Monday, May 26, 2008

The Cost of War

Most of us know that more than 4000 of our soldiers have died in Iraq, but death is not the only price that soldiers pay. There are some who might say that it is not even the highest price, given the nature of some of the casualties inflicted by this gruesome conflict.

Santa Monica is a city in California with a population of about 85,000 people. You’ve almost certainly seen pictures of the Santa Monica Pier, with its Ferris wheel and bikini-clad roller bladers. Suppose that something happened that caused every single person in that city to be killed or badly injured. Every single person. 85,000 people dead or maimed.

That’s how many of our soldiers have been killed or badly injured in this thing in Iraq. The casualties of Iraq could populate a California city.

Juan Cole points this out at Informed Comment,
We aren't told the scale of the sacrifice by our corporate media or Washington officials. Michael Munk has done a fine job of focusing in like a laser on the real numbers of casualties for the Iraq War. Here is the last dispatch I have from him, dated May 6, 2008:
'US military occupation forces in Iraq suffered at least 108 combat casualties in the week ending May 6, as the official casualty total reached at least 65,500. The total includes 33,325 dead and wounded by what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and 32,175 (since over a month ago on March 1) dead and injured from "non-hostile" causes.

The actual total is over 85,000 because the Pentagon chooses not to count as "Iraq casualties" the approximately 20,000 casualties discovered only after they returned from Iraq - mainly brain trauma from explosions.

Yes, we properly remember those who have died in defense of freedom on this Memorial Day. But we need also to remember those who have paid the price of freedom and have not died, those who are still paying that price.

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