Foreign Policy

4,000 U.S. Dead in Iraq

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The overall U.S. death toll in Iraq rose to 4,000 after four soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in Baghdad, a grim milestone that is likely to fuel calls for the withdrawal of American forces as the war enters its sixth year.

The American deaths occurred Sunday, the same day rockets and mortars pounded the U.S.-protected Green Zone in Baghdad and a wave of attacks left at least 61 Iraqis dead nationwide.

An Iraqi military spokesman said Monday that troops had found rocket launching pads in different areas in predominantly Shiite eastern Baghdad that had been used by extremists to fire on the Green Zone, which houses the U.S. Embassy and the Iraqi government headquarters.

"We hope to deal with this issue professionally to avoid civilian casualties," said spokesman Qassim al-Moussawi.

More here.

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  1. Leave it to a Republican like GWB to launch a multi-trillion dollar government program that also kills 4,000 people.*

    * I’m assuming that several hundred thousand dead Iraqis don’t count as people because they’re Arabs/terrorists.

  2. What is up with the media saying this is the 6th year of the war in Iraq??

    We’ve had at least 10 years of war in Iraq. Right through the Clinton administration they were bombing Iraq. They also imposed economic sanctions, which are an act of war.

    And if you count the first George Bush’s Gulf War #1, right now we’re entering the 15th (could be wrong – my maths ain’t so good) year of war.

  3. Have so few from one side ever died in such a long war?

  4. What a shame. What a waste.

    What a load of bullshit the dwindling ranks of the hawks try to shove down our throats to avoid admitting their mistakes.

  5. What a load of bullshit the dwindling ranks of the hawks try to shove down our throats to avoid admitting their mistakes.

    You’re assuming that, the war as it stands now, wasn’t their true intention all along.

  6. Leave it to the US press to fixate on the 4,000 US death milestone molehill with no mention of the mountain of dead Iraqis we’ve left in the wake of our ongoing adventure in nation building.

  7. From CNN’s reporting of the 4,000 US dead:

    Estimates of the Iraqi death toll since the war began range from about 80,000 to the hundreds of thousands. Another 2 million Iraqis have been forced to leave the country, and 2.5 million have been displaced from their homes within Iraq, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

  8. KBR is still making and handy profit. Follow the money.

  9. grim milestone that is likely to fuel calls for the withdrawal of American forces as the war enters its sixth year.

    Because 3,999 was still okay. Yes, now that it’s 4,000, we can seriously talk about troop withdrawal.

  10. Well, as long as politicians and the allegedly left-wing newsmedia continue to matter-of-factly repeat the Big Lie that Iraq is part of the Global War on Terror, we’re stuck there ad infinitum. The response to the suggestion that we should withdraw from a country we never should have invaded, that the Iraqis would be better off without us there, etc., will always be howling about how we “can’t surrender to terror.”

  11. Yes, now that it’s 4,000, we can seriously talk about troop withdrawal.

    I also don’t get the fixation on round numbers and “grim milestones”. Because one more kid got killed and made it even, now it’s front page news? Journalists are truly pathetic.

  12. Look, if you don’t think the Surge™ is working, you hate America and you hate our soldiers. Do you want Terror™ to rule your life? What if Iran gets an atom bomb? What if Osama bin Laden gets a nuke? That’s why we’ve got to fight this war! It’s a fact that OBL and Saddam were best friends and them and the Ayatollah used to sit around and try to figure out how to get a nuke to use on us! Say, you ain’t one of them pansy-boys now, are you? This war is just like dubya-dubya two! We gotta fight them Nazis and Japs Arabs and we’ve gotta fight to win!

    The above bit of unfunny “satire” has been brought to you by what I hear people say every day.

  13. Can we surrender to bankruptcy?
    (First came moral, then came economic)

  14. I also don’t get the fixation on round numbers and “grim milestones”. Because one more kid got killed and made it even, now it’s front page news? Journalists are truly pathetic.

    Attaching numbers to the tragedy makes it easier for said journalists to act like they care.

