A heartwarming tale for the new year…
Posted by abu ameerah on Tuesday, January 2, 2007
U.S. Military Death Toll Hits 3,000
(CBS/AP) American deaths in the Iraq war reached the sobering milestone of 3,000 on Sunday even as the Bush administration sought to overhaul its strategy for an unpopular conflict that shows little sign of abating.
The latest death came during one of the most violent periods during which the Pentagon says hate and revenge killings between Iraq’s sects are now a bigger security problem than ever.
The death of a Texas soldier, announced Sunday by the Pentagon, raised the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq to at least 3,000, according to an Associated Press count, since the war began in March 2003. Spc. Dustin R. Donica, 19, of Spring, Texas, was killed by small arms fire in Baghdad late last week. The announcement caps the deadliest month for U.S. forces in Iraq in the past year.
“The hardest decision the president ever has to make is to send our men and women into harm’s way,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Scott Stanzel, with Mr. Bush in Crawford, Texas. “The president believes that every life is precious and grieves for each one that is lost. He will ensure their sacrifice was not made in vain.”
In other developments:
Though U.S.-led coalition forces remained the target of the majority of attacks, the overwhelming majority of casualties were suffered by Iraqis, the report said.
The American death toll was at 1,000 in September of 2004 and 2,000 by October 2005.
Mr. Bush told an end-of-the-year press conference that the deaths distress him.
“The most painful aspect of the presidency is the fact that I know my decisions have caused young men and women to lose their lives,” the president said.
“We will be fighting violent jihadists for peace and security of the civilized world for years to come. The brave men and women of the U.S. military are fighting extremists in order to stop them from attacking on our soil again,” Stanzel said.
Mr. Bush was spending the holiday weekend at his Texas ranch.
In an interview on Dec. 21 with The Associated Press, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the war was “worth the investment” in American lives and dollars.
In his strategy reassessment, President Bush has consulted Iraqis, his uniformed and civilian advisers, an outside bipartisan panel that studied the failing war, and other defense and foreign policy experts. New Defense Secretary Robert Gates journeyed to Iraq in his first week on the job in December to confer with American commanders and Iraqi leaders.
Among the president’s options was a proposal to quickly add thousands of U.S. troops to the 140,000 already in Iraq to try to control escalating violence in Baghdad and elsewhere.
Others believe too much blood and money already have been sacrificed. Democrats have wanted Bush to move toward a phased drawdown of forces, while the bipartisan Iraq Study Group recommended removing most U.S. combat forces by early 2008 while shifting the U.S. role to advising and supporting Iraqi units.
Having launched the war against the advice of a number of nations, the Bush administration never got a huge international contribution of troops, meaning foreign forces helping the Iraqis are overwhelmingly American.
The death toll shows it. As of late December, the British military has reported 126 deaths in the war so far; Italy, 33; Ukraine, 18; Poland, 18; Bulgaria, 13; Spain, 11; and Denmark, six. Several other countries have had five or less.
1. After illegally invading, occupying, and subsequently destroying a nation (killing hundreds of thousands — directly and indirectly)….all you can do is mourn the death of your own?!?!
2. How do Iraqis mark “milestones” for their dead?
3. While the deaths of 3,ooo service members is a paltry figure compared to US losses suffered in WWI, WWII, or Korea — the fact remains that all of those losses (decades ago) were endured in a time when wars were quite different then the battlefield of today. Among other things…the US encountered a larger and more structured enemy in the past. Secondly, soldiers during WWII did not have (or did not have the exact same): access to state of the art health care, advanced weaponry, advanced communications (the digitization of the battlefield, if you will), advanced technological capabilities, bullet-proof body armor, advanced APCs and overall field transportation, etc. etc. etc. Most importantly, however, a Congress & Adminstration to rubber-stamp anything and everything the Pentagon asks for.
4) If Saddam got a “fair trial” as many contend — then so too did the parents of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Did OJ do it…or didn’t he?
5) This article fails to mention the casualties of Iraqi Police (aka Mehdi Militia), Iraqi Military (aka Iranian Military), and foreign security contractors (aka Cowboys or Mercenaries).
“Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.”
Mark Twain – “Chronicle of Young Satan”