Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The First 1000 Days

As has been noted elsewhere, today marks (more or less) 1000 days in Iraq. From March 20th, 2003...to today, December 13th, 2005.

Editor & Publisher
and the Independent both mark it with some telling numbers. I think they're important enough to repeat here. So here goes:

1000 - Number of days of the Iraq War (20 March 2003 - 13 December 2005)

$204.4 billion - The cost to the U.S of the war so far.

2,339 - Allied troops killed

15,955 - US troops wounded in action (for a long time now, the forgotten total...our armor is better, so we don't have as many killed...but we have higher numbers of wounded)

98 - U.K troops killed

30,000 - Estimated Iraqi civilian deaths

0 - Number of WMDs found

66 - Journalists killed in Iraq.

63 - Journalists killed during Vietnam war

8 - per cent of Iraqi children suffering acute malnutrition

53,470 - Iraqi insurgents killed

67 - per cent Iraqis who feel less secure because of occupation

$343 - Average monthly salary for an Iraqi soldier.

$4,160.75 - Average monthly salary for an American soldier in Iraq

5 - foreign civilians kidnapped per month

47 - per cent Iraqis who never have enough electricity

20 - casualties per month from unexploded mines

25-40 - per cent Estimated unemployment rate, Nov 2005

251 - Foreigners kidnapped

70 - per cent of Iraqi's whose sewage system rarely works

183,000 - British and American troops are still in action in Iraq

13,000 - Troops from other nations still in action in Iraq

8 - Daily attacks by insurgents, June 2003

90 - Daily attacks by insurgents, November 2005

60-80 - per cent Iraqis who are "strongly opposed" to presence of coalition troops

Sobering. These aren't numbers to gloat about. These are numbers to be shocked and appaled by.

I ask you....for what? What have we gotten for these 1000 days? Do you feel any safer? Do you feel that the world is a better place today than it was 1000 days ago? That it is easier and safer to be an American in this world? I sure don't. Is the Middle East becoming more democratic? If it is, I'm not seeing the signs. Tell me. What have we earned? What has the world earned?

I wish there was an answer. Not because I supported the war (I didn't...I opposed it from the beginning) and not because it would be nice for the administration (I don't like Bush, remember?). I wish there was an answer because we as a nation have taken a step back on the world stage as a result of this. We have wasted men, materials, resources and budgetary cash on something that has accomplished absolutely nothing. Yes...the Iraqis get to go to the polls this week. Does anyone believe that Iraq isn't just a few steps away from civil war once we leave? Anybody? Sometimes...when you kick in the front door, the whole house is so rotten that it crumbles around you. And that's what we have in Iraq.

Argh. I promised myself to stay off the soapbox. Getting off it now. Apologies.

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