01 January 2007

Iraq Index

1 = Number of Brutal Dictators Summarily Executed

51,331 - 56,869 = Approximate Number of Iraqi Civilians Killed in the Process

4592 = Approximate Number of Iraqi police and guardsmen Killed in the Last Year

3000 = US Service Men & Women killed in order to Accomplish this Mission

247 = "Coalition" Soldiers Killed in the Process

354,831,399,819 = Estimated Cost to Date of this Mission in $US

? = Effective of this Mission on Democracy, the Rule of Law, Peace & Security in the Middle East

? = Effect of this Mission on Demcoracy, the Rule of Law, Peace & Security in the U.S. & U.K

This, from the New York Times (today):

"President Bush did not specifically acknowledge reaching the milestone of 3,000 American deaths, but a White House spokesman, Scott Stanzel, said the president “grieves for each one that is lost” and would ensure that their sacrifices were not made in vain. The campaign against terrorism, Mr. Stanzel said, will be a long struggle" (emphasis added).

How will the President make good on this promise? How might he look each of the dead service men and women in the eye and make his promise without smirking? See the Faces of the Dead here.

And for those of you on the left, I recommend this essay "Love the Warrior, Hate the War" by Lorelei Kelly in In These Times. Kelly explores what progressives and the military have in common politically.
[Footnote: Figures from City Paper (Rochester) and National Priorities Project.]



Blogger Roger Gathmann said...

That's a very peculiar number for the Iraqi dead. The lancet, of course, estimates 400-600 thousand violence related deaths. Even the Iraqi Health ministry estimates 150,000 casualties. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/
AR2006111000164.html Now, of course, one might not trust the Health ministry, but that distrust would point to underestimating, not overestimating.

01 January, 2007 12:38  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Roger, I agree that this is a low estimate. I went back to the City paper to find out their sources, whicih they list as follows: "Sources: US Department of Defense, and www.icasualties.org, www.iraqbodycount.net"

I guess my sense is that even an unreasonably low estimate of civilian casualties is outrageous.

01 January, 2007 12:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally I find it a bit late to be making promises about ensuring that the US-Service-Persons' deaths won't have been in vain. After all, weren't all of the Iraq dead offered up as sacrifices to Bush's vanity in the first place?

01 January, 2007 19:05  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

arconn, I wouldn't say his "vanity," I'd say his ideological agenda (crafted in large measure by advisors like Cheney and Runsfeld and their minions)and the political-economic interests that agenda is meant to serve.

But I think too that political discourse int eh US has made it taboo to say that the lives of these young folks have been wasted. That is not to diminish them or their sense of duty or whatever, it is simply to say that the war has been a fiasco from day one, raitonalized with lies and sustained by a continually shifting notion of our alleged goals and what might count as success in achieving them.

02 January, 2007 00:31  

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