  15. However…

    Stalin said that one death is a tragedy, a million a statistic.

  16. A million is actually still a tragedy.

  17. Stalin said a lot of things. He was also a monster. Let’s not use him for our tragedy vs. statistics guide, OK?

  18. He was also a monster violent sociopath.

    splitting hairs, I know.

  19. At least Stalin was willing to do his own dirty work.

  20. one death is a tragedy, a million a statistic

    In Russian, “statistic” is the same word as “grim milestone.”

    Also, all appartchiks must do shot of vodka for each grim milestone. That is why we are communist Party!

  21. In Russia, milestone grims you!

  22. You can’t make a cake without cracking a few eggs.

  23. A guy like Stalin might be just what Iraq needs.

  24. Quite right. Josef Stalin isn’t the sort of person that would allow a few ups and downs to make him take his eye off the ball.

  25. A guy like Stalin might be just what Iraq needs.

    Actually, they tried a Stalinesque leader for a couple of decades. Didn’t work out so well.

  26. There was a show on the history channel last night about the technology of crucifixtions and impalements.

    Gotta hand it to the Persians, Alexander and those efficient Romans to keep order!

  27. Losing only one American soldier for every hundred million dollars spent seems to me like a great value actually. You can’t put a price on the democracy that is exploding in Irag and it is only a matter of time before that warm fuzzy feeling of freedom spreads throughout the middle east and they all become peaceniks like Canada.

    As far as the “mountain” of Iraqi dead goes, well, those are just the Radical Terroristical Islamofascists ya know.

  28. You can’t put a price on the democracy that is exploding in Iraq

    There’s no way I can top that.

  29. The above bit of unfunny “satire” has been brought to you by what I hear people say every day.

    Sad, ain’t it?

    …it is only a matter of time before that warm fuzzy feeling of freedom spreads throughout the middle east and they all become peaceniks like Canada.

    Baghdad, just like Saskatoon.

  30. Dave W. | March 24, 2008, 8:05am | #

    Have so few from one side ever died in such a long war?

    Third Punic War was shorter, but the body count was even more favorable. Kinda rough on the Carthaginians, though.

    they all become peaceniks like Canada.

    I LIKE living in a country with boring history.

  31. I’d say we owe the Iraqis some reparations.

    The hawks also owe a big fucking apology to the families of the soldiers.

    And we as Americans owe it to the next generation to hold war crimes trials for senior administration officials. The precedent needs to be set that this is simply not acceptable, and that those who try it will go to prison. Otherwise, some future President will try it again.

    Finally, we need to stop treating the hawks as “serious people” who deserve “equal time” in the media. They aren’t serious. They’re immoral and they’re dumb as shit if they still think this was worth doing.

  32. Given the oft-compared situation of this war vs. Vietnam, how do the casualty numbers compare given the advances in field medicine and advanced surgery, transportation of wounded, etc.?

    Given the 15,000+ Americans died in Vietnam, what would the number of dead be if this conflict happened then? It seems like daily I read statistics about the number of wounded coming home with what would be previously mortal wounds if it wasn’t for advances in transportation and medical technology.

    I guess my point is that when one compares this vs. previous conflicts it seems like we have MANY more that would have been dead then and are going to be dealing with major hadicaps for the rest of their lives now.

  33. Yeah, I remember when the grim milestone of 4,000 dead happened in WW II. It was a pre-war training exercise as I recall. Fortunately, the antiwar protesters got their way and we were able to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Japanese and Germans, avoiding much needless death.

    Hey, ever notice you never see many Jews anymore? Why is that?

  34. Vietnam

    Deaths Average Age
    Total 58,148 23.11 years
    Enlisted 50,274 22.37 years
    Officers 6,598 28.43 years
    Warrants 1,276 24.73 years
    E1 525 20.34 years
    11B MOS 18,465 22.55 years

    Those wounded in action was close to 300,000, iirc.

    The ratio of wounded to dead is much higher in this war, with many soldiers receiving multiple head/limb injuries due to blasts that would have killed a less well armored soldier.

