Tuesday, May 1, 2007

...and counting...

(Occasional sobering thoughts.) Where to start with this update on casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan? With the fact that, as reported on page 1 of the Washington Post, "April Toll Is Highest Of '07 for U.S. Troops?" With the fact that, just yesterday "[m]ore than 60 Iraqis also were killed or found dead across Iraq"? Or with the fact that Iraq's refusing to give the United Nations statistics on civilian casualties? (More on the latest UNAMI report upcoming.)
With these facts in mind, let's start with another: It's not only May Day, but also the 4th anniversary of the day that U.S. President George W. Bush, costumed in a flight uniform, landed on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, and later, standing below a "Mission Accomplished" banner, declared "victory" in the "battle of Iraq." Commemorating that event is this scathing rap video replete with images; some of them, the casualties we've been counting.
Iraq Body Count reports that as of today between 62,760 and 68,786 Iraqi women, children, and men have died in the Iraqi conflict -- an increase of 1,032 to 1,083 deaths in 2 weeks. American servicemember fatalities, through today: 3,351 persons. Total coalition fatalities: 3,623 persons. (That's 90 servicemember deaths in 2 weeks, 42 of them Americans.) The stated number of U.S. wounded remained at 24,314 persons.
Still no source for Afghan civilian casualties, a factor likely due to disputes like this one, in which coalition forces claim they killed Taliban, but Afghans claim the victims were civilians. Military casualties in the conflict in Afghanistan stand at 385 Americans and 182 other coalition servicemembers, an increase of 5 and 2 persons, respectively, in the last 2 weeks.

No comments: