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January 2nd seven Iraqi police recruits were killed and 13 more were injured when a suicide bomber drove car into the bus the recruits were traveling on near Baquba north of Baghdad.
January 4thAt a funeral in Muqdadiyah 60 miles north of Baghdad a suicide bomber struck killed 32 and wounding another 40. The funeral was that of a 14 year old nephew of a prominent Shite politician who had been assassinate the day before.
Janaury 5th- A total of 130 people were killed in two separate attacks the first at a Shia shrine in Karbala the second at police recruiting center in Karbala. The attacks seemed aimed at forstering civil war. Iraq President Jalal Talabani responded to the attacks by saying ÒThese groups of dark terror will not succeed through these cowardly acts in dissuading Iraqis in their bid to form a government of national unity.Ó This same day a roadside bomb killed five American soldiers. They were among 11 American killed in Iraq on this day.
January 9th Two suicide people bombers attacked an Interior Ministry checkpoint and blew themselves up. They killed 18 Iraqi police officers and wounded another 25. The attacks took place while the US Ambassador and other senior American and Iraqi officials were nearby.
|High||43 °C (5 июн, 15:00)||43% (9 июн, 03:00)||1010 mbar (9 июн, 03:00)|
|Low||23 °C (9 июн, 03:00)||7% (9 июн, 15:00)||1000 mbar (15 июн, 00:00)|
|Average||33 °C||21%||1005 mbar|
|* Reported 4 июн 09:00 &mdash 19 июн 09:00, Baghdad. Weather by CustomWeather, © 2021|
Note: Actual official high and low records may vary slightly from our data, if they occured in-between our weather recording intervals. More about our weather records
Statement by Bishop Wenski Toward a Responsible Transition in Iraq, January 12, 2006
As we begin a new year and almost three years after the initiation of war, the situation in Iraq remains complex, uncertain, and dangerous—for the Iraqi people, for the region, for our nation, and for our military personnel. The war’s toll is measured in lives lost and many more injured, in persistent violence and insurgency, and in the daily struggles of Iraqis to build a future for their torn nation. Our Conference of bishops mourns the deaths of more than 2,100 of our nation’s sons and daughters and of tens of thousands of Iraqis. We share the pain of the countless numbers of persons who have been injured and maimed and of those whose lives will never be the same. There have been achievements. A dictator has been deposed and elections have been held, but the human and social costs of these achievements must be recognized.
There is no simple or easy way forward. Stability remains elusive and rebuilding efforts are uneven, inadequate and frequently undermined by the lack of security. Our Conference is encouraged by the courage and determination of so many Iraqis who voted in the recent parliamentary elections. We hope these elections will be an important step forward, but everyone acknowledges that the elections represent just one step along a long road.
As bishops and pastors, we seek to offer some moral reflections to help guide our nation along the difficult road ahead. While we recognize that people of goodwill may disagree with specific prudential judgments that we offer, our religious tradition calls us to shine the light of faith and the Church’s social teaching on the moral dimensions of the future choices that lie ahead. We hope our reflections will contribute to a serious and civil national dialogue to help our nation chart a way forward that responds to both the moral and human dimensions of the situation in Iraq.
The Challenge to Dialogue
Our bishops’ Conference regrets that discussions regarding Iraq have too often led to unproductive debates that are marked by polarization and political posturing on many sides. It is important for all to recognize that addressing questions regarding the decisions that led us to war, and about the conduct of the war and its aftermath, is both necessary and patriotic. It is equally important that these questions be discussed with civility so that necessary reflection and careful deliberation are not lost in a barrage of attacks and counterattacks. Instead our nation needs serious and civil discussions of alternatives that emphasize planning for a responsible transition in Iraq. Our Conference hopes that this statement can help contribute to such dialogue.
Since so much is at stake for Iraq, for our nation, for the region and for our world, our nation cannot allow justifications of past positions and partisan attacks on others to replace real, sustained, serious and civil debate. Dialogue is not advanced by challenging the motives or integrity of others or by over-simplifying the challenges we face.
Today some see virtually no progress in Iraq and argue for rapid strategic withdrawal. Others see enormous progress and call for continued and steady engagement. Our Conference rejects any assessment of the reality that is either too pessimistic or too optimistic. Our nation cannot afford a shrill and shallow debate that distorts reality and reduces the options to “cut and run” versus “stay the course.” Instead we need a forthright discussion that begins with an honest assessment of the situation in Iraq and acknowledges both the mistakes that have been made and the signs of hope that have appeared. Most importantly, an honest assessment of our moral responsibilities toward Iraq should commit our nation to a policy of responsible transition.