    The cost of the war needs to take into consideration the wounded which is currently approaching 30,000 (officially*)

    *a much higher number, 100,000, have received disability

    http://www.antiwar.com/glantz/?articleid=9937#wounded

  35. TallDave,

    What an odd attempt at humor.

  36. How about Korea?

    South Korea:
    58,127 combat deaths
    175,743 wounded
    80,000 MIA or POW[5]

    United States:
    36,516 dead (including 2,830 non-combat)
    92,134 wounded
    8,176 MIA
    7,245 POW[6]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_war

  37. Is it just me or does every conservative think every war is World War II, while every liberal thinks every war is Vietnam?

  38. 1. Iraq is just like Germany and Japan

    After all, Iraq is a homogeneous nation with a common language, religion, and ethnicity. Its not like its just a line on the map drawn by a bunch of British Imperialists in 1920 to group three oil wells together. I mean, that would be ridiculous!

    Furthermore, everyone knows that when Truman visited Tokyo in the late 40s he had to do it unannounced, in the middle of the night, with the lights in his airplane off.

    2. Tell them its what the Founders would want.

    After all, any moron knows Jefferson and Madison were known best for their love of huge standing armies, imperial adventures, a unitary executive, and torture.

    3. Talking to your enemies is for pussies

    Make sure to demonstrate to them that talking to the enemies of this nation has always failed. We didn’t win the Cold War by sitting down with the Soviet leaders, goddamnit! We told them they were evil and then rolled right into East Berlin ending with a triumphant March of our men through Red Square!

    4. Saddam Hussein was a bad, bad, BAD EVIL man.

    Tell them again and again what a bad man Saddam Hussein was. Everyone knows that opposing the war means you were “objectively pro-Saddam” anyway!

    5. Quote Mark Steyn.

    Sure, they guy can’t even get his demographic math right, but damnit hes the most brilliant commentator of our time!

    6. The Surge is Working ™

    Sure, tactical military success hasn’t lead to any progress on the political front and means jack shit if the strategic decision was wrong to begin with. But the Surge is Working!(tm)

    7. Call them an anti-Semite

    Everyone knows theres no debate within Israel on their foreign policy, anyway. Nope, all Israelis/Jews are the same–unabashed supporters of Bush, Cheney, and McCain. Tell them those statistics that show American Jews voting for the Democrats 90% of the time are just a liberal media fabrication.

    8. Invoke 9/11.

    9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11.

    10. Use the term “Surrender” whether its warranted or not.

    There you have it! You can’t lose now. Go and show those America haters what its all about!

  39. Compared to the influenza outbreak of 1918, deaths from the 9/11 attacks are miniscule.

    Therefore, there’s no need to get worked up by them. They certainly shouldn’t cause us to change our foreign and military policy.

    A little perspective, people!

  40. Stalin was a violent sociopath; Hillary is a monster

  41. Way more people day in car wrecks every year than 9/11! So of course 9/11 was no big deal.

  42. Cesar …ur the best !!!

  43. The Leftist Guide to Winning Debates

    1) Iraq is just like Vietnam.

    2) Tell them surrender is for our children.

    3) Going to war with bad people is never, ever necessary, unless of course a Democrat did it, in which case we had no choice.

    4) Saddam Hussein wasn’t that bad. A single death is a tragedy, 2 million is just a statistic.

    5) Freedom, elections, etc: just convenient buzzwords for warmongers (except in our country, where hanging chads are a tragedy unparallelled in history).

    6) The Surge Has Failed! Sure, casualties are way down and the benchmark legislation was passed. But, um, er…

    7) Call them anti-Muslim racists. Everyone knows neocons just want to bomb the brown people.

    8)

  44. 8. No Blood For Oil

    9. Quagmire quagmire quagmire!

    10. Use the term “withdrawal” to pretend we’re not actually surrendering.

  45. Yeah Dave, everyone who opposes the war is a leftist.

    Have you been living under a rock, or are you a time traveler from 2003?

