Iraq: US death toll in war hits 4,000

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Mem, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. Mem

    Mem
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    BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb killed four U.S. soldiers in Baghdad on Sunday, the military said, pushing the overall American death toll in the five-year war to at least 4,000.

    The grim milestone came on the same day that rockets and mortars pounded the U.S.-protected Green Zone, underscoring the fragile security situation and the resilience of both Sunni and Shiite extremist groups despite an overall lull in violence.
    A Multi-National Division — Baghdad soldier also was wounded in the roadside bombing, which struck the soldiers' patrol vehicle about 10 p.m. in southern Baghdad, according to a statement.
    Identities of those killed were withheld pending notification of relatives.
    The 4,000 figure is according to an Associated Press count that includes eight civilians who worked for the Department of Defense.
    Last year, the U.S. military deaths spiked along with the Pentagon's "surge" — the arrival of more than 30,000 extra troops trying to regain control of Baghdad and surrounding areas. The mission was generally considered a success, but the cost was evident as soldiers pushed into Sunni insurgent strongholds and challenged Shiite militias.
    Military deaths rose above 100 for three consecutive months for the first time during the war: April 2007, 104; May, 126 and June at 101.
    The death toll has seesawed since, with 2007 ending as the deadliest year for American troops at 901 deaths. That was 51 more deaths than 2004, the second deadliest year for U.S. soldiers.
    The milestones for each 1,000 deaths — while an arbitrary marker — serve to rivet attention on the war and have come during a range of pivotal moments.
    When the 1,000th American died in September 2004, the insurgency was gaining steam. The 2,000-death mark came in October 2005 as Iraq voted on a new constitution. The Pentagon announced its 3,000th loss on the last day of 2006 — a day after Saddam Hussein was hanged and closing a year marked by rampant sectarian violence.
    The deaths taken by U.S. soldiers in Iraq, however, are far less than in other modern American wars. In Vietnam, the U.S. lost on average about 4,850 soldiers a year from 1963-75. In the Korean war, from 1950-53, the U.S. lost about 12,300 soldiers a year.
    But a hallmark of the Iraq war is the high wounded-to-killed ratio, partly because of advances in battlefield medicine, enhanced protective gear worn by soldiers and reinforced armored vehicles.
    There have been about 15 soldiers wounded for every fatality in Iraq, compared with 2.6 per death in Vietnam and 2.8 in Korea.
    The deadliest month for American troops was November 2004, with 137 deaths. April 2004 was the next with 135 U.S. military deaths. May 2007 saw the third-highest toll.
    Last December was the lowest monthly death toll, when 23 soldiers were killed — one less than February 2004.
    Two factors have helped bring down violence in recent months: a self-imposed cease-fire by a main Shiite militia and a grass-roots Sunni revolt against extremists.
    But commanders often say there is no guarantee the trends will continue. Among the concerns: the strength of breakaway Shiite factions believed armed by Iran and whether Sunni fighters will remain U.S. allies or again turn their guns on American troops instead of al-Qaida.

    Civil strife also could flare again.
    Shiite militias are vying for control of Iraq's oil-rich south. In the north, the contest for the oil-rich city of Kirkuk could spark new bloodshed and should be the focus of intense "U.S. diplomatic and economic leverage to make sure it doesn't happen," said retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey at a speech in New York in March to mark the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion.
    There is also the question of Iraq's security forces and the slow pace of their training.
    American commanders would like to see the Iraqis take more of a front-line role in the fighting, but their ability to operate without American support could still be years away. "We are always quick to note that the progress is tenuous and that it is reversible," said the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, "and that there are innumerable challenges out there."
     
  2. Mem

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    What a horrible Easter for the families involved. I hope that the next President can stop this nonsense.
     
  3. Elmer Gantry

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    And the Iraqi death toll is over 150,000 according to the latest World Health Organisation report.

    Let's hope it ends soon.
     
  4. No_Strings

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    Pretty low fatality rate for a 5 year war.
     