The Moral Challenge
It is well known that our bishops’ Conference repeatedly expressed grave moral concerns about the military intervention in Iraq and the unpredictable and uncontrollable negative consequences of an invasion and occupation. Similar concerns were articulated powerfully by Pope John Paul II and the Holy See. The events of the past three years, the absence of evidence of weapons of mass destructions and the continuing violence and unrest in Iraq have reinforced those ethical concerns. In light of the moral criteria of the just war tradition, our Conference remains highly skeptical of the concept of “preventive war.” As the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church states: “[E]ngaging in a preventive war without clear proof that an attack is imminent cannot fail to raise serious moral and juridical questions.” 1
At the same time our nation cannot just look back. We must now look around and look ahead. The intervention in Iraq has brought with it a new set of moral responsibilities to help Iraqis secure and rebuild their country and to address the consequences of the war for the region and the world. The central moral question is not just the timing of U.S. withdrawal, but rather the nature and extent of U.S. and international engagement that allows for a responsible transition to security and stability for the Iraqi people. As the late Pope John Paul II said in the wake of the Iraq war:
The many attempts made by the Holy See to avoid the grievous war in Iraq are already known. Today what matters is that the international community help put the Iraqis, freed from an oppressive regime, in a condition to be able to take up their Country's reins again, consolidate its sovereignty and determine democratically a political and economic system that reflects their aspirations, so that Iraq may once again be a credible partner in the International Community. 2
The Challenge of a Responsible Transition
Our nation’s military forces should remain in Iraq only as long as it takes for a responsible transition, leaving sooner rather than later. We welcome recent news reports that suggest that troop levels will be reduced as Iraqis assume more responsibility for their own security. But it is important for the United States to send even clearer signals that the goals of U.S. policy are to help Iraqis assume full control of their governance and not to occupy the nation for an indeterminate period. As one example, our government should declare that the presence of U.S. military personnel and bases in Iraq must be an Iraqi decision that respects the needs and sovereignty of the Iraqi people.
Despite past missteps and current difficulties, our nation urgently needs to seek to broaden international support and participation in the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq. This task will be difficult but it is still necessary. Securing wider and deeper international support will strengthen the legitimacy and effectiveness of our nation’s efforts, but it will also require giving international partners and allies a real voice and real responsibilities. Transferring some responsibility and operational control of the stabilization and reconstruction process to a more accepted international entity, working in partnership with Iraqis, will require that the United States both provide continued financial and military support and also yield some control to others.
As Pope John Paul II said to President Bush in 2004:
It is the evident desire of everyone that this situation now be normalized as quickly as possible with the active participation of the international community and, in particular, the United Nations Organization, in order to ensure a speedy return of Iraq’s sovereignty, in conditions of security for all its people. 3 A responsible transition in Iraq means establishing a series of basic benchmarks, including:
achieving adequate levels of security
establishing the rule of law
promoting economic reconstruction to help create reasonable levels of employment and economic opportunity and
supporting the development of political structures to advance stability, political participation, and respect for religious freedom and basic human rights.
In Catholic social teaching, peace is more than the absence of war it is built on the foundation of justice. Peace involves the defense of human rights, the pursuit of integral human development and the promotion of the common good. 4 Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI recently wrote:
Peace thus comes to be seen in a new light: not as the mere absence of war, but as a harmonious coexistence of individual citizens within a society governed by justice, one in which the good is also achieved, to the extent possible, for each of them. 5 The Catholic Church has significant and growing experience in fostering post-conflict peacebuilding and reconciliation in various regions of the world, including in The Philippines, South Africa, Burundi, Mozambique, Guatemala, the Balkans and elsewhere. Church leaders and institutions have assisted many peoples as they walked the painstaking, but necessary, path to peace after war and violence. The experience of the Church and others can help inform the challenging work of building peace in the wake of war in Iraq.
Particular Challenges for a Responsible Transition
Our bishops’ Conference believes that our nation and the Iraqi people face a number of particular challenges that arise from the complex, uncertain and dangerous situation in Iraq. These challenges include:
terrorism and our response to it
the violation of the human rights of persons in the custody of U.S. and Iraqi forces
threats to religious liberty and religious minorities in Iraq
the plight of refugees and
meeting other responsibilities of our nation.
