Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Real Casualty Rate in Iraq

We regularly hear that the official casualty numbers from the illegal occupation of Iraq don't seem so bad, in comparison to those of the Vietnam War.

There are a couple of things wrong with this statement. First, so many more soldiers are being kept alive after being wounded now, thanks to 40 years of improved battlefield medical techniques and faster evac from the site of the injury. Back in my day, a soldier who was severely wounded in a firefight spent a much longer time from the time of the injury until a dustoff chopper arrived to take him back to an evac hospital, and once he got there the medical technology was such that the most severely wounded were essentially beyond help.

All that has changed now, and the number of wounded who survive -- albeit with such severe disabilities that they are little more than vegetables -- has vastly increased. The ability of a medic to stop a soldier from "bleeding out" has been enhanced by modern technology, and those severely wounded are whisked away to a medical center much more quickly.

I'd say that the number of dead in this war would exceed 20,000 if the ability to keep them alive was still where it was during Vietnam.

And then you have to add to this the extremely high rate of suicide among returned Iraq War veterans -- a statistic that will not show up in official Pentagon reports.

CBS News recently did a study of veteran suicides and found the shocking statistic that veterans commit suicide at an alarming rate compared to their civilian counterparts. CBS calls it a "hidden epidemic".

For example, in 2005 alone there were 6256 suicides among those who served in the armed forces. The vast majority of these occurred in young men between 18 and 24, the very same ones who are on the front line in the War on Terratm.

And that was just 2005. If you project a conservative take on those numbers -- say 5000 per year -- over the five years of the Iraq Illegal Occupation, you'll find that the actual casualty number from Baby Doc's Misadventure in the Desert far exceeds that 20,000 noted above.

And for what? As far as I can see, the only "positive" outcome of this nightmare has been a massive redeployment of our tax dollars from government coffers into the greedy pockets of Halliburton, Kellogg Brown and Root, Blackwater, et. al.

I remember an old bumper sticker from the 60s: War is Good Business; Invest Your Son.

Except how many of those slimy motherfuckers have managed to invest any of their precious children?


DisgustedVet said...

Let's see, you hijack the term "fascism" all over your blog as if you know what it means (you clearly don't), you talk about the war/occupation as being illegal (it isn't, despite what you swallow from the mass media), and when your children and grandchildren ask you if you supported the modern day holocaust in Iraq when we killed over 500,000 of their people to death during our "peaceful" and "diplomatic" efforts of sanctions, I wonder how you will squirm your way out of it.

I also hope wake up thankful each morning for the internet as it enables you to broadcast your wanton ignorance with impunity.

Farnsworth68 said...

I think you might have a point, although I don't have a fucking clue as to what it might be.
But thanks for playing anyway.