"Normalcy" delayed - 5 US soldiers, 7 Iraqis killed

General Ray Odierno, US army spokesperson, 22 January 2004:
A U.S. general said on Thursday guerrillas were only a "sporadic threat" in Iraq as a surge of violence by insurgents in the volatile Sunni triangle region around Baghdad killed nine people.

Army Major-General Raymond Odierno, who commands the 4th Infantry Division which is based in Tikrit in the heart of the Sunni triangle, said the Iraqi resistance forces have been "brought to their knees."

Odierno, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon by video conference, said they "are still a threat, but a fractured sporadic threat with the leadership destabilized, finances interdicted and no hope of the Baathists return to power."

"I believe within six months, I think you're going to see some normalcy," he added.
Areas of Iraq where they haven't heard or are not paying attention to Gen. Odierno's triumphant announcement, 24 January 2004:
In one of the deadliest days for US troops since the start of 2004, at least five American soldiers and seven Iraqis were killed in a series of bombings and drive-by shootings across Iraq.

Three US soldiers were killed and six wounded when a car bomb exploded at a military checkpoint in the western Iraqi town of Khaldiyah on Saturday, the US military and witnesses said. A number of Iraqis were also wounded.

Just six hours earlier, two US soldiers perished when their convoy was attacked by home made bomb north of Fallujah, said the US military.

Two US pilots were also killed when their helicopter came down near the northern city of Kayyarah, but it was not known if the crash was caused by hostile fire.
I suppose a good question to ask Gen. Odierno would be, how do you define "normalcy"? Are we talking a Beirut 1982-style "normalcy"?

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