Tuesday, September 4, 2007

... and counting ...

(Occasional sobering thoughts.) As President George W. Bush (dressed in civvies, no military garb) announced during a surprise visit to Iraq that some U.S. troops might be sent home if what he characterized as "gains in security in Iraq" continued, and as Britain pulled its troops out of Basra, the area of its prime responsibility in Iraq, here's the count: even by Iraq Body Count's low-end figure, civilian casualties since the war began now exceed 71,000. Specifically, it reports that as of yesterday, between 71,259 and 77,808 Iraqi women, children, and men had died in the conflict -- an increase of 1,925 to 2,003 deaths in the last 3 weeks. By the U.S. Defense Department's own figures, meanwhile, total coalition servicemember fatalities now exceed 4,000. Specifically, 3,741 American servicemembers had been killed through September 2. Total coalition fatalities: 4,038 persons. (That's 47 servicemember deaths in 3 weeks, all Americans.) The Department's figures on wounded remained at 27,279 servicemembers wounded, 8,163 of whom required medical air transport. Military casualties in the conflict in Afghanistan stand at 438 Americans and 239 other coalition servicemembers, an increase of 11 and 14, respectively, in the last 3 weeks. Reported injuries in Afghanistan inexplicably dropped, as they've done more than once before, so no report on them.

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