  46. BTW, the people who say Iraq=Vietnam deserved to be smacked in the face as much as the people who say Iraq=World War II.

    Both are histrionic asshats.

  47. Is it worth pointing out again that 62% of Iraqs say the invasion was the right decision?

    You know, those Iraqis that are supposedly so much worse off now.

  48. So you want Iraqis to dictate our foreign policy Dave?

    Ok, good luck with that.

  49. I sure do know Iran thinks its better off after the invasion.

    After all, we removed their arch-enemy and a Shia government now controls Iraq.

  50. Compared to the influenza outbreak of 1918, deaths from the 9/11 attacks are miniscule. Therefore, there’s no need to get worked up by them. They certainly shouldn’t cause us to change our foreign and military policy.

    Actually, we spent hundreds of billions to develop health care and hygiene that would prevent another death toll like 1918.

  51. “4,000 U.S. Dead in Iraq”

    Loose wording makes this incorrect. It’s 4,000 official military dead. Counting contractors and journalists the 4,000 US number was reached months ago. Counting Afghanistan the 4,000 military number was hit last July.

  52. TallDave,

    Regarding Iraqi polls.

    http://thinkprogress.org/2008/03/17/iraq-poll-anniversary/

    A new poll for BBC, ABC, ARD and NHK finds that a majority of Iraqis think their lives are good, “more than at any time in the last three years.” Yet at the same time, 72 percent oppose the presence of coalition forces in Iraq and 61 percent believe that these troops are making the security situation worse. Additionally, 53 percent say that Bush’s “surge” has “made overall security worse, not better,” and a plurality want foreign forces to leave immediately.

  53. I sure do know Iran thinks its better off after the invasion.

    Why? Haven’t you guys been claiming Saddam was no threat to anyone? Was he going to invade Iran again?

    After all, we removed their arch-enemy and a Shia government now controls Iraq.

    We’re their arch-enemy. Having a U.S.-friendly democracy next door is a bigger problem for them then Saddam was. For one thing, those huge pilgrimages to Najaf have started again, which undermines their claim to religious authority. For another, Kurds have real representation in this government, and Iran has its own Kurdish rebellion to worry about.

  54. Is it worth pointing out again that 62% of Iraqs say the invasion was the right decision?

    On that particular question, the most recent numbers are 49%, not 62% (same link as my last post).

  55. Why? Haven’t you guys been claiming Saddam was no threat to anyone? Was he going to invade Iran again?

    He stopped the Shia from having any say in the government, which made Iran have 0% influence over Iraq.

    Yeah, real “U.S. friendly” when the Prime Minister hugs President A-mad and the Speaker of their Parliament blames the sectarian violence on “Jews and sons of Jews”.

    Sounds like a real friendly government.

  56. Neu,

    Same poll. The overall numbers are skewed negative because they used 30% Sunni Arabs, which is about twice most estimates, and Sunnis (who benefitted under Saddam’s Sunni-centric rule) are much more negative overall.

    Polling finds only a third want us to leave “immediately” and security is only the top concern of 6%, behind jobs and electicity.

    So they don’t like having U.S. troops occupy their country. Not a surprise. What’s telling is they don’t want us to get out now and don’t feel security is the biggest problem.

  57. Still waiting to explain why Iraqis should dictate our foreign policy.

  58. Er, for Dave to explain.

  59. War supporters: “We don’t follow public opinion polls, except when they’re in a foreign country”.

  60. And we as Americans owe it to the next generation to hold war crimes trials for senior administration officials.

    Nein, nein, nein.
    We cannot stoop to finger-pointing; it doesn’t matter, now, how we got there, or who sent us. We’re there, so we have to keep excavating.

    I just read that yesterday.

  61. He stopped the Shia from having any say in the government, which made Iran have 0% influence over Iraq.

    Quite the opposite. Iran was sponsoring Shia rebels in Iraq, who have now mostly cut those ties because Iran is not popular in Iraq.

