Dear Editor, I have started these 300 or 400 words many times suffering from a combination of writer's block and disbelief. Sometime during the Bush administration’s Iraq war, Katrina debacle, no-bid contracts, and lies and lies and more lies, I became so incensed I could no longer contain my disappointment and outright aggravation over what is happening, because I am by no stretch of anyone’s imagination a very smart guy. On Nov. 7, we passed a milestone. We have killed more soldiers in Iraq than the other previous years of the Iraq war. We stand near the 4,000-killed mark. What is really tragic is they have killed more of our people with half the number of attacks. Last year there were more than 3,000 improvised explosive-device attacks compared to 1,500 attacks this year. I do not mean to belabor the obvious, but our soldiers are being killed more efficiently in fewer attacks. Either the Iraqi insurgents are getting better at killing us or our soldiers are tired and our most effective leaders have been killed. But I believe that it is a combination of all three of these things. This is the same old song and dance in new shoes. The war is not going well, period. The overall number of troops has decreased. The British alone have decreased their numbers from 40,000 to fewer than 6,000, and other countries have pulled out wholesale, so the surge was a stopgap measure at best. There have been no political victories in Iraq, and it is a political victory, not a military surge, that will bring democracy and peace to Iraq. Terror is a tactic, not a place on a map. Terror is hatred, fear, and anger carried in the heart of your enemy and can only be defeated through diplomacy and understanding, and the Bush administration just does not have the tools nor the temperament for the task at hand.