Seems that this fact might be important, but the headline is Monthly U.S. toll in Iraq at 2-year high in the LA Times.
The Marine deaths reported Friday brought the number of U.S. military fatalities in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion to 2,996, icasualties.org said, with 816 of them occurring this year. Last year, 846 American service members died; in 2004, the figure was 848.
The number of U.S. wounded is also down this year — 5,676 compared with 5,947 in 2005 and 8,001 in 2004.
For what it’s worth, the number has risen to 818 since the article was published. Why do I get the feeling that some folks are keeping their fingers crossed for a big helicopter crash within the next twenty-four hours or so? Pitiful.
Anyway, for the “Iraq is just like Vietnam” crowd, we didn’t have two straight years of declining deaths until 1969 and 1970. So does that mean that Iraq in 2007 is going to be about where Vietnam was in 1971? Actually, there are a few parallels to be found there, but I think it would pretty silly to make too much of them.
Also, those two years of declining deaths in Vietnam totalled 17,940 dead, and these two years of declining deaths in Iraq will total about 1,664. Or, as you can see, less than 10% of the Vietnam total.
At the rate of US military deaths in Iraq so far, we’ll be matching the Vietnam total in July or August of 2077. Now, to be fair, that’s a lot closer than the May 2523 date that casualties will match those in World War II, but it’s still so silly as to be not worth worrying about.
I mention this not to minimize those who have died, but to point out how clueless those making Vietnam comparisons are and how pointless it would be to dwell on the casualty count as a measure of our success or lack of success in Iraq.
Well, and to point out that the media knows that casualties are down year-over-year but they have decided to tell a different story.
More at Mudville Gazette.