In a nondescript conference room at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 1st Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside listened last week as an Army prosecutor outlined the criminal case against her in a preliminary hearing. The charges: attempting suicide and endangering the life of another soldier while serving in Iraq.
Under military law, soldiers who attempt suicide can be prosecuted under the theory that it affects the order and discipline of a unit and brings discredit to the armed forces. In reality, criminal charges are extremely rare unless there is evidence that the attempt was an effort to avoid service or that it endangered others. At one point, Elizabeth Whiteside almost accepted the Army’s offer to resign in lieu of court-martial. But it meant she would have to explain for the rest of her life why she was not given an honorable discharge. Her attorney also believed that she would have been left without the medical care and benefits she needed.
—Dana Priest and Anne Hull, ‘A Soldier’s Officer’
Blue Girl directed me to a very interesting story about Rush Limbaugh, who called veterans opposed to the war phony soldiers. Of course, this is the same Rush Limbaugh who threw a fit about the Moveon.org Petraeus ad, calling it “contemptible” and “indecent.” Apparently anyone in the military is above criticism as long as they agree with Rush’s brave belief that we should be in Iraq “as long as it takes.” And I use the term ‘we’ loosely, as I believe the closest Rush has ever gotten to combat was watching We Were Soldiers with surround sound.
— Army of Dude, The Real Deal, 28 September 2007.
Juan Cole adds:
No doubt [Rush] thinks the badly wounded among them are “phony handicaps” too; about 30,000 US troops have been killed or wounded bad enough to go to hospital, with perhaps 10,000 so very badly injured.
the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions are funded through supplementary spending bills outside the federal budget. If you added the $142 billion funnelled into those wars to the 2008 defence appropriation bill you’d arrive at $650 billion, or 25 per cent more than the US’s military budget for 1968, at the height of the Cold War and the arms race and at a time when the US was involved in the fiercest military intervention in its history, the war in Vietnam.
— Azmi Bishara, US war insanity, Al Ahram Weekly, Number 870, 8 November 2007.
Although the U.S. death toll is down in Iraq, many troops continue to perish in what the military officially announces as “noncombat” or “nonhostile” incidents. An investigation is launched but the press rarely learns the result. However, local papers often obtain information directly from family members, exposing death by vehicle accident, friendly fire, illness or suicide. It happened again this weekend, thanks to reporter Matthew Stolle of the Post-Bulletin in Rochester, Minn.
—Greg Mitchell, Local Paper Uncovers Another Mysterious U.S. Death in Iraq, Editor & Publisher, 2 December 2007.
While public anger is directed at the Pentagon for sending American soldiers ill-prepared to fight in Iraq, an equally troubling problem is rearing its head at home. Military veterans are returning from the war zone just as ill-prepared for civilian life and dozens suffering from post-traumatic stress are committing murder and manslaughter. A new study has identified more than 120 killings committed by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as psychologically troubled soldiers slip through the net of an overextended military mental health system.
The New York Times said its study was conservative. “This reporting most likely uncovered only the minimum number of such cases, given that not all killings, especially in big cities and on military bases, are reported publicly or in detail,” it added.
—Stephen Foleyin, Traumatised veterans ‘have killed 120 in US’, Independent, 14 January 2008.
With March 20 marking the fifth anniversary of the United States-led invasion of Iraq, it’s time to take stock of what has happened. In our new book The Three Trillion Dollar War, Harvard’s Linda Bilmes and I conservatively estimate the economic cost of the war to the US to be $3 trillion, and the costs to the rest of the world to be another $3tn – far higher than the Bush administration’s estimates before the war. The Bush team not only misled the world about the war’s possible costs, but has also sought to obscure the costs as the war has gone on.
This is not surprising. After all, the Bush administration lied about everything else, from Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction to his supposed link with al-Qaida. Indeed, only after the US-led invasion did Iraq become a breeding ground for terrorists.
— Joseph Stiglitz, War Costs and Costs and Costs, Guardian, 13 March 2008
Number of cases of severe hearing loss in US Iraq Veterans: 70,000
—Greg Mitchell, Media Matters with Bob McChesney, 9 March 2008 (around the 23min mark).
Commentary on recent developments
It is certainly worth listening to a MediaMatters interview with Greg Mitchell on all the other aspects of US casualties in Iraq. The numbers are staggering – these are the “human costs”. One should also read Joseph Stiglitz’s numbers – these are the “accounting costs”. These numbers are staggering and they are likely to trigger a major US recession and the end of the US dollar as the principal world currency.
A few months ago the US engaged in an escalation of the war which the PR machine dubbed a “surge” — meant to distinguish it from Johnson’s infamous escalation in Vietnam. The escalation sought to stabilize most of Iraq and to attenuate ethnic tensions. In the Fall 2007, Bush promised that after a few months the additional troops would return. A few months later the military situation has improved for the Americans, and maybe all the walls and concrete blocks have brought some “calm” to Baghdad. These developments have been deemed a success by George Bush, and now, to sustain this it is necessary to keep the troops there! So, the troops attained the intended goal, but the consequent reduction in forces will not follow. Now, had the so-called surge not attained its objective, and had the intensity of fighting continued, Bush would certainly have justified keeping the troops there to continue fighting. So, no matter what the outcome, the result is the same. Of course, Bush/Cheney take the American public’s gullibity and indifference for granted.
Victims who won’t be counted in any tally…
When serving in Iraq, Tyler Curtis survived bullets and bombs. But once he got home, he couldn’t escape the emotional wounds he suffered. Curtis, 25, took his own life on Thanksgiving morning, three months after returning to Maine following his 2006 discharge from the Army.
— Soldier’s Death Blamed On Post-Traumatic Stress, The Boston Channel, 3 December 2007.