  5. texas41-38

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    The first thing that I see every morning is the flag that covered my brothers coffin when he came back from Viet Nam. Try and lay some of the "low fatality rate" bullshit on the members of the families of the 4,000 Americans that have been killed and Sen. McCain who is apparently good with another 100 years there.

    Crude Oil: $105.75 a Barrel
    'MISSION ACCOMPLISHED'
     
  6. Mem

    Mem
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    We are not at war with Iraq, we are at war in Iraq, just standing around waiting to get killed.
     
  7. Krusader

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    horrible.
     
  8. vince

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    And an estimated sixty Iraqi civilians were killed this weekend as well. Yeah, the 'surge' is working....

    The politicians who started and the media hacks who promoted this war, deserve to go straight to the deepest part of hell.
     
  9. Mr. Snakey

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    Yes Vietnam (1964 - 1973) 58,156 was the death toll. 500,000 was the death toll in World War Two.
     
  10. Mr. Snakey

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    11,000 was the death toll in just 10 days of battle in The civil War.
     
  11. Principessa

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    QFE!

    That may be true; but I don't think that is the point the OP was trying to make.


     
  12. mrpond

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    The actual death toll for american losses ( including army, marines, navy and airforce ) in world war 11 fighting the germans and the japanese was 292,000.
    The germans lost 290,000 in the battle of stalingrad alone. Hence in the european theatre it was the red army that won the war; while in the asian theatre it was soley the amercain forces that won the war.

    PS i say this not to distract from the losses the americans are experiencing now..
     
  13. dong20

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    I would expect and I doubt I'm alone here - as former POW one of his first acts in office (were he to be elected), would be to curtail the grosser acts of human rights abuse being carried on in his own back yard.
    As a former soldier, perhaps some part of his reluctance to pull troops out immediately en masse, speaks to a desire to avoid what he may see as dishonouring (even in a small way) the deaths of his 'comrades'.

    He may consider such a course of action would amount to a partisan, politically motivated defeat imposed from within - opposed to a simple military defeat on the battlefield. This being compounded by having failed to finish what was started - even if it was started for the wrong reasons.

    The problem here of course is that I don't know that the US can finish the task. Only the Iraqi people can (and arguably) should do that. But if I am anywhere near correct on his reasoning, I can't fault him or them in purely moral terms, even of they're flawed in purely practical ones.
    I'm speculating of course, and could be a zillion miles off base - you'd have ask McCain.

    I have to add, in the context of this thread especially, your continued petulant whining about petrol prices is in rather poor taste.

     
  14. Principessa

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  15. D_Kaye Throttlebottom

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    yeah I'm staying out of this thread.
     
  16. Northland

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    Actual totals are sadly unknown. The U.S.A. is selective as to those they consider to be legitimate victims. Here's a hint, if you're the bomber, or happen to not be taken to one of their own burial grounds, you don't become part of the tally. There will be mention at the start; later though, those persons mysteriously disappear from the roster. CNN has mention of more than 600,000 dead- Study: War blamed for 655,000 Iraqi deaths - CNN.com (old information, from October '06); while, Iraq Body Count- Iraq Body Count has a far lower count (although still above the George W. Bush count). Personal total for myself, currently stands at 28-family, 17 other (non-family, these are persons I met in Najaf and during my lifetime, some who were raised in the U.S.A. and went back-one as an interpreter). Nephews (1) nieces(2), aunts(1) and uncles(3)) and cousins(7), others, related, but less closely (through marriages and children of cousins) comprise the remaining 14. All of these were civillian deaths-none were involved in fighting, all were innocent bystanders. When it becomes a personal body count, the emotions are far different from the ones generated by those standing on the outside. If I had been more involved with family and visited more often-or lived there longer-I am sure my totals would be much higher.