    In fact, one reason Al-Sadr’s popularity has been plummeting is that his political opponents keep tying him to Iran, which is an attack that carries some weight with Iraqis.

    You have to realize, Iran is not an Arab country and that limits their influence. Ethnic ties generally trump sectarian ties.

    Yeah, real “U.S. friendly” when the Prime Minister hugs President A-mad and the Speaker of their Parliament blames the sectarian violence on “Jews and sons of Jews”.

    Shrug. That’s par for the course from Arab countries. We have friendly relations with countries that say much worse.

  62. So TallDave,

    If you are using the same poll, why are you misquoting its numbers?

    The exact question you mentioned provides for 49%, not 62%.

    On the question of withdrawl 38% is more than 1/3rd, it you want to get picky.

    But on the question of whether the presence of US forces is making security better or worse, 61% say worse.

  63. And we as Americans owe it to the next generation to hold war crimes trials for senior administration officials.

    Sure, let’s start with FDR for lying us into war and fireboming Tokyo and Dresdem, then we can get Truman for nuking Japan…

  64. If you are using the same poll, why are you misquoting its numbers?

    I’m not, the poll has twice as many Sunnis as it should. When you adjust for that, you find 62% say the decision was right and less than a third want us to leave immediately.

  65. TallDave,

    Please post your methods for making a valid adjustment to those numbers.

  66. And look at the uncorrected numbers for specific questions of U.S involvement:

    Should the U.S.:

    Provide weapons and train the Iraqi Army: 76% yes

    Assist in security against Iran: 68% yes

    Participate in security operations against Al Qaeda: 80% yes

  67. Shorter version:

    We want the American taxpayers to underwrite is forever.

  68. The poll under discussions methods…

    Methodology:
    461 sampling points were distributed proportionate to population size in each of Iraq’s 18 provinces, then in all 102 districts within the provinces, then by simple random sampling among Iraq’s nearly 11,000 villages or neighbourhoods, with urban/rural stratification at each stage.

    Maps or grids were used to select random starting points within each sampling point, with household selection by random route/random interval and within-household selection by the “next-birthday” method. An average of five interviews were conducted per sampling point. Seven of the 461 sampling points were inaccessible for security reasons and were substituted with randomly selected replacements.

    Interviews were conducted by 116 trained Iraqi interviewers with 31 supervisors. Fifty-seven percent of interviews were supervised or reviewed by supervisors – 34 percent by direct 22 observation, 7 percent by revisits and 16 percent by phone. All questionnaires were subject to further quality-control checks.

    In addition to the national sample, oversamples were drawn in Anbar province, Sadr City, Basra city, Kirkuk city and Mosul to allow for more reliable analysis in those areas. Population data came from 2005 estimates by the Iraq Ministry of Planning. The sample was weighted by sex, age, education, urban/rural status and population of province.

    The survey had a contact rate of 92 percent and a cooperation rate of 65 percent for a net response rate of 60 percent. Including an estimated design effect of 1.52, the results have a margin of sampling error of 2.5 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

    In other words, it takes your concern into consideration.

  69. Neu,

    Yes, it’s hard to say exactly how they got such a disproportionate number of Sunnis. My guess would be that it’s because Sunnis are more educated and cosmopolitan and willing to talk to pollsters.

    I don’t know anyone who thinks the country is 30% Sunni Arab.

  70. TallDave,

    The point is that a quick back of the napkin adjustment is not a valid way to adjust the numbers.

    You would need to re-do the survey with your preferred population weights and a new random sample.

  71. So Dave, why do you think its OK for our “democratic ally” Iraq to hold talks with A-mad, but “surrendering” if our government does it?

  72. Neu,

    Well, I think we can stipulate that the responses on certain question are very strongly correlated to sect. While an entirely new poll would be ideal, that’s not likely. This is as close as we can get.

    Also, I will give 10:1 odds that the Iraqis who did the polling were mostly Sunni and that contributes to the problem. This is not a country in which polling is a well-established science.

  73. So Dave, why do you think its OK for our “democratic ally” Iraq to hold talks with A-mad, but “surrendering” if our government does it?