The stories are harrowing. About a third involve the killing of a spouse, girlfriend or other relative, among them two-year-old Krisiauna Calaira Lewis, whose 20-year-old father slammed her against a wall when he was recuperating from a bombing near Fallujah that blew off his foot and damaged his brain.
Many others implicate drink and drugs, an increasing refuge for veterans traumatised by deaths they have witnessed or caused during the counter-insurgency led by American troops. The US government is being sued by relatives of 25-year-old Marine Lucas Borges, who became addicted to inhaling ether after a tour of Iraq at the beginning of the war, and who was convicted of second degree murder for crashing his car into a vehicle while driving the wrong way down a motorway, killing the other driver and injuring four others.
—Stephen Foleyin, Traumatised veterans ‘have killed 120 in US’, Independent, 14 January 2008.
Remembrance down the Memory Hole…
Several of the “remembrance” websites are starting to neglect updating their output. The Seattle Times website has not been updated since March 2004. The Baltimore Sun stopped reporting on February 11, 2005.
Why this data sheet?
The US military doesn’t allow the compilation and publication of Iraqi casualties, and it is very difficult to know how bloody the occupation of Iraq has resulted. The only indication of the intensity of the conflict is the number of military fatalities. We can use this as a proxy measure to determine if the occupation is a bloody quagmire or if the dust is finally settling on the rubble.
Furthermore, as demonstrated elsewhere, the Pentagon and their media surrogates are attempting to hide the true extent of the carnage among its soldiers. It is very difficult to find accurate fatality figures, the classification of fatalities leads to exclusion in the official death tally (e.g., contractors are excluded), and the number of errors creeping into the official fatality reports is increasing, e.g., fatalities originally reported, but then not confirmed; long delays in reporting; excluding the subsequent deaths of wounded soldiers after they were transferred out of Iraq. If it is only the American and British fatalities that are going to stop this bloody occupation of Iraq then it behooves us to amplify the information on these fatalities – primarily to counteract the attempts by the Pentagon and its media surrogates to cover this over.
Another means to determine the intensity of the resistance against the US-uk troops is to analyze the average daily death toll for each month (first column). The center column pertains to a linear trend of the average fatality rate – enables one to obtain some (limited) perspective of how this will continue. The last column is the percentage of “hostile” fatalities out of the total for the month.
|Average US-uk fatalities per day
(inc. hostile and other; 1-May-03 thru 19-Mar-08)
|Linear trend of av. fatalities p/day||Pct of fatalities due to hostile action|
|The trend was calculated using monthly data using a simple linear regression (using only complete monthly data). The forecast and the trends indicated in the graph were derived from daily data. There have been some amendments to the early data because CentCom recently released data pertaining to earlier fatalities.
(*) Asterisk indicates a statistic was computed on incomplete monthly data.
(†) Indicates statistic computed from May until Dec. 2003.
(‡) Indicates statistic computed for 2007 year to date.
(!!): simply not credible.
(d): long delays in reporting.
The US and British armies are professional. (NB: a propaganda-compliant means of referring to them is: “volunteer army,” which they are not.) As soon as an army hires soldiers then there is a concern that it will not be representative of the population at large, and that it will hire minorities or poor in disproportionate numbers. The table below provides the race/ethnic composition of the US-uk fatalities, and the main objective is to determine if some minority groups are over-represented. The reader is responsible for the interpretation.
|Race/ethnic group of US-uk soldiers
(1-May-03 – 19-Mar-08)
|Black / Afro-American||338||8.7%||1||0.7%|
|Classification done by author from photographs, last names, and additional archival search. This is an imperfect means of classification.
This article deals specifically with the US Army composition and that of the fatalities.
Alternative official source.
|Age of US-uk military fatalities post 1-May-03 thru 19-Mar-08|
|age <= 25||58.4%|
|25 < age <= 35||30.8%|
|35 < age <= 45||9.1%|
|45 < age <= 55||1.6%|
|55 < age <= 65||0.1%|
Statistics about the overall cost of the war (blood and money)
|The cost of the Occupation of Iraq:
US-uk Military Fatality Forecast (using data thru 19-Mar-08)
|Period from 1-May-2003 until:||Fatality forecast|
|1 May 2008||4,141|
|NB: this forecast DOES NOT include the fatalities which occurred during the “hot” phase of the war, i.e., before 1 May 2003.The forecast is based on a simple linear regression – it doesn’t attempt to be fancy in forecasting the threat potential, etc. However, even such a simple method yields good forecasts. The data used for the forecast is »daily« data – performs better than monthly data. NB: the point of this forecast is to give an indication of the terrible toll this occupation will exact; it is by no means presented in a callous fashion.|
|US military fatalities in Iraq as a percentage of the total number killed during the Vietnam War through 19-Mar-08|
|US fatalities in:||Number/Pct|
|Source: The number of US fatalities listed on the Vietnam War Memorial. For the US fatalities in Iraq, the 140 US military killed during the “hot phase of the war” was added to the total number of fatalities tallied for the occupation period. NB: In both cases the number of fatalities understates the actual number of US personnel killed. For example, US State Dept. employees or other non-DOD government employees are not counted in these tallies. In Iraq, several embassy employees were killed, but not counted. Similarly, mercenaries or contractors aren’t counted. In Vietnam, ditto.Explanation: The number of fatalities in the database used for this study includes: (1) fatalities in the US, but caused in Iraq (and not in the official count); (2) State Department personnel. There are about 20 of these in total.|
|Main foreign military forces in Iraq (in theater only)|
|United States||170,000||February 2008|
|“Contractors” & mercenaries||180,000||8 August 2007 |
|UK||4,500||February 2008 |
|Source: BBC, 20 March 2008
 DemocracyNow 8 August 2007.