Violence and Terrorism: Our Conference unequivocally condemns all terrorist attacks, especially those that target civilians. We echo the teaching of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI: “Nowadays, the truth of peace continues to be dramatically compromised and rejected by terrorism, whose criminal threats and attacks leave the world in a state of fear and insecurity.” 6 The use of force is never just when it fails to discriminate between combatants and non-combatants in a conflict.
At the same time our Conference reiterates that terrorism cannot be fought solely, or even principally, with military methods. As the USCCB Administrative Committee has warned in 2002:
This "war on terrorism" should be fought with the support of the international community and primarily by non-military means, denying terrorists resources, recruits, and opportunities for their evil acts. … As we confront evil acts, which no cause can justify, this "war on terrorism" must not deflect us from sustained commitment to overcome poverty, conflict and injustice, particularly in the Middle East and the developing world, which can provide fertile ground in which hopelessness and terrorism thrive. 7 In the frustrating and dangerous task of confronting terrorists, now drawn to and active in Iraq, our nation must guard against overly aggressive and unwise military responses that endanger civilians and thereby undermine the winning of hearts and minds that is critical to the long term struggle with terrorists and insurgents. Our moral tradition insists that the use of military force must be proportional and discriminate. When tactical military responses are required, we must never forget that the wider struggle with terrorism, together with our basic moral commitments and legal obligations, demand respect for human rights.
We must heed the warning of Pope John Paul II in his 2002 World Day of Peace Message:
International cooperation in the fight against terrorist activities must also include a courageous and resolute political, diplomatic and economic commitment to relieving situations of oppression and marginalization which facilitate the designs of terrorists. The recruitment of terrorists in fact is easier in situations where rights are trampled upon and injustices tolerated over a long period of time. 8 It is important to distinguish between the tactic of terrorist attacks that are never justifiable and the political concerns which feed the insurgency. In order to reduce popular support for the insurgency, it is critically important to help create viable political space for Sunni and minority participation in Iraq.
Human Rights: In light of deeply disturbing and continuing reports of persistent violations of the human rights of persons in the custody of U.S. military, and more recently of reports of similar abuses by the newly reconstituted Iraqi forces, our bishops’ Conference once again urges immediate steps be taken to end these violations, to prevent future occurrences and to discover how they came about. The abuse and torture of detainees violate human rights. They simultaneously undermine both the struggle against terrorism and the prospects of a responsible transition in Iraq. Such abuse undercuts our nation’s moral credibility and damages our nation’s ability to win popular support in other countries where backing is needed for the struggles in Iraq and against global terrorism. Defending the basic human rights of detainees can also strengthen our insistence on the humane treatment of our own military personnel who become captives.
Our nation simply must live up to our own Constitution’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and adhere to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984. As a world leader, our nation’s adherence to international standards ought to be exemplary. For these reasons our Conference has supported Congressional efforts to prohibit cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons and to provide uniform standards for the interrogation of persons under detention by the Department of Defense. Our Conference also supports a proposal to appoint a special human rights officer to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
Recently Pope Benedict XVI affirmed the importance of international humanitarian law and called on all countries to obey its requirements. In his 2006 Peace Message the Holy Father declared:
The truth of peace must also let its beneficial light shine even amid the tragedy of war. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, in the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, pointed out that “not everything automatically becomes permissible between hostile parties once war has regrettably commenced.” As a means of limiting the devastating consequences of war as much as possible, especially for civilians, the international community has created an international humanitarian law. In a variety of situations and in different settings, the Holy See has expressed its support for this humanitarian law, and has called for it to be respected and promptly implemented, out of the conviction that the truth of peace exists even in the midst of war. 9
Religious Liberty: Our Conference has repeatedly called for the protection of religious liberty in Iraq and renews that call once again. The Catholic bishops in Iraq have expressed serious concerns regarding conflicting provisions in the proposed constitution of Iraq and are wary of its implementation. In light of these concerns, our Conference urges the active support of the U.S. to encourage clearer protection of religious freedom in both law and practice.
Religious freedom includes many rights it cannot be limited to the freedom to practice religious rites or the freedom to worship. Religious liberty must include the right to practice religious beliefs alone or with others, in private or in public to acquire and hold property to educate children in their faith and to establish religious institutions, such as schools, hospitals and charitable agencies. Religious freedom is also directly related to other freedoms, such as the freedom of speech and the freedom of association, so that people of faith can freely share ideas and act together in the public square. A truly democratic Iraq must continue to accommodate its religious, especially Christian, minorities.
