Just another number...

With the last day of 2006 the total number of US military deaths in Iraq has reached 3000. With those of other coalition forces the number is 3250, an average of 2.35 per day for 1382 days.

Here are the numbers, from http://www.icasualties.org/ The end is not in sight. Here is the table of deaths:

Period... US... UK... Other*... Total.. Avg... Days

Total.. ..3000....127....... 123...... 3250.. 2.35... 1382

It is hard to know what to say. I know… may the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. This is real for friend and foe, and also for the collateral and not so collateral damage – Iraqis who might or might not have been better off without any of this happening but who are now dead.

Three thousand is just another number.

Three thousand two hundred fifty is just another number.

57,871, the number of iraqi civilians killed, is just another number.

The end of the year is just another number.

The numbers run by, and the sands run through my fingers,

and yet, although I know it is all simply observations about the flow,

I can’t help thinking that time is running out,

and the wonder of life is made the less

by all the numbers passing by too quickly.

For a better new year, with fewer who die this way,

with friends and family returned,

with peace in hearts of foe and friend alike,

we give our prayer for peace.


  1. The death rate in the U.S. is about 8 per 1,000. If you do the math, this would work out to about 50,000 gays dying each year (a conservative figure, given that the death rate among gays is higher) The vast majority are dying before their time; no doubt more are dying each and every month than all the U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq to date. And yet there isn't a hint of outrage about spiritual leaders encouraging people to just go right ahead and act on those impulses! Just numbers, I guess.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. There are several people who sign on as anonymous and give no name. I would appreciate it if the Anonymous of the first to comments here would say who she or he is.

    Neither of these two comments are about the central concern of my post - that the numbers of those killed in Iraq just keep on getting higher and no one seems much to care.

    I belive that Anonymous - this particular Anonymous - is also responsible for a very long "comment" which is really a full essay written by someone other than the anonymous poster.

    In the past I have made every effort to leave whatever comes up in comments on the thread. Some of these have been rants about matters of concern to readers of this blog, some have been rants against what I have had to say. I believe all of these need to remain.

    However, beginning today I will be asking anyone who responds to use a consistant name. Further, if the rant, as in the case of "anonymous" above is really the content of someone else's blog world, I am going to remove the comments.

    I understand the comments here to be about opinions concerning something in the blog posting and the thread of conversation that grows from it. What I am geting seems to be blog bombing.

    I would be glad to receive guidance from others who visit this blog. PLEASE use a consistant name.


  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Troll Alert!1/1/07 10:53 PM

    The butt-obsessed freak is back!

  6. Mark,

    Loving your posts and appalled at this bombing. Comment moderation has nipped this in the bud for me.

  7. Fr. Mark,

    At some point, one has to control the bad actors or there is no conversation. One person who insists on posting spam can simply make real discussion possible.



  8. Anonymous refused to give a name and continues to drop large amounts of material into the comments page.

    I am exercising my right to limit comments on my blog and will selectively remove those of Anonymous or named persons who try to use the comments section in order to continue a stream of material not related to prior comments or the posting.

    Thanks for the helpful comments from troll alert, r and jim.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Well, you win; I lose.

    But one thought to take you through 2007, as you comment appropriate and excellently about Iraq -- don't let progressivism be tainted with illusion that legitimizing homosexuality will help anyone. We have to care about those who are dying who would have avoided it.

  11. Correction: In my original response I stated that there were 50,000 gays dying in the U.S. each year (based on a death rate generally of 8.25 per 1,000) but in doing quick mental math I dropped a zero: The actual figure is 500,000 -- more every two days than the entire total of U.S. soldiers in Iraq to date. Please don't delete this from this blog or from your mind.

  12. Nobody dies from being gay.

    [Sadly (?) no one dies from having sh*t-fer-brains either...]

    Flying during the Christmas holidays, I was struck by how my flights were just LOADED w/ impossibly young-looking soldiers, male and female.

    I said a prayer to keep them all safe, even as Our President (who suffers from the aformentioned sh*t-fer-brains syndrome) considers his "surge".

    Funny, how when the same President COULD have "surged" into Vietnam, he had other plans...

  13. No one dies from being gay, but legions are dying from acting on that impulse, but others are busily hiding the fact and so the dying continues. The human body can't take it any more than it can take smoke inhalation over time.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.