 BBC, 20 March 2008. NB: it is curious that this figure is very difficult to find from official sources or the BBC. For an alternative source see GlobalSecurity estimates.
|Cost of the US-Iraq war|
|Through June 2004 ||US$151bn|
|Estimate through 19-Mar-08 ||US$463.3bn|
|As a percentage of the Cost of the Vietnam War||78 pct|
| Source: Phyllis Bennis
 Updating using the estimates from the “Times Square” cost meter which is based on the following formula: “increases at a rate of $177 million per day, $7.4 million per hour and $122,820 per minute”. Please note that Bennis’s estimate refers only to the US budget allocations, and refer only to costs once the war started (Source: personal communication). These figures exclude: lead-up to the war, increasing “security” costs in the US, reduced trade with Arab countries, etc. The true cost of this war, if it can be computed at all, is much higher. NB: The Pentagon recently reported that the cost p/month of the war had gone from US$4bn to US$5.8bn. Since these figures were reported by UPI, they will not be used until better estimates are published elsewhere. The current monthly cost estimate used to generate the current figure is about US$5.3bn/month.
The cost of the Vietnam War in 2004 dollar terms was put at US$597bn by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.Alternative estimates can be found here.
Also see Phyllis Bennis article.
Joseph Stiglitz is deriving a figure in the trillions of dollars due to the medical costs that will continue for decades, see here.
And finally: National Priorities estimate.
Is president Bush empathy-impaired or maybe callous? Judge for yourself.
|Number of times president Bush has visited wounded soldiers or been present at funerals since May 1st 2003.|
|Jog around the White House with veteran limb-amputee with leg prostheses||1|
Source: White House list of events schedule is checked regularly.
The propaganda-compliant terminology for the post-May 1st period is “after the end of major combat operations.” Of course, conceding that the US is occupying Iraq would mean that another justification for this war was a sham. This is the reason the common media terminology aims to avoid the usage of the word “occupation”.
The military fatality statistics are collated for the post May-1st period because this refers exclusively to the enforcement of the occupation of Iraq. Including the earlier fatalities would be confusing because it would include those incurred during the “hot war”. The nature of these fatalities is different, and therefore they should be analyzed separately. Furthermore, the concern now is to end the occupation of Iraq, and therefore Americans should be aware of the cost of this current policy.
Honest accounting would dictate the inclusion of all the military fatalities enforcing the occupation, and thus include British, Italians, Spanish, etc. It would be ideal to be able to include mercenary fatalities too — alas, no data is available. However, there is much work involved in collating quality data, and hence the data was restricted to the US and “uk” (yes, lowercase “uk” because they are less than 10% of the “coalition” contingent.)
NB: Whereas in previous conflicts “casualties” referred to both fatalities and wounded soldiers, in the current Pentagon arrogant and grisly accounting the wounded soldiers have been ignored. The statistics it makes available refer only to US military fatalities.
This analysis also aims to be as accurate as possible, and any observation about its accuracy should sent to Amplifications & Corrections.
On the data used. All entries are obtained from the US and UK military websites in the list found below. All the soldiers killed in Iraq or who were listed as “supporting the operations in Iraq” are included here — that is, some soldiers killed in Kuwait or in the Persian Gulf were also included here. Furthermore, if there is a good indication that a person was directly employed by the US-uk armies, then their fatality was also included. For example, in August a translator wearing a US army uniform was killed — he was included in this tally. There are a few instances where via Reuters or AP references can be found to fatalities, but subsequently these are not found in the official military sites. The unconfirmed fatalities are included if found in two or more reputable sources, e.g., Reuters, AP, BBC. All entries have been cross-checked with the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count database, and there is a less than 1% discrepancy (14 in February 2005). NB: the figures tallied here contain some suicides of soldiers that occurred outside the US – these are never counted by the usual sources. There are also some fatalities due to contagious diseases (e.g., encephalitis) contracted in Iraq.
Articles providing further background information:
- 10News, Family Upset Over Marine’s Body Arriving As Freight, 10News, Dec. 9, 2005.
- Teri Wills Allison, The Costs of War, TomDispatch, Oct. 20, 2004.
- Jon R. Anderson, Activists see deception in night arrivals at Walter Reed, Stars & Stripes, Mar. 31, 2005
- AP, Number Of Troops Hurt In Iraq Jumps, AP, 24 Apr. 2004.
- AP, High survival rate for wounded in Iraq presents new challenges: Health-care cost may total $650B, an economist says, Winston Salem Journal, 24 June 2007.
- Jane Arraf, Iraq insurgents’ bombmaking gets more lethal, NBC, 8 Dec 2006.
- Lolita C. Baldor, Number of U.S. Troops in Iraq Climbs, CommonDreams, 23 August 2006.
- Moni Basu, Foreign-born GIs have special cause, The Oxford Press, Sept. 21, 2005.
- Alan Bavley, New technology and medical practices save lives in Iraq, Knight Ridder, Dec. 17, 2003.
- AP, Translators dying by the dozens in Iraq, USAToday, May 21, 2005.
- AP, More U.S. troops died in Iraq combat in past four months than in any similar period of war, IHT, 6 Feb 2007.
- High-Tech Medicine Saving Lives in Iraq, CBSNews, Dec. 31, 2005.
- BBC, Five soldiers die in Iraqi blast, BBC Online, Mar. 31, 2004.
- BBC, Pentagon fury at war dead photos, BBC Online, Apr. 23, 2004.
- BBC, Iraq war ‘costlier than Vietnam’, BBC, Aug. 31, 2005.
- BBC, Court-martial call for US soldier, Nov. 1, 2005. Comment: This is the first case of “fragging”.
