The Talking Lion

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The real number of Iraq casualties

The number everyone is throwing out there is 1,800. But that's just the number of soldiers who die in Iraq. There are over 6,000 others who die ont the way to or at a German military hospital after being wounded in Iraq, according to this story:

There is excellent reason to believe that the Department of Defense is deliberately not reporting a significant number of the dead in Iraq. We have received copies of manifests from the MATS that show far more bodies shipped into Dover AFP than are reported officially. The educated rumor is that the actual death toll is in excess of 7,000. Given the officially acknowledged number of over 15,000 seriously wounded, this elevated death toll is far more realistic than the current 1,400+ now being officially published. When our research is complete, and watertight, we will publish the results along with the sources In addition to the evident falsification of the death rolls, at least 5,500 American military personnel have deserted, most in Ireland but more have escaped to Canada and other European countries, none of whom are inclined to cooperate with vengeful American authorities. (See TBR News of 18 February for full coverage on the mass desertions) This means that of the 158,000 U.S. military shipped to Iraq, 26,000 either deserted, were killed or seriously wounded. The DoD lists currently being very quietly circulated indicate almost 9,000 dead, over 16,000 seriously wounded and a large number of suicides, forced hospitalization for ongoing drug usage and sales, murder of Iraqi civilians and fellow soldiers , rapes, courts martial and so on.

There's really not much you can say other than this is another example of the Bush administration blatantly misleading the American people. Ted Rall's comic gets at the heart of how inapproriate and disrespectful it is to make that distinction between dying in Iraq and dying somehwere else after being shot in Iraq.

The 15,000 wounded number is not talked about enough as it is, and it's almost like the message is if you're just shot in Iraq and survive, your not worthy enough to be acknowledged. Or, at least, the fact that you were wounded and survive should not be a cause for concern among the American people, because after all, you did survive.

But also, I think we need to consider how many Americans killed in Iraq is too much? What about when 10,000 Americans are killed? Will that be enough to make Americans call for soemthing to be done?

Regardless, the Bush administration continues to pretend that everything is a-ok. Meanwhile, the American people are beginning to snap out of it. Bush's approval rating has fallen to 36 percent and more and more Republicans are speaking out against the war, with Chuck Hagel from Nebraska being the latest to do so (story). It's enough to give me hope that maybe the American people aren't as dumb as Karl Rove thinks they are, and the Orwellian tactics of the Bush administration will be something that future generation look back on in disgust.

The shit hit the fan long ago. It's just only recently that the American public realized that it was being sprayed onto them.

6 Comments:

  • this post seems to presume that the short term cause of Iraqi democracy, and the long term goal of reforming the ME are both pure folly, and any american dying in the pursuit of these goals has wasted his or her life. I can see why that could be the case if we had the following, for instance:

    -poor leadership/incompetence on our part,

    -Iraqis identifying with the insurgency as a manifestation of nationalism,

    -a more compelling juicy strategic target than achieving a functional and self-sustaining democracy in Iraq, and thereby dragging iraqi society (and its more or less lone American protectors) through the gauntlet of systemic regional problems),

    but I have not been convinced by you or any of your ideological ilk as to why that is the case.

    Also, given only an "educated rumor", you are venturing on to quite a limb. While it will be interesting whether or not Mr. Harring is able to produce complete and "watertight"
    evidence of such a grand and elaborate scheme, I wonder if your emotional reaction produced by such an idea of 10s of thousands of dead americans is, while understandable, also gravely awry in how it misunderstands the nature of the dire conflict that America is by and large facing alone. This is war and people will die; the bad parts of going to war do not include images of troops boarding planes, tanks driving through sand and night vision snippets of firefights; it is the calculated decision to engage and even revel in barbarism because to not do so would be to cede our survival to the whims of madmen, their less mad family & friends and the powerless and oppressed innocents that surround them. The barbaric value to it may be that we kill far more of them. The rest of the world (this may include you and your cadre) can sit idly by and masturbate their economies into havens of low-end manufacturing (asia), or form yet more unions of pathos with catchy titles and snazzy graphics (you etc), or they can play the EU flute while europe burns (theo van gogh, useless DE and FR). It is indeed a tragedy that only americans are fighting and dying for a cause arguably more noble than that of WW2 insofar as we must slog through "conventional" and obvious wisdom such as yours just to get to a virulent and adaptive enemy, grinning and feeling still invulnerable because he knows he is cloaked in the impenetrable stuff of air, text, words while the legions of bereft solidarity chizzle away at his enemy's foundations every day.

