(Occasional sobering thoughts.) Amid news that 1 in 8 Iraqi children dies before turning 5 years old, that escalation of violence against Iraqi civilians continues, that the month nearing its end has been 1 of the most deadly for U.S. servicemembers in Iraq, and that the Bush Administration, having forced war-funding legislation that omitted an earlier requirement for troop withdrawal, now is contemplating end-of-summer withdrawal of troops from Iraq, here is the Memorial Day count:
Iraq Body Count reports that as of Monday between 64,405 and 70,552 Iraqis, women, children, and men, had died in the conflict -- an increase of 795 to 894 deaths in 2 weeks. American servicemember fatalities: 3,455 persons. Total coalition fatalities: 3,731 persons. (That's 56 servicemember deaths in 2 weeks, all but 2 of them Americans.) The stated number of U.S. wounded remained, implausibly, where it has been for well over a month, at 24,314 persons. Military casualties in the conflict in Afghanistan stand at 390 Americans and 194 other coalition servicemembers, an increase of 1 and 8, respectively, in the last 2 weeks.