October 25, 2005

US Death Toll in Iraq hits 2,000

The Iraqi Constitution was passed today, and I suppose that we should feel hopeful for the future. The draft constitution will not bring any stability to the country anytime soon, however. Despite the overall approval of the constitution, three heavily Sunni provinces rejected it, while the Kurds apparently voted 99% in favor. Meanwhile, a hell of a lot of people are dying.

The death toll of both U.S. Troops and Iraqi civilians has been climbing, and there is no end in sight. Neocon dreams of a cakewalk and quick "mission accomplished" are dashed, and the most optimistic news out of the Pentagon is dead silence. Meanwhile, the case for going to war has completely crumbled, and indictments loom in the near future for members of the Bush administration who tried to cover up their lies.
On Sunday, according to CNN's count of the death toll, there were 1993 troops killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Yesterday, 1998. Today, 2000. Of these 2000 casualties, over 25% have been college-age men and women, 18-21 years old. The total death toll for Coalition troops is 2194, including 98 British troops. 15, 220 troops have been significantly wounded in action.

The Army does not publish an updated list, however the most recently listed fatalities by the DoD are Staff Sgt. Richard T. Pummill, 27, of Cincinnati, Ohio, Lance Cpl. Andrew D. Russoli, 21, of Greensboro, N.C, and Lance Cpl. Steven W. Szwydek, 20, of Warfordsburg, Pa. These three men were all Marines, and are listed as killed on October 20th.

The Pentagon has also taken up limited use of the body count again, rattling off numbers of killed insurgents in order to show progress, as if this were a war of attrition. However, eyewitness reports conflict with these statements, saying that many of the so-called insurgents that lay dead after an attack are in fact civilians. While the controversial Lancet Report estimated 98,000 civilian casualties almost exactly a year ago, Iraqbodycount has been able to confirm approximately 30,000 civilian casualties. The true number may go unknown for a long time.

This would be an excellent time to reflect on why exactly we went to war, and more importantly, for Congress and the Pentagon to determine how we can extricate ourselves from this situation in a way that will not further destabilize Iraq.

1 comment:

  1. A word on wounded: Of that 15,220, approximately half were wounded badly enough to not be able to return to duty within 72 hours. Also, of the 350,000 troops that have been deployed to Iraq, approximately 25,000-35,000 experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.