Friday, December 30, 2005

The Story You Won't Hear On Iraq Part I:

Casualties Are Way Down

I was reading this article:

The two new deaths of U.S. military personnel were announced Friday by the American military. A bomb killed one soldier when it struck his vehicle in Baghdad on Friday, while the second soldier was shot and killed in the western city of Fallujah.

Their deaths brought the number of U.S. military members killed so far in 2005 to 841, of whom 64 died in December. A total of 846 troops died in 2004 and 485 in 2003. The worst month in 2005 was January with 106 fatalities, followed by November with 96 and August with 85.

I thought, "Is this the story?"

It's true after all. 841 died. Not much of a decrease over last year. But looking at the numbers as a whole without any information about increased operations or any other activities always seems sterile. I'm sure, had our men and women stayed behind their barricades or simply held certain areas we'd have extremely limited casualties. But since November 2004, the important part of the story is that we have seen a year of continuous operations, one after the other. Compared to 2003-2004 when we were holding specific areas and being continuously attacked with only a few major operations over the same period, the highest being November 2004 when we stormed Fallujah. If you look at the month summaries, it's almost all IEDs which means that we are still working out how to overcome these dangerous munitions.

We are going to have to improve this, no matter what, because it's likely we are going to be confronting these kinds of operations wherever we go in the future.

Before I continue on that subject though, another story is missing. This from Gateway Pundit

These are civilian casualties. That spike in September is from the day that over 900 Iraqi Shi'ites were trampled or drowned on the bridge when a mortar group fired on a religious procession and then rumors of a suicide bomber caused the group to panic more. Without that day, every day has been a safer day in Iraq for the civilians, though I'm sure it's still scary. But, our men and women have traded their lives for the lives of civilians by taking the fight to the enemy. That makes them true heroes, doing what we expect of them, not gung ho, trigger happy idiots trading their lives for nothing.

I'm reminded of Jeffrey Starr's words:

"Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I'm writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances. I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark."

It wasn't for nothing.

It was for this:

And, for this:

That's the story of Iraq 2005.

1 comment:

Pebble said...

Oh, I'm tearing up.