- Robert Bazell, Brain injuries common for Iraq war vets, MSNBC, Apr. 25, 2006.
- Robert Bazell, The Iraq war’s hidden wound, MSNBC, 26 April 2006.
- Laura Beil, Gulf veterans’ brain cancer risk assessed, The Dallas Morning News, July 31, 2005.
- Walden Bello, With the US Army on Trial, Can “Fragging” be far behind?, FocusWeb.org, May 16, 2004.
- Bryan Bender, US Casualty Rate High Since Handover: Long guerrilla war is feared in Iraq, CommonDreams, July 19, 2004.
- Mark Benjamin, Press Reports on U.S. Casualties: About 17,000 Short, UPI Says, Editor&Publisher, Sept. 15, 2004. DemocracyNow audio discussion with Benjamin on the same subject.
- Mark Benjamin, Quagmire in Iraq: Casualties up to 11,700, DemocracyNow, Apr. 2, 2004.
- Mark Benjamin, Behind the Walls of Ward 54, TruthOut, Feb. 18, 2005.
- Mark Benjamin, The invisible wounded, Salon, Mar. 8, 2005.
- Mark Benjamin, The Invisible Wounded: Injured U.S. Soldiers Arrive Home Under Cover of Darkness, DemocracyNow, Mar. 15, 2005.
- Mark Benjamin, Incalculable pain: The Pentagon is underreporting the number of American soldier casualties in Iraq, Salon, Dec. 10, 2005.
- Mark Benjamin, The Army is ordering injured troops to go to Iraq, Salon, 11 March 2007.
- Phyllis Bennis and Erik Leaver, The Iraq Quagmire: The Mounting Costs of War and the Case for Bringing Home the Troops, IPS, Aug. 31, 2005.
- Bill Berkowitz, 919 and counting, WorkingForChange, Aug. 4, 2004
- Bill Berkowitz, An occupation by any other name , WorkingForChange, 27 July 2004
- Bill Berkowitz, Mercenaries ‘R’ Us, AlterNet, Mar. 24, 2004.
- Bill Berkowitz, The Military’s Mounting Mental Health Problems, AlterNet, 29 Apr. 2004.
- Bill Berkowitz, To Hell, and They’re Coming Back DissidentVoice, 28 Jan. 2005.
- Linda Bilmes, The Trillion-Dollar War, New York Times, 20 Aug. 2005.
- Linda Bilmes and Amy Goodman, Hidden Costs of War: Long-Term Price of Providing Veterans Medical Care Could Reach $660 Billion, DemocracyNow, 6 Feb. 2007. (Important interview).
- Jörg Blech, Severity of Injuries Requires New Forms of Rehabilitation, Spiegel Online, 23 Oct 2006.
- Bloomberg Wire, More U.S. Troops Die in Iraq Bombings Even as Armoring Improves, 13 Oct. 2005.
- Seth Borenstein, Civilian contractors in Iraq dying at faster rate as insurgency grows, Knight Ridder, Nov. 1, 2005.
- Francis A. Boyle, Stopping the Guns of War, A-Infos Radio Project, 31 Jan. 2007. Very important interview.
- Christopher Brauchli, White House AWOL on Casualty Numbers, CommonDreams, 27 Dec. 2003.
- Christopher Brauchli, US Soldiers Don’t Get a Free Lunch Either, CommonDreams, 22 Oct. 2005.
- Allen G. Breed, Time to Reflect As Iraq Toll Hits 3,000
- Drew Brown, U.S. Deaths from Enemy Fire at Highest Level Since Vietnam, CommonDreams, 17 Apr. 2004.
- Jonathan Brown, Was the tragic suicide of a TA soldier his final protest against an unjust war?, The Independent, Aug. 13, 2004.
- Rinker Buck, Researchers Finding Surprises In Figures On Deaths In Iraq, CTNow, 28 Sept. 2004.
- Andrew Buncombe, US Casualty Rate in Iraq Worst Since Fallujah, CommonDreams, 9 Oct 2006.
- Robert Burns, Majority of Soldiers Say Iraq Morale Low, SFGate.com, 20 July 2005.
- Robert Burns, Death Toll Rises for Military Reservists, AP, 10 Oct. 2005.
- Lakshmi Chaudhry, The Unknown Soldiers, AlterNet, 21 Oct. 2004.
- Andrew Buncombe, US ‘smuggles wounded troops home’ under cover of darkness, The Independent, Apr. 10, 2005.
- Damien Cave, As Comrades Search, Fatal Bomb Wreaks Havoc, New York Times, 23 May 2007.
- Lisa Chedekel and Matthew Kauffman, Mentally Unfit, Forced To Fight, Hartfort Courant, 14 May 2006.
- Nick Childs, US army acts on soldier suicides, BBC Online, Mar. 26, 2004.
- Mark Clinton and Tony Udell, A Casualty Of Bush’s War, ZNet, 30 Sept 2004.
- Brian Cloughley , What Are They Dying For?, CounterPunch, 20 Oct. 2006.
- Partick Cockburn, US Death Toll in Iraq Hits 135 in November, CounterPunch, 2 Dec 2004
- Patrick Cockburn, Despair in Iraq over the forgotten victims of US invasion, The Independent, 9 Sept. 2004.
- Patrick Cockburn, US Death Toll in Iraq Nears 1000, CounterPunch, 7 Sept 2004
- Patrick Cockburn, The US Death Toll Mounts, CounterPunch, 7 Apr 2004.
- Patrick Cockburn, The pretence of an independent Iraq, The Independent, 22 June 2004.
- Patrick Cockburn, Iraq is a Bloody No Man’s Land, CounterPunch, May 16, 2005.
- Patrick Cockburn, Death toll of US troops in Iraq approaches 2,000, The Independent, Oct. 24, 2005.
