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Friday, May 30, 2008


Army suicides - an update

Yesterday's AP story on Army suicides has been updated with more precise figures. Here's what we're told today:
At least 115 soldiers killed themselves last year, up from 102 the previous year, the Army said Thursday.

Nearly a third of them died at the battlefront — 32 in Iraq and four in Afghanistan.
But, as I reported yesterday, official DoD lists of the dead in Iraq and Afghanistan, from which the conventionally cited media totals are taken, list exactly two deaths by suicide in Iraq last year, and none (of Americans) in Afghanistan - 34 short of the real total. Not that there is the slightest difference whether 4594 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, or 4628, but it is nice to get the facts correct (and, obviously, that 4594 I just quoted isn't correct either, since it doesn't include the missing suicides in previous years, nor hosts of other categories of American deaths directly attributable to the wars, both "in country" and without. And we all know that American deaths don't account for but the tiniest fraction of the real total.)

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