Invasion of Iraq Has Now Claimed More Lives Than 9/11

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While President Bush can't seem to make up his mind how to spin the Iraq invasion in the face of the 9/11 attacks, one thing seems ominously poignant: More Americans have now died in Iraq than died on 9/11. R.J. Eskow writes, "Iraq didn't attack us on that day, and our misguided policy there has now taken more American lives than Al Qaeda.

Here are the numbers: 3,015 Americans have died in Iraq as of September 9. 2,666 of these were military deaths and 349 were civilians. Who knows how many innocent Iraqis have been killed. The government doesn't seem to care enough to keep accurate numbers."

The Republicans are fond of playing cheap number games with Iraqi casualty figures, and one of the ways they do it is by listing the deaths of military personnel only. They're hoping that a lazy press and an indifferent public will overlook the civilian losses, and to a large extent they've been right so far.

A total of 2,973 people died on 9/11. Most, although not all, were Americans.

Another game Republicans play with the public involves their redefinition of the word "casualty," which has always meant (and still means) those who have been killed or injured in combat. The GOP leadership often use the word to mean only deaths, and the press usually lets them get away with that too.

So here's another figure, one that represents a group of too-often-forgotten American heroes: 20,000. That's the approximate number of non-fatal military casualties from the war in Iraq. This represents many more people than were wounded on 9/11, and consists of far more serious injuries than in any previous war.





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