Refugees: The war and ongoing instability in Iraq have resulted in a significant flow of refugees from Iraq, especially among Christians and other religious minorities who suffer attacks and discrimination. Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel-Karim Delly of Baghdad has pleaded with Western governments to protect Iraqi refugees. He noted that although he hoped that people would stay in Iraq, he understood that people fled when “children get kidnapped or killed, when there's no security, no peace.” 10 Our Conference urges the United States and the international community to provide greater support and attention to the plight of Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers. We continue to believe that U.S. policy toward Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers is too restrictive.
Our Conference calls upon the U.S. to protect Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers, including the Christian and other religious minorities fleeing Iraq. In particular, we call on the government to (1) designate Iraqi religious minorities as a group of special concern for the purposes of determining refugee resettlement eligibility, (2) eliminate current restrictions on family reunification eligibility in the refugee admissions program, (3) provide for expeditious, emergent refugee processing directly from Iraq for cases of particular vulnerability, and (4) carefully consider Iraqi asylum seekers’ claims, especially religious minorities and other vulnerable individuals, and not reject their asylum requests on the presumption that conditions allow for a safe return to Iraq.
Other U.S. Responsibilities: The very costly conflict in Iraq demands a major commitment of human and financial resources, but Iraq cannot become an excuse for ignoring other pressing needs at home and abroad, especially our moral responsibilities toward the poor in our own nation and in developing countries. Our Conference reiterates the need to protect the poor at home and abroad in setting our national priorities. As we noted in our Conference’s February 2005 letter to Congress:
As pastors, we believe that a fundamental moral measure of our nation’s budget policy is whether it enhances or undermines the lives and dignity of those most in need. Sadly, political pressure frequently has left poor children and families missing in the national debate and without a place at the table. Our nation needs a genuinely bipartisan commitment to focus on the common good of all and on the special needs of the poor and vulnerable in particular. These are tough times. There are few easy choices. But there are some “right” choices. In a time of war, mounting deficits, and growing needs, our nation’s leaders must ensure that there are adequate resources to protect people who are poor and vulnerable both at home and around the world. 11
Pastoral Concern for U.S. Military Personnel
As bishops, we wish to speak special words of care and concern to the members of our military and their families who find themselves in the midst of this terrible conflict. We also affirm the extraordinarily important work of military chaplains. They serve in the name of the Church in a vital pastoral service. Pope Benedict XVI recently recalled the teaching of the Second Vatican Council that “those who enter the military in service to their country should look upon themselves as guardians of the security and freedom” and as contributors to “the establishment of peace.” He went on to “encourage both the military Ordinaries and military chaplains to be, in every situation and context, faithful heralds of the truth of peace.” 12
Our Conference wants to be clear. Raising grave moral questions regarding the decision to invade Iraq is not to question the moral integrity of those serving in the military. Expressing moral questions regarding the treatment of U.S. prisoners and detainees is not to question the professional integrity of the vast majority of those on deployment. In fact, asking difficult questions is a patriotic and moral duty that reflects our values and serves the bests interests of our nation and those who serve it with honor.
Caution and Hope
Our Conference has been in continuing dialogue with U.S. policy makers regarding Iraq. We have expressed grave moral concern regarding “preventive war,” noted the new moral responsibilities that our nation has assumed in Iraq, worked to protect religious freedom in Iraq, supported efforts to address the abuse of prisoners and detainees, shared the moral elements of a “responsible transition,” and sought to contribute to a serious and civil discussion regarding the way forward in Iraq. 13 We know that statements are not enough. The time has come for public reflection that leads to action.
Our nation is at a crossroads in Iraq. We must avoid two directions that distort reality and limit appropriate responses. We must resist a pessimism that might move our nation to abandon the moral responsibilities it accepted in using force and might tempt us to withdraw prematurely from Iraq without regard for moral and human consequences. We must reject an optimism that fails to acknowledge clearly past mistakes, failed intelligence, and inadequate planning related to Iraq, and minimizes the serious challenges and human costs that lie ahead.
Instead our nation must act with a constructive and informed realism that helps us to learn from the past and to move forward. Our policy makers and citizens must be willing to ask difficult moral questions regarding preventive war and to learn from our experience in Iraq. More immediately, our nation must engage in serious and civil dialogue in order to walk a difficult path toward a responsible transition that seeks to help Iraqis take responsibility for building a better future for themselves—a future that contributes to peace in the region and beyond. This national dialogue must begin with a search for the “truth” of where we find ourselves in Iraq and not with a search for political advantage or justifications for past positions.
