The Toll

More Americans have now died in Iraq than died on 9/11.

And it is getting worse:

July appears to have been the deadliest month of the war for Iraqi civilians, according to figures from the Health Ministry and the Baghdad morgue, reinforcing criticism that the Baghdad security plan started in June by the new government has failed.

An average of more than 110 Iraqis were killed each day in July, according to the figures. The total number of civilian deaths that month, 3,438, is a 9 percent increase over the tally in June and nearly double the toll in January.

The rising numbers suggested that sectarian violence is spiraling out of control, and seemed to bolster an assertion many senior Iraqi officials and American military analysts have made in recent months: that the country is already embroiled in a civil war, not just slipping toward one, and that the American-led forces are caught between Sunni Arab guerrillas and Shiite militias.

And, even when they tell you some part of it is getting better

Aug 31 … On Monday, U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell said the murder rate in Baghdad had fallen by 46 percent from July to August and “we are actually seeing progress out there.”

The decline in Iraqi deaths has not been matched by a drop in American casualties. At least 62 U.S. service members died in Iraq in August, compared with 43 in July.

…they’re probably lying:

Sept 7 — Baghdad’s morgue almost tripled its count for violent deaths in Iraq’s capital during August from 550 to 1,536, authorities said Thursday, appearing to erase most of what U.S. generals and Iraqi leaders had touted as evidence of progress in a major security operation to restore order in the capital.

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6 Responses to The Toll

  1. Joe Deegan says:

    I can’t see how the toll shows that the strategy of invading Iraq is wrong. You would have to compare the toll to the number who would have been killed had we not invaded. We can never know that number, so it is only opinion as to whether or not the invasion was a good move.
    I sometimes think-what if Franklin Roosevelt and Teddy Roosevelt switched places? When Hitler sent his troops to re-occupy the Rhineland in 1936, Teddy might have taken action. Perhaps several thousand of our men would have been killed, but Hitler’s regime toppled and WWII prevented. To this day no one would know that 50 million lives had been saved, all we would know was that several thousand were killed.
    The World War One American Commander in Europe ,General Pershing ,wanted to push on to Berlin in 1918 and not accept the proposed cease fire. He knew some of his troops would die, but argued that the Germans had to know they were defeated, or they would restart hostilities when they thought they were strong enough. Had Pershing been allowed to do this,there probably would have been a political firestorm, but WWII might have been prevented.
    I think we are saving ourselves a lot of trouble and death in the future by our Iraq policy, but that’s my opinion.it can never be proved.
    Joe

  2. Michael says:

    I completely agree that the toll alone does not prove the Iraq war is an error. WWII had a higher toll and I don’t think it was an error.

    I do think the toll does put the burden of proof on those who say it’s worth it. That was easy to do in WWII. Iraq? Not that I’ve noticed. The argument about ‘fighting the terrorists there rather than here’ strikes me as both bogus and backwards; not only is it wrong, but instead we are breeding new terrorists.

    I think the toll is important — our future policy in Iraq is or should be a front-burner issue.

  3. Jonathan Berhow says:

    To expand things a little as we consider the toll of 9/11 in relation to the war in Iraq, a conservative estimate of the number of Iraqi civilians killed as a direct result of bombs and sanctions since the beginning of Gulf War I to today is about 750,000 – roughly three times the number of dead attributed to Saddam Hussein during his rule. These Iraqi deaths are no less important than those of Americans and should be included in the discourse and whether or not the US’s response in Iraq was “worth it.”

    Joe Deegan,

    I think you may be overestimating the decisiveness of presidential power and will, which does not operate in a vacuum. Just because a national leader wants to do something does not mean that they are able to. This is important to keep in mind when we discuss the responsibility and willingness to act of either Clinton or Bush. Also, current events and the historical trends that precede them, as well as a multitude of other human and environmental factors, are often quite resistant to the actions of individuals, no matter how powerful those individuals may be. Could Churchill have succeeded where Chamberlain “failed”* by using military force against Germany? Judging from the history, I find this highly, highly unlikely. Or, would Germany have followed a similarly fascist, expansionist, anti-Semitic course after WWI had Hitler never been born? I think this hypothetical is far more probable.

    *That he failed is a proposition that only makes sense in hindsight. At the time he was celebrated by many in a nation that did not want, nor was ready for, a war against Germany.

  4. Dayngr says:

    Even more reason to the support the troops. They could use the morale boost. eMailOurMilitary.com

  5. Dayngr says:

    Even more reason to the support the troops. They could use the morale boost. eMailOurMilitary.com

  6. Trevor says:

    Interesting…as much of a heated topic this seems to be, no one has said a word about the purely offensive nature of these pictures. I am not saying in any way that President Bush is perfect, but the pictures you have make it seem as if those soldiers died because of him. Well, I am currently acitve duty Marine Corps, and let me tell you…I would lay my life in the line for you, your family, your neighbor, or any random person out there, not because my Commander In Chief told me to, but because that’s what I signed up for, thats the way I was raised, and it just seems correct. So if you dont like the war on terrorism, speak it in statistics and do it intelligently…I’m sure you have some sense of dignity, loose the slander.

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