    By Blogger deeds not fap, at Wednesday, 24 August, 2005  

  • also, chuck hagel is a tool and should be driven out of any privelege of governance. if he's elected president, gg UBL.

    By Blogger deeds not fap, at Wednesday, 24 August, 2005  

  • The Iraq War a more noble cause than WWII?

    The last time I checked, we went to war with Iraq because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and had ties to al-Qeada and constituted a security threat to the United States. It turns out there were no weapons of mass destruction and little tangible connection between bin Laden and the Hussein regime. The only stash of chemical weapons that have been found were developed after the United States invaded, which is tragically ironic.

    The "virulent and adaptable" enemies we should concerned about are terrorists who want to attack our country. Keeping our military bogged down in Iraq doesn't do much to address this problem and it has left thousands of Americans wounded or dead.

    I understand how war works. There are deaths. That's what happens when you go to war. But calling me a pussy because I'm saddened and concerned by the rising number of casualties in Iraq still doesn't explain why these soldiers have to be there in the first place.

    By Blogger Sean, at Wednesday, 24 August, 2005  

  • 1. I wasnt calling you a pussy. I sympathize with your position insofar as I understand your beliefs to be nefarious and appealing.

    2. Indeed the goals pursued by our military, law enforcement etc in Iraq and elsewhere are vested in the fight against terrorists. When looking at the strategic landscape of the region from the Horn of Africa to Central Asia, and specifically its systemic political, cultural, economic and social problems that have oppressed people there for decades, one sees the stark breeding ground for the nefarious and infectiously appealing ideas that seep into the heads of the disaffected and abandoned and empower them with a might not merely global, but quite cosmic in its nature. Humans have suffered there for decades. We could continue to allow them to suffer and return to our "Fortress America" that tools like Chuck Hagel would promise us. If such an idea is not ridiculously laughable, and somehow could be practical, we would get to call home to a country reduced and degraded to a naivete beyond that of pre 7/11 Londonistan, though all the more shameful because we've seen horrors unknown to them (save for maybe the collective IRA enduring). Or we could appropriate Kerry's ideas of "prudence" and "restraint", which in reality are merely lowering the dosage to the infection, in the hopes of some backwards-selection process causing the acute infection to return to something at least chronic and manageable, if not all together benign. We could exist in symbiosis with those who film beheadings, who participate in a pathology of hatred so deluded that half our country cannot concieve of it, that they'd sooner condemn and rail against that which they can control (Bush), than attempt to think for too long about those wretched men and women who'd salivate over any misery they could sew upon us, praise be to Allah. In dealing with this wretched infection, we have numerous options. The Saudis pretty much caused this whole mess. That Pakis might not be helping as much as an Indian protectorate over their territory might. Iran hangs in the balance between madmen who can't see past their own traumatized generational memory and the youth who are imprisoned, tortured and subjugated. But then there is Iraq. Easy target, crazy idea with a huge payoff. Cost/benefit is probably the best for Iraq, the benefit being the strategic goldmine of a American-sewn democracy smack dab in the middle of that swath of wretched infection, the former totalitarianist kleptocracy now competing with that infection for the minds of Arabs and Muslims, and it will be highly more adaptable organism than what Al Qaeda/Islamofascism can throw at us. Its north and south beautifully compromised by over a decade's worth of attrition by the best airforces of the world. Its country by and large entirely mapped. At least 10+ years worth of Humint on the ground. No credibility or allies other than the one's (terrorists) we wanted to draw into our own little hornet's nest's front line and away from the homefront.
    We had a conceivably internationally recognized cassus belli (WMD, terrorism, humanitarian plea etc). The lack of weapons ready for launch in twenty minutes notice is different from having no weapons whatsoever. However, having strategic weapons programs (and a history of wanting such strategic clout) is different from not having any strategic weapons programs. We know we reduced their conventional forces to nothing and then reduced that nothing to miles of charred even less on their retreat from Kuwait. We'd face at worst an insurgency or a civil war, the former being manageable, the latter being the result of the decades of systemic factors mentioned above and hopefully avoidable if those factors could be reduced profoundly. We've reduced those factors profoundly, at the cost of thousands of American lives (thousands of US civilians have died in Iraq so if you want to parade a number, why not use that one? they are far better documented than the IBC number, for instance). Those soldiers have to be there because America made the decision to not let the ME wallow in the structured/institutionalized pathos useful for dictators and madmen and export only oil and suicidal maniacs and ethnic hatred. One question that is quite relevant is why are American and British soldiers the only one's in this place?