By embracing the honesty that it takes for genuine dialogue that seeks a path to a just peace in Iraq, our nation would be striving to find “in truth, peace.” Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, reflected on this theme in his 2006 World Day of Peace Message. “In truth, peace” is a theme that “expresses the conviction that wherever and whenever men and women are enlightened by the splendor of truth, they naturally set out on the path of peace.” 14
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (2004), no. 501.
Pope John Paul II, Address to the Diplomatic Corps, January 12, 2004.
Pope John Paul II, Address to President Bush, June 4, 2004.
See the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, nos. 494-495.
Pope Benedict XVI, World Day of Peace Message (January 1, 2006), no. 6.
Pope Benedict XVI, World Day of Peace Message (January 1, 2006), no. 9.
Administrative Committee, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Statement on the Anniversary of September 11th, September 10, 2002
John Paul II, 2002 World Day of Peace Message (January 1, 2002), no. 5.
Pope Benedict XVI, World Day of Peace Message (January 1, 2006), no. 7.
Catholic News Service, "Chaldean patriarch says nations should not turn away fleeing Iraqis," October 17, 2005.
Bishop William S. Skylstad, Letter to Congress on FY 2006 Budget Priorities, February 15, 2005.
Janaury 2006 in Iraq - History
I keep wondering why I'm getting flashbacks to the 1960s. I never took any hallucinogenic drugs. And yet I keep hearing people on TV saying we need to bring the troops home now.
Of course, back in the 60s, the people saying that were all wearing long hair and, if they were of the guy persuasion, beards now it's people in suits.
So it occurred to me that maybe they're the ones having the flashbacks. They really think this war is Vietnam. Having romanticized the anti-war movement of the 1960s, they think they're wrapping themselves in the mantle of heroes.
I remember that peace movement. It's the one that disappeared when the draft was abolished.
But what is this peace movement about?
What Withdrawal Would Mean
Let's suppose we do what they're suggesting, and either pull the troops out immediately or announce a firm timetable for withdrawal of our troops. What will happen?
Here are some of the results (in order of probability, starting with dead certain):
1. Osama and his cronies in Iraq and elsewhere will not just seem but be completely vindicated. Osama always said that America has no spine. If you just kill enough Americans, we'll give up and go home. Everyone in the Muslim world will see that Osama was right, and people who doubted him were wrong.
2. Terrorists around the world will be encouraged. Terrorism works! The noble heroes who gave their lives in suicide bombings -- and the cleverer ones who simply left roadside explosive devices and detonated them remotely when Americans were passing -- will find many more recruits, for they are in a winning cause.
3. The Iraqi people will realize that despite how it appeared for the past couple of years, we're still the same Americans who abandoned them when they rebelled against Saddam after the Gulf War. You just can't believe anything Americans promise. And what the Iraqis learn firsthand, all other people who might have been tempted to trust us will learn vicariously. Who will believe an American promise now?
4. Our own military will be profoundly demoralized. What was all that sacrifice about? The years they gave up to service in Iraq, the lives of their friends and comrades who were killed or maimed, all of it meant nothing because their leaders didn't have even a fraction of the courage they had to show every day.
5. All that terrorist money and all those explosives that were flowing into Iraq . where will they go now?
6. Without American troops in Iraq, the fledgling democracy there will be hard-pressed to survive. Their troops, not yet forged into a coherent army, will run a grave risk of fragmenting along partisan lines, with separate Kurdish, Shiite, and Sunni armies. The result? Civil war.
7. If such a civil war happens, there is little chance that Turkey and Iran will keep their hands off. Turkey will try to suppress the Kurds, Iran to promote the Shiites. The only good thing: In such an effort, Iran and Syria will have radically different goals, as Syria supports the Sunnis. There is even risk of the war spreading to involve Turkey, a NATO member, directly.
8. Even in countries that now talk against the war and rail against American aggression, if we actually do what they claim to want, and bring our troops home right away, the governments will panic as the newly emboldened Islamists within their own borders give them far more to worry about. Soon they'll be cursing us for our cowardly withdrawal.
But when you lose a war, you lose a war, and you just have to live with the consequences.
Still, shouldn't we make sure we're actually losing before we withdraw?
How Are We Really Doing in the War?