- Juan Cole, Bloody Sunday: 110 Dead in Iraq, 200 Wounded, Informed Comment, Sept. 13, 2004.
- Juan Cole, Iraq as the 51st state (an interview), Asia Times, June 18, 2004.
- Juan Cole, 14 US Troops Dead in 3 Days, Informed Comment, May 25, 2005.
- William Cole, A Life Changed by War, Honolulu Advertiser, March 6, 2005.
- Nicole Colson, Maimed for Oil and Empire, DissidentVoice, Oct. 12, 2004.
- Sandro Contenta, U.S. casualties grim cost of Iraq war, Toronto Star, 26 Sept. 2004.
- Arwa Damon, Soldiers in Baghdad chasing ‘ghosts’, CNN, 5 Oct. 2006.
- Monica Davey and Eric Schmitt, 2 Years After Soldier’s Death, Family’s Battle Is With Army, New York Times, Mar. 21, 2006.
- NEW: U.S. Soldiers Stage Mutiny, Refuse Orders in Iraq Fearing They Would Commit Massacre in Revenge for IED Attack, DemocracyNow, 21 December 2007.
- Evan Derkacz, The Grief of Baghdad, AlterNet, 5 Oct. 2004.
- Charles Duhigg, “Enemy Contact. Kill ’em, Kill ’em.”, LA Times, 18 July 2004.
- Will Dunham, Another Iraq war legacy: badly wounded US troops, Reuters, Oct. 23, 2005.
- Will Dunham, Army suicide rate last year highest since 1999, Reuters, 21 Apr. 2006.
- E&P staff, Press Routinely Undercounts U.S. Casualties in Iraq, Editor & Publisher, Nov. 25, 2004.
- Barbara Ehrenreich, Bush’s Odd Warfare State, CommonDreams, 31 Mar. 2004.
- Ivan Eland, Body Count Redux, DissidentVoice, Feb. 18, 2004.
- Gene Emery, Stress Disorders Hit U.S. Troops in Iraq – Study, ABC News, June 30, 2004.
- Tom Engelhart, September 33rd, TomDispatch, Sept. 11, 2004.
- Tom Engelhardt, Deconstructing Iraq: Year Three Begins, TomDispatch, 19 March 2005.
- Tom Engelhardt, The Return of the Body Count, ZNet, 23 May 2005.
- Tom Engelhardt, Last One to Leave, Please Turn On the Lights, TomDispatch, Oct. 2, 2005.
- Tom Engelhardt, The Forgotten American Dead, ZNet, 27 Jan. 2007.
- John Aloysius Farrell, Deaths mounting, as is indifference, The Denver Post, Aug. 8, 2004.
- Robert Fisk, ‘Can’t Blair see that this country is about to explode? Can’t Bush?’, The Independent, Aug. 1, 2004.
- Robert Fisk, Unreported war: US document reveals scale of conflict, The Independent, July 29, 2004.
- Robert Fisk and Patrick Cockburn, Deaths of scores of mercenaries not reported, The Star, Apr. 13, 2004.
- Robert Fisk, America’s shame, two years on from ’Mission Accomplished’, The Independent, May 8, 2005.
- Jim Fitzgerald, Non-citizen mother of slain U.S. soldier rejected by Gold Star organization, Newsday, 26 May 2005.
- NEW: Stephen Foleyin, Traumatised veterans ‘have killed 120 in US’, Independent, 14 January 2008.
- Hearing scheduled for N.Y. soldier in Iraq “fragging”, Fox News, 2 October 2006.
- Thomas Frank, Deaths fall for U.S., rise for Iraqis, USA Today, Mar. 20, 2006.
- NEW: Lauren Frayer, 2007 Is Deadliest Year for US in Iraq, CommonDreams, 6 November 2007.
- Paul de la Garza, Marine’s death, hospital’s flaws, St. Petersburg Times, 3 June 2005.
- Atul Gawande, Casualties of War — Military Care for the Wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan, The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 351:2471-2475 No. 24, 9 Dec. 2004
- George Gedda, (bottom section): U.S., Halliburton officials confirm more bodies found , Durango Herald, Apr. 14, 2004.
- Gene C. Gerard, VA Seeks to Punish Iraq War Veterans, Orb Standard, 28 Oct. 2005.
- Michael Gillespie, The family released a statement…, Info Clearing House, 13 May 2005.
- Aaron Glantz, Iraq Vets Left in Physical and Mental Agony, CommonDreams, 4 Jan. 2007.
- Stan Goff, Body Count 1001, CounterPunch, 8 Sept. 2004
- Suzanne Goldenberg, Pentagon counts the psychological cost of Iraq war as survey reveals suicide levels, The Guardian, Mar. 29, 2004.
- Suzanne Goldenberg, Broken US troops face bigger enemy at home, The Guardian, 3 Apr. 2004.
- David Goldstein, Stress Disorder Seen Soaring Among Returning Troops, Common Dreams, 20 June 2006.
- Juan Gonzales, Daughter of Soldier Contaminated with Depleted Uranium in Iraq Born with Deformities, DemocracyNow, 30 Sept. 2004.
- Juan Gonzalez, US Soldiers Contaminated With Depleted Uranium Speak Out, DemocracyNow, 5 Apr. 2004.
- Amy Goodman interviews Joyce and Kevin Lucey, Parents of a U.S. Marine Who Committed Suicide After Returning Home from Iraq File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Veterans Affairs, DemocracyNow, 31 July 2007.
- Adam Gorlick, Young Marine hanged himself after tour in Iraq, Lexington Herald, 25 Nov. 2004.
- Guardian staff, Wounded in action , The Guardian, 4 Feb. 2005.
- Erik Gustafson, US Casualties in Iraq, Informed Comment, 13 Sept. 2004.
