Monday, March 24, 2008

US military passes 4,000 death toll in Iraq

From the Guardian:

The number of US troops killed in Iraq has reached 4,000 with the deaths of four soldiers in southern Baghdad.

The four soldiers were on patrol when their vehicle was struck yesterday at around 10pm local time (7pm GMT) by a roadside bomb.

"You regret every casualty, every loss," US vice president Dick Cheney told reporters during a visit to Jerusalem after the 4,000 death toll was passed.

"It may have a psychological effect on the public, but it's a tragedy that we live in a kind of world where that happens."

901 American troops died in Iraq last year - the deadliest year for the US army in Iraq since 2004 when 850 were killed. Most of the fatalities in 2007 were incurred in the first part of the year as the US "surge", in which 30,000 additional US troops arrived in the country, got underway.

Calculations by the Associated Press show that for every fatality in Iraq there had been 15 soldiers wounded. The news agency compared this with 2.6 wounded for every death in the Vietnam war, although the total 58,200 US troop deaths in that eleven year war is over ten times the current toll.

From the Washington Post:
Also Sunday, the commander of U.S. prisons in Iraq defended the military's incarceration policies as the detainee population has swelled to 23,000, nearly 45 percent higher than a year ago.

Marine Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone said the military is detaining 50 to 60 Iraqis a day, compared with 20 to 30 a day in April 2007. The growing prison population "is clearly a consequence of the surge," he said, referring to the troop buildup that began last year.

Iraqi politicians from different sectarian backgrounds have complained that many detainees have languished for months or years without charges and that many are wrongfully accused. The United Nations has also been critical of the procedures.

A U.N. human rights report in April expressed concern about the U.S. military's "indefinite internment of detainees," noting that people are "held for prolonged periods effectively without charge or trial." The U.S. Embassy was harshly critical of the report.

"My answer is that it's looking pretty good," Stone said.

AP photo

1 comment:

Mike Belgrove said...

I'm a Soldier in the U.S. Army and when I heard news of the 4000 death mark I became sick to my stomach. I'm lucky enough to have been to Iraq and return home to my family but so many of my fellow Soldiers have not been as fortunate. And in my heart i feel like every one of those 4000 deaths our president is to be blamed for.

I've opened up a discussion on my blog so I can talk to people and answer their questions and hopefully make people understand that not all military are supporting this war and that every one of those deaths was important and unneeded. I'd like it you'd stop by and toss in your two cents.

I'm all for defending my country but U.S. did not need to be defended from Iraq.