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Peace News
Sunday, 06 November 2005 07:19
War by the Numbers

DV - Paul de Rooij - Why this data sheet? The US military doesn?t allow the compilation and publication of Iraqi casualties, and it is very difficult to know how bloody the occupation of Iraq has resulted. The only indication of the intensity of the conflict are the military fatalities. We can use this as a proxy measure to determine if the occupation is a bloody quagmire or if the dust is finally settling on the rubble.

www.dissidentvoice.org

The Military Death Toll While Enforcing the Occupation of Iraq:
A Data Sheet of US-uk Military Fatalities Post-May 1, 2003 

Paul de Rooij

www.dissidentvoice.org

Nov. 6, 2005
Next update: Dec. 5th

   
Recent Quotes

Our young people aren't numbers. Our young people are confined to early graves because of criminals who should be confined to prison, who are profiting handsomely from the undeclared mess in Iraq. The Iraqi people are less than numbers. If they are counted or thought of at all, they are very often wrongly counted as "insurgents," when they are children and women. If mere numbers will wake America up, think of Dr. and Mrs. Death (Donny and Condi) when they say that this occupation could last at least a dozen or more years.  ?Cindy Sheehan, They Are Not Numbers, Znet, Oct. 22, 2005.

The Veterans Affairs Department is currently reviewing approximately one-third of the cases of veterans who are receiving disability benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After conducting an internal study, the VA believes that they were too lenient in deciding which soldiers were eligible for PTSD benefits. Last year, the VA spent $4.3 billion on PTSD disability payments and the VA hopes to reduce these payments by revoking PTSD benefits for many veterans. This will be the final insult to soldiers who were asked to fight a war in Iraq on false premises. ?Gene C. Gerard, VA Seeks to Punish Iraq War Veterans, Orb Standard, Oct. 28, 2005.

As the nation focused last week on the 2,000th U.S. soldier who died in Iraq, Gloria Dagit of Jefferson, Iowa, got a box filled with the belongings of her son, Keven, who was killed when his convoy of trucks was ambushed in northern Iraq. Keven Dagit's death Sept. 20 ? along with two other truckers ? didn't register on the tally of Iraq deaths broadcast daily. That's because they were civilians working for U.S. defense contractors. As the violence of the protracted war continues and some 75,000 civilian employees struggle to rebuild the war-torn nation and support the military, contractor casualties mount. Their deaths have more than tripled in the past 13 months.

As of Monday, 428 civilian contractors had been killed in Iraq and another 3,963 were injured, according to Department of Labor insurance-claims statistics obtained by Knight Ridder. Those statistics, which experts said were the most comprehensive listing available on the toll of the war, are far from complete: Two of the biggest contractors in Iraq said their casualties were higher than the figures the Labor Department had for them. 

The invisible nature of the contractors' deaths irks their friends and families. "We get hurt right next to them in many cases," said Erick Fern, a Houston trucker for Halliburton who injured his back in Iraq and is fighting to get compensation. "It seems to be that we don't exist since we're getting paid." ?Seth Borenstein, Civilian contractors in Iraq dying at faster rate as insurgency grows, Knight Ridder, Nov. 1, 2005.


Commentary on recent developments

CentCom release 05-10-33C states: "A 73-year-old male security detainee died Oct. 23 of natural causes at Camp Bucca". This is the first time the Pentagon has made a statement about any Iraqi detainee killed while in captivity. This gives the impression that virtually no prisoners die while under US detention in Iraq. However, this is highly deceptive since the number of Iraqis killed from torture is very high. If CentCom now starts to report on killings of prisoners under US care, then the number of CentCom releases will have to increase significantly.


Remembrance down the Memory Hole?

Several of the "remembrance" websites are starting to neglect updating their output. The Seattle Times website has not been updated since March 2004. The Baltimore Sun stopped reporting on February 11, 2005.

 

Why this data sheet? The US military doesn?t allow the compilation and publication of Iraqi casualties, and it is very difficult to know how bloody the occupation of Iraq has resulted. The only indication of the intensity of the conflict are the military fatalities. We can use this as a proxy measure to determine if the occupation is a bloody quagmire or if the dust is finally settling on the rubble.

Furthermore, as demonstrated elsewhere, the Pentagon and their media surrogates are attempting to hide the true extent of the carnage among its soldiers. It is very difficult to find accurate fatality figures, the classification of fatalities leads to exclusion in the official death tally (?accidental? deaths are excluded), and the number of errors creeping into the official fatality reports is increasing, e.g., fatalities originally reported, but then not confirmed; long delays in reporting; excluding the subsequent deaths of wounded soldiers after they were transferred out of Iraq. If it is only the American and British fatalities that are going to stop this bloody occupation of Iraq then it behooves us to amplify the information on these fatalities ? primarily to counteract the attempts by the Pentagon and its media surrogates to cover this over.

 Another means to determine the intensity of the resistance against the US-uk troops is to analyze the average daily death toll for each month (first column). The center column pertains to a linear trend of the average fatality rate ? enables one to obtain some (limited) perspective of how this will continue. The last column is the percentage of ?hostile? fatalities out of the total for the month. 
 



Please note that the graph updates on ten day intervals.


For more, please see: http://www.dissidentvoice.org/DeRooij_Iraq-Coalition-Toll.htm

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 November 2005 07:19
 

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