- David H. Hackworth, With Deepest Sympathy’, DefenseWatch, Nov. 22, 2004.
- Irving Wesley Hall, GI’s Beware of Radioactive Showers!, Blog, 26 April 2006.
- Gail Vida Hamburg, Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead, BellaCiao.org, Mar. 23, 2005.
- Joel Havemann, War Costs are Hitting Historic Proportions, CommonDreams, 15 January 2007.
- Bob Herbert, Forget the War? Many Can’t, NYT, 4 Aug. 2005.
- Ian Herbert, Are British Troops at Breaking Point in Iraq?, CommonDreams, Oct. 18, 2005.
- Jeff Horwitz, Hiding the bodies, Salon, 8 Sept. 2004
- Kim Housego, New Iraq attacks are more sophisticated, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Sept. 15, 2004.
- David Ivanovich and Brett Clanton, Contractor deaths in Iraq nearing 800, Houston Chronicle, 28 Jan. 2007. Unfortunately the article only deals with US “contractors” – what about all the others?
- Dahr Jamail, The US Occupation of Iraq: Casualties Not Counted, TruthOut, 5 Oct 2006.
- Pauline Jelinek, Senate refuses to overturn Pentagon ban on media coverage of war victims’ return, Boston Globe, June 21, 2004.
- Robert Jensen, Support the Troops, CommonDreams, Apr. 8, 2004.
- Matt Kelley, US soldiers’ suicide rate up in Iraq, AP, Jan. 14, 2004.
- Senator Ted Kennedy, Speech on Iraq Policy, George Washington Univ., Sept. 27, 2004.
- Paul Krugman, What About Iraq?, New York Times, Aug. 6, 2004.
- Paul Krugman, Too Few, Yet Too Many, New York Times, May 30, 2005.
- Glenn Kutler, U.S. Military Fatalities in Iraq: A Two-Year Retrospective, Orbis, Volume 49, Number 3, Summer 2005, pp. 529-544.
- Glenn Kutler, Casualty Count: 25,000 Dead or Wounded, Newsweek/MSNBC, 11 Dec 2006. (audio-visual)
- Glenn Kutler, U.S. Military Fatalities in Iraq in Perspective: Year 4, icasualties.org, 9 August 2007. Although there are some useful statistics, the analysis is mediocre and it accepts much of the American rationale for being in Iraq — most of this is nonsense.
- Tom Lasseter, Marines prepare for heavy casualties in battle to retake Fallujah, SilliconValley.com, Nov. 4, 2004.
- Tom Lasseter, Among Troops, Growing Doubts About Mission, Leaders Who Sent Them, CommonDreams, July 21, 2004.
- Tom Lasseter, In the face of stubborn insurgency, troops scale back Anbar patrols, Knight Ridder Newspapers, July 20, 2004.
- Tom Lasseter, Despite handover, U.S. troops battle insurgents with no end in sight, Knight Ridder Newspapers, July 5, 2004.
- Corine Lesnes, A Disillusioned American Soldier’s Return From Iraq, Le Monde, 18 March 2006
- Gary Leupp, Suicide Before Dishonor in Occupied Iraq, CounterPunch, Dec. 7, 2005.
- Jim Lobe, Iraq War Costs Now Exceed Vietnam’s, CommonDreams, 1 Sept. 2005
- Alexandra Marks, Back from Iraq – and suddenly out on the streets, Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 8, 2005.
- Kathy Marsh, Local Iraq Vet Says He Has ‘New’ Agent Orange, WESH 2, 23 August 2006. (contains video link).
- Matthew McAllester, They’re burned, or blinded, or sparring with death,
Newsday, Sept. 27, 2004
- Patrick J. McDonnell, Sovereign Iraq Just as Deadly to U.S. Forces, LA Times, Aug. 31, 2004.
- Patrick J. McDonnell, No Shortage of Fighters in Iraq’s Wild West, LA Times, July 25, 2004.
- James C. McKinley Jr., In Mexico, burying soldiers killed in a U.S. war, IHT, 23 Mar. 2005.
- Renae Merle, Contract Workers Are War’s Forgotten Iraq Deaths Create Subculture of Loss, July 31, 2004
- Christian Miller, IRAQ: Private contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Iraq, CorpWatch, 4 July 2007.
- Seumas Milne, Bush and Blair have lit a fire which could consume them, The Guardian, 8 Apr. 2004.
- NEW: Greg Mitchell, Local Paper Uncovers Another Mysterious U.S. Death in Iraq, Editor & Publisher, 2 December 2007.
- George Monbiot, Bringing Out the Dead, The Guardian, 8 Nov. 2005.
- Dave Moniz, Female amputees make clear that all troops are on front lines, USA Today, Apr. 28, 2005.
- Matt Moore, Hospital in Germany copes with heavy flow of wounded from Iran, Afghanistan, CBS, 29 May 2005
- Michael Moss Pentagon Study Links Fatalities to Body Armor, New York Times, Jan. 7, 2005.
- Judy Muller, The Invisible Injury, ABC News, Oct. 6, 2004.
- Ralph Nader, An Open Letter to George Bush, CommonDreams, Dec. 8, 2004
- Ralph Nader, The Muslim Vote in Election 2004 (transcript), CNI, June 28, 2004.
- Ralph Nader, American’s Right to Know War News, CommonDreams, May 15, 2005.
- Bob Nichols, Heads roll at Veterans Administration, Feb. 23, 2005.
- Michelle Nichols, United States Numb to Iraq Troop Deaths: Experts, CommonDreams, 20 Oct 2006.
- Kurt Nimmo, DU: Possibly the Worst War Crime in History, KurtNimmo_blog, 28 Feb. 2005.
