It is too easy to take the lead from the news feeds: Michal Jackson's death and Sarah Palin's announcement that she is resigning as governor of Alaska are big news. The continuing bleed down in Iraq and Afghanistan is no news at all. US and allied military deaths in these two wars are low enough and common enough not to draw much attention. They are now background noise, not foreground news. We can conveniently wave the flag and watch the fireworks without much thought for the returning caskets, the draped flags and the bursting of real bombs in real war.
As of this 4th of July 4,321 American service personnel and 318 other allied personnel have died in Iraq - 4,639 in all. In Afghanistan 719 US personnel have been killed, and 488 other allied personnel, for a total of 1,207.
These two wars have now cost 5,040 American lives. The number of US wounded in Iraq stands at over 31,368, in Afghanistan 3,023. Total wounded over 34,391.
One way or another more about 40,000 Americans have been killed or wounded. And there is hardly a whisper of our discontent.