    I don’t think I’ve ever said that.

  74. So, you would say its a bad omen that they’re talking with him then?

  75. I think it would be odd if they were not talking, given that they share a border.

    If they start talking about adopting Iran’s theocratic system, symposiums on the best way to suppress free speecg, or forming a mutual defense pact, then I would worry.

  76. I think it would be odd if they were not talking, given that they share a border.

    Israeli didn’t talk to any of the people they shared a border with for quite a while.

  77. Oh, and it isn’t just talking. Malaki and A-mad hugged. They sure were acting like BFF.

  78. Statistics and Polls are USELESS here in the US.

    Can u imagine in a 4th world nation like IRAQ.

    TailDave…U can’t deny that this was a big mistake.

    It’s a procurement SCAM.

    Do even know who Dick Cheney is ? He’s the former CEO of Haliburton. That along with the BUSH FAMILY name should be have enough.

    Tall Dave…if u r not a TROLL…and u really believe the shit ur saying…u r stupid

  79. TallDave, how does it feel having an empty skull and bloody hands?

  80. Remember…the IRAQI “PRO-AMERICA” polls don’t include the hundreds of thousand dead people.

  81. Hey the death toll is –
    4000 decimal or,
    7640 octal or,
    111110100000 binary or,
    fa0 hexadecimal.

    Big effing deal. The number was too large when it stood at
    1 decimal or,
    1 octal or,
    1 binary or,
    1 hexadecimal.

  82. The overall U.S. death toll in Iraq rose to 4,000 after four soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in Baghdad, a grim milestone that is likely to fuel calls for the withdrawal of American forces as the war enters its sixth year.

    Or, it’s likely to fuel calls to stay as long as it takes so as not to waste such a large sacrifice.

  83. TallDave, how does it feel having an empty skull and bloody hands?

    You tell me, since you’re the one advocating leaving Iraqis under Saddam Hussein, with far less rights and a far higher death rate.

  84. Alice Bowie,

    D3 Systems doesn’t work for Halliburton.

    I like the fact Iraqis are dying in fewer numbers, have more access to electricity, clean water, and sewers, and some semblance of free press, free elections, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and the economic freedom to buy cars and cellphones. But I’m just weird that way.

  85. I’m not sure people understand exactly what we’re doing:

    “Yes,” he said. “But within a couple of weeks of them putting the checkpoint up, they had a suicide car bomb attack. They assumed that no one would want to be out manning that checkpoint if it was just going to get blown up again. So the Marines went out there and fortified it. They maintained a squad-sized Marine element out there for about a month and a half. The Iraqi Police and Provincial Security Forces were out there manning it, as well. We slowly phased the Marines out of it, and now it’s exclusively run by Iraqis. No one would ever go past that point. They had kill lines set up. If they saw any vehicle coming down that road, it would be engaged. They knew anything past that line was Al Qaeda. No vehicles were allowed to move from the east to the west toward that checkpoint.”

    Implementing basic security measures wouldn’t work in a counterinsurgency if a significant number of local civilians supported the radicals. But the locals were terrified and savagely murdered and tortured by the radicals on a regular basis. Al Qaeda in Iraq is the self-declared enemy of every human being outside its own members and loyal supporters. Nothing could possibly discredit jihad more completely than the jihadists themselves.

    “Some civilians supported the insurgents,” I said to Lieutenant Macak. “Could you tell them apart from those who were intimidated?” “No. They were all really reserved. They stayed in their houses. But now they’re everywhere. They come up to us and greet us, talk to us. The women aren’t so scared and so guarded. Last year you would never see a woman outside the house. Now everybody is in the streets. Kids are playing, people are walking around. People are starting to live like it’s a somewhat normal environment. You can tell just by looking that the environment is a lot safer than it was last year.”

    http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2008/03/the-liberation.php

  86. There you have it folks–Dave cares about Iraqi opinion polls, but has the same reaction Cheney does when confronted with polls from Americans.

    “So?”

