A missed and sad marker.

Sometime on August 15th or so, it being St. Mary the Virgin Day, the number of Coalition forces deaths in Iraq passed the 4000 mark. The day came and went. I did not notice.

Several sad things to note: British forces have lost more of their military in the "surge" period than at any other time. The number of US dead stands at 3,724. There are now more than 27,500 US wounded, bringing the total dead and wounded to 31,500 or more.

"Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death."
"May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace."

End the War.


  1. I find it sad that the media did not take much notice, allowing the public to miss the benchmark. To make matters worse, these are only deaths that occurred in Iraq. Once the wounded are removed from that theatre, their deaths are counted in other ways. We also do not note the civilians casualties, and need to keep them in our prayers.

    Paul Colbert+

  2. Pray for us, Oh Holy Mother of od that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.

  3. But how do you propose we end the war?

    If we pull out now and a civil war erupts, how much larger might the death toll be than if we had stayed and tried to hold things together? How much more grief-stricken our prayers knowing our thin-skinned protests led to greater bloodshed?

    Just playing...you know.

  4. My son is serving his country in the U.S. Army and is committed to "defending the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic." At this very moment he is in harm's way in Iraq doing neither -- he and his brave colleagues deserve better than putting their lives on the line to defend a failed administration's failed foreign policy in a country that needs to find a political solution without our military intervention.

    End the war, indeed. Even John Warner is coming around that one.

  5. "How much more grief-stricken our prayers knowing our thin-skinned protests led to greater bloodshed?"

    There are no more good options. All the options and opportunities were squandered long ago. The only choice now is between sacrificing more of our kids for the sake of a disintegrating Iraq, and sacrificing Iraqis to save our kids. Same pointless meatgrinder either way.

    "You don't have a future, baby. Your future is all used up" -- Marlene Dietrich to Orson Welles in "Touch of Evil"

    I'm willing to wager that this whole catastrophic misadventure will end right where it began; with a tyrant holding Iraq together by force, a tyrant of our own choosing (as was Saddam).

  6. On August 9, the counter provided by Just Foreign Policy which extrapolates from the Lancet study of excess Iraqi deaths that can be considered a consequence of US invasion turned 1,000,000. It is now 1,019,000. Social scientists largely endorse the Lancet methodology.

    What have we wrought?

  7. It will take an International conference of neighbouring state, the UN, the EU, Russia, and so on to end this.

    And a Nürnberg II.

  8. I have been opposed to this war from the beginning, and agree with Susan's point that our military's job is to "defend...." However, I really do not know what the best way forward is.

    Ultimately it will be the people of Iraq who will need to figure out how to live together or to separate with a minimum of bloodshed.

    However, we do have a heavy responsibility both to the people of Iraq (and their neighbors who will feel the effects of a wider war) to help them come out of this in the best way possible. We are the ones who invaded and toppled their government and helped to unleash this civil war without a plan other than the field of dreams "democracy and economic prosperity will flower" approach. To simply leave because the cost is too high for us is in my humble opinion, irresponsible.

    If leaving will force the Iraqi government, or the Iraqi people, to take control of their country and work things out, then by all means, lets withdraw. However it is quite obvious that the current Iraqi government and military/security forces are not capable of bringing the civil war to an end. My fear is that if we leave, the dam we have been keeping our finger in will collapse completely.

    If the best way forward is for a "third party" to get involved, as Goran recommends, then we need to support that, financially, logistically and with leadership.

    However if the best way forward is to keep our military there to help them work things out, then that became our responsibility the day our first tank crossed the border into Iraq.

    In my humble opinion, victory is no longer an option, but helping the Iraqi people to come out of this the best, or the least worst, way possible is our responsibility.

    Also, I find it disappointing Mark that you chose to focus on the casualties our military and the British military have suffered, but chose not to mention that over 1 million Iraqi people have died and several million are now refugees.

    Just the few opinions of an armchair diplomat and general.

  9. david...the particular number 4000 was about US deaths. In other postings on war I have talked about the many more deaths that this war has included. Sorry to disappoint, but this was about one number.

    Most Sundays I stand in a Silent Vigil. Some of us carry signs with the number of US dead or wounded, some of us carry signs of the number of Iraqi civilians killed. We use a very conservative number, but even that one is awful.

    Thanks for the comments.

  10. Susan Russell --

    I am so sorry about your son -- Gos grant him a safe return & soon!

    I am so happy that Reagan had the sense to cut & run when the Marines were killed in Lebanon -- it didn't stop the war, but at least it prevented further pointless deaths of U.S. troops.

    Actually, I agree with those who say that the main cause of the Iraqi insurgency is our presence. As Mayor Daley (the elder) said, "The police are not there to prevent disorder. They are there to cause disorder." But Bush's cronies have made billions of dollars (mostly borrowed from the Chinese) -- mission accomplished!

  11. Things are very bad in Iraq now. If we withdraw from Iraq, things will be very bad there. The situation may get even more violent when we leave, but it cannot begin to get better, if we don't leave.

    The brave troops are doing their duty, giving their best, sometimes their all. They have done what we asked them to do.

    We are an army of occupation, and that's how the Iraqis see us. It's way past time to bring the troops home.

    Susan, I pray for your son's safety.

  12. Goran: "It will take an International conference of neighbouring state, the UN, the EU, Russia, and so on to end this.

    And a Nürnberg II.

    END the war, face the reality of the deadly lies and ugliness of arrogance and greed...in other words, it's time for Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld/Rove to take responsiblity for the consequences of their REAL actions of deceit!


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, 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.