simply petty. We get it, we get it already.