  87. You tell me, since you’re the one advocating leaving Iraqis under Saddam Hussein, with far less rights and a far higher death rate.

    Leaving aside the question of whether they actually have those rights, that is whether exercising them is yet advisable or possible for the majority of the population under their current circumstances, how do you get the number for their death rates?

  88. I’m sure most of the Country would like to put his foundation to rest.

    Incredible. Didn’t even mention the sacrifices the Iraq’s had to make.

    Dispicable.

  89. Remember back in the old days? Back when the TallDaves of the world were all fat and sassy, masturbating to images of Iraqis with purple-dyed “I voted!” fingers?

    Fetishists…

  90. You idiot TallDave, we could have done more for the Iraqis in humanitarian terms if the US had simply increased its immigration intake from Iraq.

    And we would have lost fewer Iraqi and American lives, and not have boosted al Qaeda’s recruitment.

    Clearly your goal is not humanitarian but military- i.e. you want to reshape the Middle East. That’s called foreign policy central planning, and it doesn’t work, just like every other form of central planning.

  91. Clearly Iraq is not like Vietnam:

    1) The Johnson administration lied about the Gulf of Tonkin incident in order to commit more troops to combat.

    2) The people of Vietnam did not want the US there.

    3) North Vietnam was linked to an international ideology aimed at destroying the US.

    4) The Vietnam war alienated most of the US’ allies.

    5) In Vietnam, the Air Force dropped bombs that killed innocent people, alienating the survivors from the US.

    6) South Vietnam was democratic – imperfectly so, but the government was getting better.

    7) In Vietnam, in a few cases, some US troops committed illegal acts that discredited the US and gave propaganda support to the enemy.

    8) In Vietnam, defense contractors wasted billions on useless projects.

    9) In Vietnam, the government repeatedly assured Americans that “things were improving”.

    10) Because of its actions in Vietnam, the US had difficulty exerting influence elsewhere in the world.

    Obviously, there is no resemblance between the two wars.

  92. CNN.com front page right now (Mon. 3/24/08 8:00PM) :

    ” Bush: U.S. deaths in Iraq ‘laid foundations for peace’ ”

    – 4,000 deaths reached now.

    That’s great, so let’s get 4,000 more deaths and double the peace.

  93. I don’t know anyone who thinks the country is 30% Sunni Arab.

    I’m not sure if this is right but this is what the CIA Factbook says:

    Religions:
    Definition Field Listing
    Muslim 97% (Shi’a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%

  94. Zoltan,

    To be fair to TallDave…

    Although most seem to agree on the roughly 30% Sunni numbers, that includes Kurds, who are mostly Sunni.

    While a precise statistical breakdown is impossible to ascertain because of likely inaccuracies in the latest census (conducted in 1997), according to best estimates, 97 percent of the population of 22 million persons are Muslim. Shi’a Muslims–predominantly Arab, but also including Turkomen, Faili Kurds, and other groups–constitute a 60 to 65 percent majority. Sunni Muslims make up 32 to 37 percent of the population (approximately 18 to 20 percent are Sunni Kurds, 12 to 15 percent Sunni Arabs, and the remainder Sunni Turkomen). The remaining approximately 3 percent of the overall population consist of Christians (Assyrians, Chaldeans, Roman Catholics, and Armenians), Yazidis, Mandaeans, and a small number of Jews.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/religion.htm

    It is less clear to me, however, if the poll’s 30% Sunni is based on the combined Kurdish/Arabic Sunni or if they are parceled out. It seems likely that the Poll used “Sunni” to mean “Sunni Arab.”

    Someone younger and more enthusiastic can double check.

  95. What is certainly clear, however, is that TallDave’s adjusted numbers are not valid.

  96. Dave W. | March 24, 2008, 8:05am | #

    Have so few from one side ever died in such a long war?

    Well, the ongoing Afghanistan campaign.

    I’ll try to post other examples if I think of them.

  97. What about 800 hundred or so civilian contractors that are working in place of the miltary in lraq, we never hear about them

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