    What are the totals? It will never be known. As time goes on, uncared for orphans, as well as men and women who are now alone; because their entire families have been eradicated, are not missed or put in village counts when they die or disappear. The same holds true for the true number of wounded-some to a point where death would be merciful, others with body parts torn and shredded, yet others with minor flesh scrapes. (Don't let any of that fool you though, the emotional toll is far worse.) Without family or direct connection to one of the many organizations affiliated with this ongoing horror, people are overlooked in countings.

    Agreed, it should end soon.
    The U.S.A. cannot finish this-this mess which has been created. The U.S.A. did not however create all of it. One has to understand Iraq and essentially tribal lifestyle to fully comprehend how Iraq has operated for centuries. Internal conflicts, changing leadership, all have been part of the evolution of Iraq-same as is the case in many other nations, including the U.S.A.

    At this point in time, there is no easy answer or solution. Going back several decades, the U.S.A. has been a part of Iraq, it is not all George Bush (either one), and I hold neither fully responsible for the morass which currently exists. None of the candidates for President has clearly stated how they plan to proceed. They offer more smoke, mirrors and smiles (all veiling changeable lies and half-truths/hopes) which only add to the disolvement of a culture which has been horrendously altered beyond repair.

    Before anyone believes I am speaking only against the U.S.A. on this matter, keep in mind, I also am speaking against what Great Britain did to Iraq. And then I step back and realize, that what was done, happened. More will happen. No nation is now or ever has been immune from change or possible extinction. I harbor no ill will towards the U.S.A., niether do I hold a long and sustained grudge against other nations which have served to destroy over the centuries. It bothers me; but, I must ask myself, 'What would Iraq be and where, if these things had not happened? How would it have progressed or disolved; if the interference of intruders had not been?' There is no place for anger on this issue for myself personally. A reason exists for all which has happened, just as there will be a reason for all which will happen henceforth. My requirement, is to stay peaceful and care for all affected and to indicate as loudly as I can if I believe I have a better answer towards eternal harmony and healing. At present, I do not have answers or solutions-which brings us full circle; since, as near as can be told, none of the candidates has genuine solutions either.
     
  17. PussyWellington

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    ...onward christian soldiers...

    Why didn't you just buy the buy the bloody oil, it would have been cheaper. There is nothing noble about this occupation. Dong's suggestion that MaCain is possibly trying to 'save-face' is rather generous. MacCain has a history of betraying the families of MIAs' from the Vietnam war. He is not in touch with the common soldier. Even while a 'prisoner of war' he was treated differently, the North Vietnamese knew his father was an Admiral. Strangely enough they believed that he would return to the United States and become a very powerful man -- I kid you not. There is a small monument at the point where he was rescued from West Lake, after his plane was shot down.

    Back to the thread..

    Now what was the task? What mission was accomplished? Just why are you there again? Why are the poverty drafters, the green-card soldiers and the YOUNG being killed in a foreign country for?

    Jesus, the man, would weep.
     
  18. dong20

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    My comment regarding dishonour really needs to be read in conjunction with the paragraph which followed my mentioning of it, and in a broader context. See below.



    As am I, but that doesn't stop me from trying to see this from a military or other perspective. The concept of dishonour needs to be considered in a wider social and historical context. As a clue, compare and contrast the respect afforded veterans of WWII with those of Korea, Vietnam and latterly, Iraq. Then and now. Next, consider the reasons why the US was involved in these actions, how they ended and the reasons they ended that way.

    In essence, the timing of a withdrawal isn't my concern so much as the reasons for it, and the nature of it. I doubt everyone sees defeat in the same way.



    I agree, but perhaps not for the same reason. To me, the reasons the US cannot achieve a military victory in Iraq have parallels with those that resulted in a (probably) similar outcome in previous conflicts.

    The continued was added because this isn't the by any stretch first time you have complained loudly about it, the whining because that's largely what it is, from my perspective of course. I added petulant simply to see if you were paying attention.:cool:

    Regardless, your comment was in rather poor taste here, IMHO.
     
  19. Mr. Snakey

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    Yes. You are right. The futher checking i did was from Britannica. 292,000 (not including non battle 115,187) for the United states. Yes i am proud of our brave men and women fighting right now.
     
