Backtalk, August 16, 2005

Casualties in Iraq

Something struck me this morning. The official U.S. death toll is compiled of soldiers who were actually killed or died while in Iraq but not those taken for treatment outside the country who died afterwards from their wounds.

My question is: how many of the seriously wounded who were taken to hospitals outside Iraq have died since March 2003? And shouldn’t they be included in the death toll as well?

I would appreciate a reply because I have yet to see anything about it.

~ Charles

Michael Ewens replies:

Many have died outside of Iraq’s borders:

Here are some more examples:

One of Cindy Sheehan’s many reasonable questions of George W. Bush is this: “If this cause is so noble, why don’t you send your daughters there?” Twenty years ago, this question would have been inconceivable; Mr. Bush would’ve had the de facto protection from hypocrisy of being a father without sons. Now the question is perfectly reasonable, because we all know that many women in the U.S. forces, women the same as the Bush daughters, are being killed and maimed in Iraq. It would underline our leader’s hypocrisy if we knew just how many. How about a gender breakdown of the casualty list? Along with it should go a “disclaimer” designed to avoid gender conflict in the antiwar movement, stating the obvious about female casualties being much lower, in accordance with the much lower proportion of female military personnel in Iraq.

~ James Hyland

Michael Ewens replies:

The stats can be found by filtering by “Gender”:

What The Neo-Crazies Knew

I‘d like Prather to address some of these questions in a future article:

In 2003 Iran promised to disclose all of its nuclear activities, yet it concealed blueprints for a centrifuge, discovered by UN inspectors. Is skepticism of Iran’s future promises unreasonable given past deception? And if so, how can this be mitigated? Closer inspection by the IAEA?

Iran has the right to pursue peaceful use of nuclear technologies under the NPT. Does this include production of HEU? Has Iran given any indication (including by implication, based on centrifuge equipment they have, will get, or supposedly have blueprints for) that they want to produce HEU? What are some examples of legitimate need for HEU production other than producing a nuclear weapon? How carefully does this material need to be watched in order to prevent small quantities from being siphoned away for bomb-making? Is Iran doing anything “out of the ordinary” when it comes to using nuclear technology for medical and energy purposes?

I do not fully understand the total contempt the administration seems to have for the NPT, but I suspect such discussion is really out of scope for an article. What I’d like to understand more is if there were duplicity on the part of Iran, how would we really know this? Not whether it makes sense for them to be duplicitous or not, but to what degree does the IAEA have a reliable ability to fully and completely ascertain their motives and monitor these activities? Where are the holes?

~ Chris Murphy

Gordon Prather replies:

The best source of information about Iranian and IAEA interplay – resulting from the Iranian decision to sign an Additional Protocol to their Safeguards Agreement – is what is posted by the IAEA at their Web site.

Nuclear China Good, Nuclear Iran Bad

What is going on with you, Roberts … and other of Iran’s useful idiots?

Let me get it straight: Iran attacked a U.S. embassy – which is an act of war according to the international law – and held American diplomats hostage for 444 days, helped Hezbollah with an even worse hostage crisis, seven years long, during which three American hostages were executed. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah had also blasted to death 241 U.S. Marines in Beirut and 19 GIs in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, blew up three U.S. embassies, killing scores of Americans, hijacked planes, kidnapped and tortured-murdered more American hostages. Act of war after act of war, mass murder after mass murder of American soldiers and civilians – Iran and Hezbollah have been doing this to us for a quarter of a century, with the U.S. cowardly shrinking from fighting back.

Now, Hezbollah has reportedly planted sleeper cells in 16 major American cities which are ready to strike at any moment. As soon as Iran gets nukes, it will be those suicide bombers who will detonate them in our midst – or dictate to us unconditional surrender to Iran under the threat of a nuclear Holocaust. And you want us to ignore this grave threat to our very existence, and to go instead crazy/schizoid/paranoid on China, a responsible nuclear power who does not kill Americans and who wants from us only three things: trade, trade, trade.

And you question the intelligence of the Bush administration?

~ Ruslan Tokhchukov

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

The U.S. interferes in Iranian internal affairs and installs a puppet government. The Iranians throw out the puppet government and the U.S. as well. Tokhchukov concludes the U.S. was done an injustice!

U.S. ally Israel, armed by the U.S., invades Lebanon and is thrown out by Hezbollah. Tokhchukov concludes that the U.S. was done an injustice!.

The U.S. occupies Muslim lands and sends troops to other Muslim lands. Muslims resist. Tokhchukov concludes Muslims mean the U.S. harm!

A top Chinese general has announced that if the U.S. interferes with China’s reunification with Taiwan, China will nuke the U.S. Tokhchukov concludes China is no threat!

Is Tokhchukov an intelligent being?

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