Iraq: counting the cost
Interesting piece in The Atlantic pointing out that the numbers of American children bereaved by deaths of a parent in Iraq is unprecedently high. The reason? Past U.S. wars were mainly fought by single men, but 40 percent of the 1,256 GIs killed in Iraq as of November were married, and 459, including six women, had children. The defense analyst Anthony Cordesman forecasts that many more children will be bereaved if, as Donald Rumsfeld has indicated, U.S. forces stay in Iraq until 2008 or 2009. By then, Cordesman estimates, 5,038 U.S. troops will have died.
This is terrible, of course. But is anybody interested in compiling the corresponding estimates for Iraqis? Last Wednesday, for example, insurgents lured Iraqi policemen to a house in west Baghdad and set off a huge amount of explosives, killing at least 29 people, seven of them police. They had families and children too.