- New York Dialy News (no author), Army to test NY Guard unit, 5 Apr. 2004.
- Keith Olbermann, Senseless ‘Sacrifice’ in Iraq Must End, CommonDreams, 3 Jan. 2007.
- James Orr, US soldier suicides at highest level for 26 years, Guardian, 16 August 2007.
- Jonathan Owen and Ian Griggs, The forsaken: how Britain is failing to care for badly injured troops, The Independent, 15 July 2007.
- PBS Wounds of War, PBS Online, April 26, 2005.
- Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility; Gene Bolles, former head of neurosurgery in Landstuhl Air Base in Germany, Dahlia Wasfi, M.D. Global Exchange. Iraq’s Wounded (real audio), 18 Oct 2006. (important discussion).
- George E. Peoples, M.D., James R. Jezior, M.D., and Craig D. Shriver, M.D., Caring for the Wounded in Iraq — A Photo Essay, New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 351:2476-2480, No. 24, 9 Dec. 2004.
- NEW: Dana Priest and Anne Hull, ‘A Soldier’s Officer’, Washington Post, 1 December 2007.
- Jack Random, Casualties of War, CounterPunch, 12 Jan. 2005.
- Olga Pierce, Mental disorders affect third of Iraq vets, UPI, Jan. 27, 2005. (However, it is a shame about the source, UPI: a rather dubious news bureau owned by Rev. Moon.
- Cheryl L. Reed Staff, Returning veterans paint grim picture of war’s toll, Chicago Sun Times, 27 Jan. 2005.
- Thomas E. Ricks, U.S. troops’ death rate rising in Iraq, Washington Post, 9 Sept. 2004
- Thomas E. Ricks, A Different Operation For U.S. Doctors in Iraq, Washington Post, 1 Feb. 2006.
- Thomas R. Ricks, Military Envisions Longer Stay in Iraq
, Washington Post, 10 June 2007.
- Wilson Ring, Widow of Maine Soldier Urges Americans to Question Policy, CommonDreams.org, 6 May 2004.
- Paul Craig Roberts, Is the Bush Administration Certifiable?, CounterPunch, 6 Dec. 2004.
- Paul de Rooij, For Whom the Death Tolls: Deliberate Undercounting of “Coalition” Fatalities, DissidentVoice, 24 Jan. 2004.
- Paul de Rooij, Predictable Propaganda: Four Months of US Occupation of Iraq, DissidentVoice, 3 Sept. 2003.
- Paul de Rooij, The Parade of the Body Bags, DissidentVoice, 2 Aug. 2003.
- John Ross, Mexico: the Pentagon’s Proxy Army in Iraq, CounterPunch, 21 Feb. 2005.
- Matthew Rothschild, Interview with Phyllis Bennis: Paying the Price: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War, Progressive Radio, 13 July 2004.
- Donna St. George, GAO Says Government Pesters Wounded Soldiers Over Debts, Washington Post, 27 April 2006
- Natasha Saulnier, The Forgotten Soldiers of Operation “Iraqi Freedom”, GregPalast.com, 7 Mar. 2004.
- Jeremy Scahill, Blood Is Thicker Than Blackwater, The Nation, May 8, 2006 issue.
- Thomas F. Schaller, 2004 Iraq fatalities eclipse 2003, The Gadflyer, Aug. 26, 2004.
- Danny Schechter, What’s the Best Way to ‘Support Our Troops’?, CommonDreams, August 15, 2005.
- Christopher Scheer, Bush Ignores Soldiers’ Burials, AlterNet, Oct. 30, 2003.
- Derek Seidman, An Interview with an Anti-war Veteran from the Iraq War Jim Talib, Lefthook, Nov. 29, 2004
- Derek Seidman, An Interview with Army Medic, Patrick Resta, CounterPunch, 21 Jan. 2005.
- Scott Shane, A Flood of Troubled Soldiers Is in the Offing, Experts Predict, New York Times, Dec. 16, 2004.
- Kirsten Sharnberg, Female GIs hard hit by war syndrome, SanLuisObispo.com, 20 Mar. 2005.
- Neil Shea, Military Medicine, National Geographic, Dec. 2006. There is an interview with Shea on CSPAN about his article and experiences in Iraq.
- Cindy Sheehan, It Wasn’t Worth It, AlterNet, 4 Feb. 2005
- Bob Simon, Iraq: The Uncounted, CBS 60 Minutes, 21 Nov. 2004
- Wes Smith, Red tape snarls injured soldiers, Orlando Sentinel, 14 Feb. 2005.
- Stephen Soldz, Sending mentally ill soldiers back to Iraq, Znet, 26 Mar. 2006.
- Matthew B. Stannard, The invisible wound
Though high-tech body armor saves lives on the battlefield, more and more troops are suffering traumatic head injuries, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 July 2004
- Jonathan Steele, Driven by national pride: The US is creating its own Iraqi Gaza, Guardian, 2 Apr. 2004.
- Frederick Sweet, Maimed in Iraq, then mistreated, neglected, and hidden in America, Intervention Magazine, Feb. 18, 2004
- Pierre Tristam, The American Way of Gore: Casualties of War: Dead, Buried and Discarded, CommonDreams, 21 Oct 2006.
- Ann Scott Tyson, U.S. Casualties in Iraq Rise Sharply, Washington Post, 8 Oct 2006
- Paul Sullivan and Amy Goodman, Did VA Hide Figures Showing 1 in 4 US Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Disabled From Service?, DemocracyNow, 12 Oct 2006. (important discussion)
- NEW: Joseph Stiglitz, War Costs and Costs and Costs, Guardian, 13 March 2008
- Karl Vick, U.S. injuries in August hit highest level of war, The Wichita Eagle, 5 Sept. 2004
- Karl Vick, The Lasting Wounds of War, The Washington Post, 27 Apr. 2004.
