Bravo, Mr. Hartley, for questions regarding actual soldier and civilian deaths in Iraq. I, too, have written Sen. Craig in the past inquiring whether there was any truth to a national political cartoon that inferred only deaths on Iraq soil were counted as fatalities. Those airlifted out who died later were not included. He repeated the Department of Defense statistics.
There have been more than 25,000 soldiers medically evacuated from Iraq, yet the Department of Defense reports 16,400 injured. Some estimates indicate that one out of four serving in Iraq will have post traumatic stress disorder.
In early 2005, a group of Johns Hopkins researchers estimated that in the first 14 months of the war, about 100,000 Iraqi civilians died. They attributed 60,000 of the deaths to the United States and its allies. Since that time, the United States has implemented air attacks with pilot-less reconnaissance aircraft followed by precision guided munitions, or "smart bombs." Unfortunately, the smart bombs are about as smart as our president and kill far more civilians than insurgents.
We will never know how many civilians were killed in the bombing during Bush Sr.'s Gulf War. However, the subsequent economic sanctions are estimated to have resulted in the deaths of 1 million to 1.5 million civilians, including 500,000 children under 5 years of age due to malnutrition, lack of health care, etc.
With GWB's 2003 war, even more munitions rained down in Iraq destroying much of what infrastructure survived. These bombs and missiles have been saturated with depleted uranium. In "Oil Simply Oil," Manuel Valenzuela writes "... the cradle of civilization is being contaminated by the ultimate weapon of mass destruction, poisoned, since 1991, by radiation equivalent to between 250,000 and 400,000 Nagasaki bombs."
And so, those deaths will be followed by years and years of whatever mutations and slow agonies the uranium will visit on individuals; not just Iraqis, but those serving there too.
The 911 tragedy cannot be forgotten, but until all Americans realize it had absolutely nothing to do with this wholesale carnage, Bush will continue to use it as an excuse for his imperialism.
This is not a war on terrorism. It is a corporate and administration-sponsored race to take over resources belonging to others. How many more are they willing to sacrifice for their greed? GWB continues to say the war is "worth it." To whom?