First, let's put things in perspective. Technically speaking, there is no "Iraq War," only an Iraq campaign within the wider war on terrorism, which has many parts.
The Afghanistan campaign, which is about a year farther along than the one in Iraq, has made enormous progress under even more difficult social and military circumstances than we face in Iraq -- that is, the tribalism and multiple languages in Afghanistan create deeper divisions, there is far less history of unified government, and the terrain makes it almost impossible to track down insurgents without serious help from locals.
The diplomatic effort has been enormously helped by our relentless will. With the invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq, dictatorships in the area became very alert and, except for Iran, talked a conciliatory line and some of them became genuinely cooperative in getting rid of terrorists within their own borders and cooperating with our international anti-terror efforts.
With the successful elections in Iraq and Afghanistan, the people of the Muslim world have been shown a completely different set of aspirations from the one being promised by Osama.
Most of them know, despite the propaganda pumped at them by various radical imams, that religious governments (like those of the ayatollahs in Iran, the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the vigilante squads that enforce Muslim law in Saudi Arabia) are repressive and the people under their domination are miserable.
By contrast, they see that when America invades and throws out the dictators, we really do provide an umbrella of security that allows the people of the countries we "conquer" to vote in elections and choose their own governments. We really do come as liberators. And they wonder, some of them at least, what they can do to get the Americans to invade them .
There's a lot of complaint about America in European intellectual circles, and with the relentless anti-Americanism of most European media, it's no surprise that we're unpopular in Europe. They even claim to believe that we're the source of all the problems of the world. But no one has ever successfully waged a war against stupidity, so there's nothing we can do about it. Besides, will withdrawal from Iraq suddenly make the Europeans love us?
But what does this poor opinion of us actually cost us? Most of the European governments, however they might posture about Iraq, know perfectly well that we are the most important part of any serious war against terrorism, and they are cooperating with us in many ways in the overall war against terrorism. Rhetoric aside, they are, in fact, our allies in the overall war.
The fact that our soldiers are still there, still fighting, and some of them still dying does not mean, in itself, that we have either won or lost.
Our victory over the former Iraqi government was swift and complete, in part because most Iraqi people -- including large portions of the Iraqi military -- had no desire to sacrifice their lives to maintain a monster in power.
But, as Saddam warned us before the war, within his own Sunny region of Iraq, many of the soldiers who melted away from the battlefield have continued a guerrilla war, an insurgency, against Americans as an occupying force and against the new democratic government.
Their war is also against the hated Shiites and Kurds whom the Sunnis oppressed for so long.
But in spite of their best (or worst) efforts, elections went ahead on schedule, and the people voted overwhelmingly in favor of democracy. Even the Sunnis, seeing that the insurgents were not stopping the rest of the country from establishing a new government, voted in large numbers so that they would have a voice.
The insurgency, well-funded and well-supplied as it is from across borders that are even harder to seal off than the U.S.-Mexico border, continues to wage its war of attrition against our troops and against the Iraqi people.
Meanwhile, the American occupiers have managed, despite the insurgency, not to restore the country to the condition it was in before the war, but to vastly improve on it. Power sources are more reliable water and sewage are more sanitary public schools are actually providing a genuine education there is plenty of food unemployment is reduced and wages are higher. Outside the areas of insurgency, the common people are doing better -- and they know it.
The insurgent attacks make headlines, because there is a free press to report them Saddam's regime killed far more Iraqis and terrorized them with fear of reprisals that could strike anyone, anywhere compared to him, the insurgents are just not that frightening to most Iraqis.
What about our own casualties? Of course any American casualties are more than we wish for, but when a nation goes to war, it has made the decision to expose its military to risk. Our all-volunteer army may consist of many soldiers who did not know they would be going to Iraq or staying so long -- including, of course, National Guardsmen, some of whom might have thought they would never have to go to war at all. But they have accepted the burden and are performing admirably.
What people overlook is the fact that we waged and continue to wage the least costly major war in history, in terms of human lives lost.
Start with civilian casualties: Our smart weapons weren't so perfect as to cause no collateral damage, but never has an invading army been so careful to avoid civilian casualties. We continue to fight that way, including the fact that we have taken no reprisals against whole communities in which insurgents take shelter.
Instead, we have allowed the people to make their own rational decisions. When Americans occupy part of their territory, there are no killings of civilians except accidentally during firefights when the Americans pull out of an area and the insurgents take over again, the people live in terror and anyone who is suspected of disloyalty or noncooperation is murdered. Do you think they don't notice the difference?
