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Tuesday, December 26, 2006


The apples and oranges "grim milestone" in Iraq

I've now heard two different broadcast channels claiming that a "grim milestone" has been passed in Iraq, with "more Americans killed in Iraq than were killed on 9/11." This is complete nonsense. First, while 2,973 people were killed on 9/11, not all of them were Americans (strangely enough, I can't seem to pin down the exact number). So if we're going to use the number 2,973, then we need to consider all the people killed in Iraq, not just American soldiers. Even if we just include "coalition forces," 2,973 was passed long ago; the current number stands at 3,225. And that doesn't include the 12,000 Iraqi police who have died, and of course it doesn't include the hundreds of thousands of other Iraqis who have died, who, since they were no less "innocent victims" than the 2,973 victims of 9/11, certainly deserve to be included in any comparison.

The other part of the comparison is equally false. Because, even just considering the number of Americans killed in Iraq, the number is well over 3,000, once we include government employees, contractors, and others. At the beginning of November, I counted 3,661, bringing us to at least 3,828 by now. And even that doesn't include the stateside suicides, spousal murders, and other tragic victims of this war.

The real "grim milestone" occured on March 19, 2003, with the death of the first Iraqi as the unprovoked, illegal assault on Iraq began. It's been downhill from there.

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