  20. Stretch

    Stretch New Member

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    According to icasuality.org and iraqbodycount.org:
    Documented civilian deaths from violence
    82,349 – 89,867



    Iraq Body Count is an ongoing human security project which maintains and updates the world’s largest public database of violent civilian deaths during and since the 2003 invasion. The count encompasses non-combatants killed by military or paramilitary action and the breakdown in civil security following the invasion.
    Data is drawn from cross-checked media reports, hospital, morgue, NGO and official figures to produce a credible record of known deaths and incidents.

    ......................................................................................................
    Lieutenant General Tommy Franks, who led the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan during his time as head of US Central Command, once announced, "We don't do body counts." This blunt response to a question about civilian casualties was an attempt to distance George Bush's wars from the disaster of Vietnam. One of the rituals of that earlier conflict was the daily announcement of how many Vietnamese fighters US forces had killed. It was supposed to convince a sceptical American public that victory was coming. But the "body count" concept sounded callous - and never more so than when it emerged that many of the alleged guerrilla dead were in fact women, children and other unarmed civilians.
    Iraq was going to be different. The US would count its own dead (now close to 4,000), but the toll the war was taking on Iraqis was not a matter the Pentagon or any other US government department intended to quantify. Especially once Bush had declared "mission accomplished" on May 1 2003 - after that, every new Iraqi who died by violence would be a signal that the president was wrong, and would show that a war conducted in the name of humanitarian intervention was exacting a mounting humanitarian toll of its own.
    But even though the Americans were not counting, people were dying, and every victim had a name and a family. Wedding parties were bombed by US planes, couples driving home at night were shot at checkpoints because they missed a flashlight warning them to stop, and hundreds of other unarmed civilians were killed for no legitimate cause. In just the last three weeks of April 2003, after Saddam's statue and his regime were toppled, US forces killed at least 266 civilians - a pattern of overeager resort to fire which has continued to this day.
    So five years after Bush and Tony Blair launched the invasion of Iraq against the wishes of a majority of UN members, no one knows how many Iraqis have died. We do know that more than two million have fled abroad. Another 1.5 million have sought safety elsewhere in Iraq. We know that the combined horror of car bombs, suicide attacks, sectarian killing and disproportionate US counter-insurgency tactics and air strikes have produced the worst humanitarian catastrophe in today's world. But the exact death toll remains a mystery.
    There is no shortage of estimates, but they vary enormously. The Iraqi ministry of health initially tried to keep a count based on morgue records but then stopped releasing figures under pressure from the US-supported government in the Green Zone. The director of the Baghdad morgue, already under stress because of the mounting horror of his work, was threatened with death on the grounds that by publishing statistics he was causing embarrassment. The families of the bereaved wanted him to tell the truth, but like other professionals he came to the view that he had to flee Iraq.
    An independent UK-based research group, calling itself the Iraq Body Count (IBC), collates all fatality reports in the media where there are two or more sources as well as figures from hospitals and other official sources. At least four household surveys have been done asking Iraqis to list the family members they have lost. The results have then been extrapolated to Iraq's total population to give a nationwide estimate.
    The results range from just under 100,000 dead to well over a million. Inevitably, the issue has become a political football, with the Bush administration, the British government and other supporters of the US-led occupation seizing on the lowest estimates and opponents on the highest.
    Trying to cut one's way through the statistical jungle quickly becomes a battle over methodology, and sometimes over motives. Critics even raise the spectre of fraud, claiming survey interviewers fake the evidence by inflating the figures for political reasons.



    .......................................................................................................


    These are just two quick examples of Iraq casualty studies. Obviously they are extremely disparate findings. I've read other reports that place the casualties from anywhere between 8,000 and 1.2 million. I believe it's safe to assume that the "official" count of 4000 U.S casualties was, more then likely, reached some time ago and that whatever the actual figures are they are far from a "Pretty low fatality rate for a 5 year war".
     
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