When any portion of the Iraqi people in the insurgent areas starts wishing we would return and throw the insurgents out, we have already won in that area.
American casualties are shocking -- emotionally to us because any of our sons and daughters who die in war are mourned but statistically shocking because they are so low.
It is true that the insurgents are getting more and more effective roadside weapons to blow up passing Americans. No matter how much armor we put on our vehicles, they are able to obtain explosives or design weapons that can pierce that armor. When we abandon the vehicles and go on foot patrol, we discover that the same explosives blow up individual soldiers just as effectively.
This is hard on the morale of our soldiers and of Americans back home, too. That's what the insurgents are counting on.
Naturally, we try to interdict as much of the enemy's supply as we can, and are constantly searching to uncover their caches of explosives before they can be used against us. But it would be simply impossible to stop all weapons from entering the country, or to find all weapons that are already there.
Victory will not consist of getting every last weapon or finding every last terrorist. That simply can't be done, though we must pursue and harass them as much as we can.
Victory will consist, and always must consist, of winning the allegiance of more and more of the people -- not to us, but to their own government.
What Does Victory Look Like?
The only way to defeat insurgents who hide among the people is to get the people to stop letting them hide.
That is happening, more and more. American troops get more and more advance warnings about ambushes and traps and explosives planted here and there. When we find arms caches, it's almost always because an Iraqi has told us where they are.
The insurgents themselves consist of a hard core of killers who can only be stopped by killing or capturing them. But surrounding them, and making their work possible, are a much larger number of people who are not as committed to the work of slaughter, people who can still change their minds and do less and less to help the insurgents -- or, more and more often, turn against them and help us and the Iraqi government defeat them.
Meanwhile, we are training the Iraqi army and trying to turn it into what it needs to be. Not just a highly skilled military, but an army that includes Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds loyally serving under a single command, in service of a nation that includes all three major groups. That is not easy, but it is happening.
Ditto with the Iraqi police. More and more of the burden (and risk) of national defense against the insurgency is being borne by citizens under arms.
Victory will not consist of killing the last terrorist and achieving total peace. Iraq will be surrounded by nations that want democracy to fail and would be delighted to see Iraq collapse in civil war as soon as American troops leave. Victory will consist of giving the Iraqi people the best possible chance to keep a democratic government and defend it against all comers.
To do that, we must gradually turn over the work of national security to the Iraqi forces, and withdraw only as it becomes clear they are effective at that task. But we have been making steady progress toward that goal.
Has This War Been Badly Run?
The charge that the Bush administration has been running the war badly, making horrible mistakes all the time, is one of the main reasons that public opinion in America is now running somewhat against the war.
So let's look at some of these much-vaunted mistakes that are being spoken of as if they were criminal.
First, let's get some perspective: Wars are filled with errors. In the American Revolution, George Washington made some doozies. He was careless about scouting out the lay of the land, and often the British knew more about the countryside Washington was defending than he did. He repeatedly committed forces to defend indefensible positions, or attack unassailable ones.
But Washington also did a brilliant job of holding the army together and getting it supplied, without exceeding the authority Congress granted him. Thus he established the tradition of civilian supremacy, while persuading the civilians to give him the wherewithal to wage a serious war.
We won that war, so Washington was a hero, and his mistakes overlooked. But he made those mistakes, and they cost lives. More lives, I might add, than we have lost in the whole of the war on terror.
What about the American Civil War? Like the American Revolution, I'm sure most of the critics of our current war would agree that that was a war we needed to fight. The union had to be preserved the slaves had to be freed.
But that war was a long litany of truly stupid moves by a seemingly endless parade of northern generals whose incompetence was only revealed by the hideous body counts at Fredericksburg, at Chancellorsville, at Manassas -- twice. Lincoln gets credit for trying to get them to fight an aggressive war but he did choose every one of those bad generals. To Lincoln's credit, at least they were bad in different ways. But many thousands of Americans died for no greater cause than to get their bad generals fired so that maybe the next one would have what it took to win the war.
What about World War II? Let's just look at the North Africa campaign. Largely fought for reasons of international politics -- Stalin needs us to get American troops on the ground right away, even if we aren't ready to invade the continent! -- North Africa was a sideshow that accomplished only two things: It made veterans out of the Americans who survived it. And it revealed the blithering stupidity of the American generals who led our troops to needless and humiliating defeats.
