Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Body Count

On this day when we officially leave behind the war that was but shouldn't have been, it is most striking that we can't even agree upon the damage left in its wake.

While our own troop count of dead and wounded sit like a Scarlet Letter on our heads, we see the following conflicting reports from the New York Times:

"The war... claimed the lives of more than 4,400 American soldiers and more than 70,000 Iraqis, according to United States and Iraqi government figures" ('Obama Declares An End to Iraq Combat Mission')

" For this day, it was worth dwelling on this milestone in Iraq and on some grim numbers: more than 4,400 American dead...and on one number that American politicians are loath to mention: at least 100,000 Iraqis dead" ('The War in Iraq' - editorial comment)

If ever there was a moment in the history of this conflict when the New York Times should be certain of its statements (even if the governments of the US and Iraq are not) this is it. Next time (and the next time will be when we are waving goodbye to Afghanistan) let's give all of those who perished the same level of respect and commitment to accuracy in reporting.


Anonymous said...

Although I believe the war in Iraq was one of the great frauds on the American public, Americans are rightfully concerned with our body count. We have control of that number. How many Iraqis were murdered under SH? How many would have been murdered if we did not remove him? Would he have attacked and killid Iranians? Kuwaitis? The tragedy is that Americans lost their lives for a cause that never existed- weapons of mass destruction. Ted

Robert said...

This was not to diminish the importance of knowing how many American lives were lost. It is just that it is distressing that we are so unclear as to the scope of the human tragedy on the soil where this misbegotten war was waged.

We went where we should never have been, driven by the lies and deception of our leader. We leave (kind of) with blood on our hands and what should be an ever clearer understanding that this was a phony mission, not accomplished. Well done, Bushie, well done.