- David Walsh, Washington Conceals US Casualties in Iraq, Coastal Post Online, Mar. 2004.
- Jonathan Weisman, War Costs Approach $10 Billion a Month, CommonDreams, 20 April 2006.
- Will Weissert, Iraqi insurgent snipers gaining skill, AP, 23 Dec 2006.
- William M. Welch, Iraq injuries differ from past wars: More amputations, brain traumas
, USA Today, 28 Feb. 2005.
- William M. Welch, Trauma of Iraq War Haunting Thousands Returning Home, CommonDreams, 28 Feb. 2005.
- Joel Wendland, Wounded Soldiers “Recycled” in Bush’s War, Political Affairs, 24 June 2006.
- Linda Wertheimer, Wounded in War: The Women Serving in Iraq, NPR, Mar. 14, 2005.
- Steve Wick, Coffin photo costs woman her job, Newsday, Apr. 23, 2004.
- Scott Williams, New law limits details on injured troops, JSOnline, Oct. 3, 2004.
- Jamie Wilson Iraq war could cost US over $2 trillion, says Nobel prize-winning economist, The Guardian, Jan. 7, 2006
- Heather Wokush, Poisoning the Troops, Again, DissidentVoice, 30 May 2007.
- Edward Wyatt, In Iraq War, Death Also Comes to Soldiers in Autumn of Life, New York Times, 18 July 2004.
- Kevin Zeese, Scandal Bigger than Walter Reed:
The Rape, Assault and Harassment of Women in the Military, DissidentVoice, 14 April 2007.
- Howard Zinn, The Ultimate Betrayal, CommonDreams, 19 Feb. 2004.
Any insightful article on this topic will be added to this list. Please submit
Sources of basic data
- Geographical Analysis of Fatalities. Shows a map of Iraq and where fatalities have occurred over time.
- BBC, Baghdad: Mapping the violence, March 2007. Graphics show the ethnic mix of Baghdad and where the bomb incidents occured.
- GlobalSecurity.org Important source of information.
- Iraq Analysis Important source/database of information.
- CentCom As soon as a fatality occurs, a very basic notification is made available on this official US-military website. Caveat: This listing is not complete, and it often leaves out some fatalities — even some due to hostile causes. Further confusion is added because on a few occasions the fatality notification appeared in a release whose title had nothing to do with the incident leading to the death of a soldier, i.e., usually the heading indicates the nature of the press release, but this is not 100% the case. There are frequent errors, and if one cross checks with DefenseLink, Reuters, or AP, one finds errors in the number of soldiers killed and the dates of the event. NB: This website seldom announces fatalities due to “non-hostile” causes. Soldiers dying from accidents, heatstroke, suicide, etc., are usually only found in DefenseLink. Although very few obvious errors have been corrected in the past, for the past few month no corrections have been issued. Website reports on US military casualties exclusively, and it is updated daily.
- DefenseLink A few days after the fatality has been announced by CentCom, there is a confirmation including the name and age of the soldier on this website. Again, the same problems found with CentCom are found here. However, “non-hostile” fatalities are usually only found on this webiste. While CentCom mentions instances of wounded personnel (and then only if in the same incident there have been fatalities), DefenseLink does not mention them. Although a few obvious errors have been corrected in the past, for the past few month no corrections have been issued. NB: There are quite a few errors in the announcements and sometimes it is not possible to reach the older records — a problem that seems to have been rectified recently, but it is not clear if the complete archive is available. Website reports on US military casualties exclusively, and it is updated daily.
- MOD: Operation Telic This is the British Ministry of Defense website, and it is very good quality. Note the fact that the notices given for the fatalities contain a tribute to the soldiers and express regret. This stands in stark contrast with the US military notifications that are cold renderings of some statistic. This website reports on British military casualties exclusively, and it is updated daily.
- Iraq Coalition Casualty Count (formerly known as LunaVille ) A very good quality data source including most “coalition” fatalities. It has an excellent quality running news column — updated regularly. Some graphics and tables are available on the website. Downside: some of the time periods available for analysis are odd. However, this is a valuable website — the best website where one can obtain data for analysis and not for “remembrance”. Note that LunaVille removes CentCom announced fatalities if DefenseLink doesn’t confirm them.
- Veterans for Peace Good source of information.
- CNN Good quality data on US and some “coalition” fatalities with a photo for most of the victims. Updated daily except weekends. Downside: it is not possible to obtain meaningful tabulations or graphs from the data.
- Baltimore Sun Good collection of US military fatality information. Updated regularly, and more up-to-date than CNN or Washington Post.
- Washington Post Easy to use website with photos of US fatalities and basic bio-info. This website is best for an overview of the photos of the soldiers, where they come from, and basic bio-info. There are some basic graphs, and the ones about the fatality’s home town are the most interesting — these indicate socio-economic class.
- Memory Hole The media references to “injuries” don’t convey the meaning of what has happened to these soldiers. The image of these wounded soldiers is banned from most media, and therefore it is instructive to examine the photos in this important website. There are also some shocking photos of the mercenaries killed in Falluja on Mar. 31st.
- BBC A poor quality list of the US soldier fatalities. Although it is a British news group, it only publishes American casualties! It is odd to say the least. Furthermore, it only publishes the “hostile” category fatalities; it excludes soldiers killed clearing mines, heatstroke, suicides, etc. The main purpose of this list is to justify using the low propaganda-compliant fatality numbers. It is updated irregularly.
Paul de Rooij can be reached at moc.liamtohnull@xoorp. (NB: all emails with attachments will be automatically deleted). © 2008 Paul de RooijOther Articles by Paul de Rooij:
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