    By Blogger deeds not fap, at Thursday, 25 August, 2005  

  • Scalpel, learn how to use more paragraphs.

    By Blogger Aaron Kinney, at Thursday, 25 August, 2005  

  • I wasnt calling you a pussy. I sympathize with your position insofar as I understand your beliefs to be nefarious and appealing.

    Indeed the goals pursued by our military, law enforcement etc in Iraq and elsewhere are vested in the fight against terrorists. When looking at the strategic landscape of the region from the Horn of Africa to Central Asia, and specifically its systemic political, cultural, economic and social problems that have oppressed people there for decades, one sees the stark breeding ground for the nefarious and infectiously appealing ideas that seep into the heads of the disaffected and abandoned and empower them with a might not merely global, but quite cosmic in its nature.

    Humans have suffered there for decades. We could continue to allow them to suffer and return to our "Fortress America" that tools like Chuck Hagel would promise us. If such an idea is not ridiculously laughable, and somehow could be practical, we would get to call home to a country reduced and degraded to a naivete beyond that of pre 7/11 Londonistan, though all the more shameful because we've seen horrors unknown to them (save for maybe the collective IRA enduring). Or we could appropriate Kerry's ideas of "prudence" and "restraint", which in reality are merely lowering the dosage to the infection, in the hopes of some backwards-selection process causing the acute infection to return to something at least chronic and manageable, if not all together benign. We could exist in symbiosis with those who film beheadings, who participate in a pathology of hatred so deluded that half our country cannot concieve of it, that they'd sooner condemn and rail against that which they can control (Bush), than attempt to think for too long about those wretched men and women who'd salivate over any misery they could sew upon us, praise be to Allah.

    In dealing with this wretched infection, we have numerous options. The Saudis pretty much caused this whole mess. That Pakis might not be helping as much as an Indian protectorate over their territory might. Iran hangs in the balance between madmen who can't see past their own traumatized generational memory and the youth who are imprisoned, tortured and subjugated.

    But then there is Iraq. Easy target, crazy idea with a huge payoff. Cost/benefit is probably the best for Iraq (though opportunity cost may be significant given threats presented above), the benefit being the strategic goldmine of a American-sewn democracy smack dab in the middle of that swath of wretched infection, the former totalitarianist kleptocracy now competing with that infection for the minds of Arabs and Muslims, and it will be highly more adaptable organism than what Al Qaeda/Islamofascism can throw at us. Its north and south beautifully compromised by over a decade's worth of attrition by the best airforces of the world. Its country by and large entirely mapped. At least 10+ years worth of Humint on the ground (though far less of this exists because politicians in the 90s thought satellites were the be all end all). No credibility or allies other than the one's (terrorists) we wanted to draw into our own little hornet's nest's front line and away from the homefront.
    We had a conceivably internationally recognized cassus belli (WMD, terrorism, humanitarian plea etc). The lack of weapons ready for launch in twenty minutes notice is different from having no weapons whatsoever. However, having strategic weapons programs (and a history of wanting such strategic clout) is different from not having any strategic weapons programs. We know we reduced their conventional forces to nothing and then reduced that nothing to miles of charred even less on their retreat from Kuwait. We'd face at worst an insurgency or a civil war, the former being manageable, the latter being the result of the decades of systemic factors mentioned above and hopefully avoidable if those factors could be reduced profoundly.

    We've reduced those factors profoundly, at the cost of thousands of American lives (thousands of US civilians have died in Iraq so if you want to parade a number, why not use that one? they are far better documented than the IBC number, for instance). Those soldiers have to be there because America made the decision to not let the ME wallow in the structured/institutionalized pathos useful for dictators and madmen and export only oil and suicidal maniacs and ethnic hatred. One question that is quite relevant is why are American and British soldiers the only one's in this place?

    By Blogger deeds not fap, at Thursday, 25 August, 2005  

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