October 02, 2005

Four Weeks in Flypaper Country

Today's Seattle Times has a couple of articles that pretty much sum up the state of Iraq right now. There's the story of a Marine who survived the other 11 members of his squad who were like a second family to him and another about the deteriorating quality of life for Iraqis as they live to see their neighborhoods torn apart and sectarian divisions creep into their families.

According to the Coalition Casualty Count and Reuters AlertNet's Iraq news center, reported casualties in Iraq as of today are as follows.

During the week starting September 4, 7 US and 2 UK troops were killed in action. Over the same period, 95 Iraqis were killed.

During the week starting September 11, 8 US troops and 1 member of the UK forces were killed in action. Over the same period, 121 Iraqis were killed.

During the week starting September 18, 15 US troops were killed in action. Over the same period, 94 Iraqis were killed.

During the week starting September 25, 17 US troops and a Danish soldier were killed in action. Over the same period, 220 Iraqis were killed.

In total, over the last four weeks, 47 US troops and 530 Iraqis have been reported dead. Reuters has formally complained that the military is interfering with journalists, which may well be the case, though what's managing to get out already is deeply disturbing.

The US casualties are mainly from working class US families, some with newborn children at home they've never seen, in the middle of a college career or just barely out of high school. The Iraqis are people going to market, clerics, government officials and their guards, children, police, soldiers, families gunned down and checkpoints and a smattering of people described as insurgents. The Iraqis die in bomb blasts, from bullets, in assassinations, along with family members and sometimes blindfolded and on their knees waiting for their kidnappers to pull the trigger. It's gut wrenching just to read over the brief details of the incident reports.

This is the very definition of monstrous obscenity, being managed by an American power structure riddled with crime and corruption and fought by an insurgency guilty of heinous crimes of their own. The new Iraqi government is weak, US troops are attacking small villages and the British are pulling out. A band of optimistic idiots told us that fighting a war in Iraq would be a strong blow against global terror, but there have been more attacks worldwide since the beginning of the war, including the recent terror strike in Bali. How this could go down in history as anything other than the biggest disgrace in the course of our country's lifespan I don't know.

Posted by natasha at October 2, 2005 04:40 PM | Iraq | Technorati links |

The thing is that it's so numbing. 47 soldiers in a month. Shit it's tough to hear, but it doesn't mean much. I don't know. I think of the people I know who are or were over there. I sometimes hear the personal stories of some of them, and I feel like shit. But I don't know about the other 45.

Posted by: Carl Ballard at October 2, 2005 08:41 PM