Wednesday, October 26, 2005

It’s All In the Numbers

The gruesome milestone has arrived. 2000 American soldiers have now died in the Iraq war and while this is a number, a milestone as the media are calling it, there is more to the story than this one number. There are over 15,000 American soldiers injured, hundreds of contractors killed, and 200 other "Coalition forces" who have been killed. These statistics are awful to us but every number is a loved one to someone and when you factor in the lives devastated by these 2000 deaths and over 15,000 injuries, the numbers add up to much more. Every day I hear the news about Iraq and every day I think of some son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, wife or husband who has died and wonder if only The US government had told the truth about the WMDs, if only they had thought this through more and avoided the senseless rush to war, then that person would still be alive. And that's from here in Canada. Imagine being the loved one or friend of a person killed or still fighting over there. Just ask Cindy Sheehan.

Then there are the other numbers, the ones the media doesn't announce as milestones: the Iraqi dead. Iraq Body Count, a British research group that gets its data from reports by major news agencies, says that the numbers of civilians killed since the beginning of the conflict number a minimum of 26690 and a maximum of 30051 while the Lancet estimates that it's more like 100,000. That's civilians. Other numbers are: 539 days (how many days it took for the first 1000 American soldier deaths) and 402 days (length of time for the second thousand deaths). I'm no mathematician but those numbers don't bode well for the soldiers in Iraq.

I pray for all the injured, those mourning the dead, and the soldiers still fighting the war.


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