Those generals were fired. If we hadn't fought in North Africa, those generals might have been there at Normandy, and our chance of winning that crucial campaign would have been much lower.
Nevertheless, many thousands of soldiers -- more than we have lost in Iraq in all these years -- died in North Africa because they had bad generals.
Do we have bad generals in Iraq? As always, it's been a mixed bag. The qualities that allow an officer to rise to general rank in peacetime are rarely the same qualities as those we need in a military commander during wartime.
But there's a huge difference this time. The doctrine of the military has changed to one of a more distributed command. That is, local officers are given more discretion, at least under certain circumstances.
That means that the mistakes of egocentric incompetents at or near the top -- and there've been some of those in Iraq -- don't always translate into needless casualties at the local level.
War is full of mistakes. But it seems to me that this campaign has suffered far, far fewer errors than in any other war in American history.
Not Enough Boots on the Ground
We keep hearing that the Bush administration never committed enough troops, that with just thirty or sixty thousand more, we wouldn't be suffering so many casualties.
Maybe so, but probably not. What do you think those additional troops would do? All join hands and walk across Iraq, bagging terrorists as they go?
More troops would have meant more supply problems, more convoys, more targets for the insurgents.
It also would have meant more Americans in the faces of Iraqi civilians, more intrusion into their lives, more kicked-down doors. Larger numbers might have meant more recruits for the insurgency because of every greater resentment of the more intrusive American occupiers.
There's a point where an occupying force starts getting diminishing returns and greater danger from having larger numbers.
Besides, most of the complaints about "not enough boots" have come from generals who hate the new doctrine of distributed command. They are judging the present operation from the position of people whose ideas were rejected. The kind of war they were trained to wage would have required more soldiers. So it's hardly a surprise that you hear them complaining about all these supposed mistakes.
I'm sure there were officers in World War II who deplored the way that the new generals were ignoring horse-mounted cavalry, too.
One general was asked by Paul Bremer whether a certain number of additional troops would have made a difference. The general answered that if he had had them, he could have made Baghdad more secure.
Of course. More secure in the short run . but we're not going to win this struggle in the short run. More immediate security might well have translated into more hatred of Americans, more recruits for the insurgency, less willingness to take part in democracy, etc.
In other words, we don't know what all the consequences would have been.
Besides, where would those additional troops have come from? If we had pulled them out of Germany or Korea, or called up more National Guard, the very same critics would be screaming about how we have too many troops in Iraq, and now we have no strategic reserve and our security is endangered all over the world -- and in that case, they would have been right.
The Bush administration made a judgment call. And no one, not a single soul, knows what would actually have happened had they called it a different way.
In other words, it wasn't a mistake, it was a choice, and military historians will squabble over the might-have-beens for generations to come.
But on the ground, the new doctrine has been reaping benefits.
What the Iraqi people needed to see was not just a show of American might, not just a lot of boots and guns. They needed to see the fundamental decency of American soldiers. (That wasn't helped by the prison scandal, but in perspective, whatever wacko things that a few guards did there were nothing compared to the murders and torture that the Ba'athists conducted.)
They have seen it. It doesn't get reported by journalists holed up in safe places in the city, but incidents like this one really happen: Some American soldiers on the street of an Iraqi city are near some Iraqi schoolgirls when a truck carrying insurgents pulls up to block the intersection: An ambush!
The Americans immediately and instinctively grab the girls and put them behind them, so that the Americans are shielding the girls with their own bodies.
This is not what the anti-American propaganda says Americans will do. And the insurgents, for reasons known only to them, get back in their truck and drive on.
Instead of vast arrays of storm troopers, they see young Americans behaving decently and bravely and kindly. It's part of our strategy. It works.
There are those who say it was a horrible mistake to completely disband the Iraqi Army and start from scratch -- if we had only kept some of the trained Iraqi military, they could have been bearing the burden of defense and therefore saving American lives.
Not only that, but it was a terrible mistake to throw all the government bureaucrats out of office by banning Baath Party members from working for the government in any way.
1. We didn't dissolve the Iraqi Army. They dissolved themselves. I know of at least one case where a local American commander tried to get the Iraqi soldiers to stay in their unit it was their own officers who sent them away.
2. The Iraqi Army was not what people seem to think it was. The part of it that were highly trained were deeply permeated with Baathist ideology and were guilty of the atrocities committed against Shiites and Kurds. If we had left any of those army units intact, it would have destroyed our credibility with the vast majority of the Iraqi people.
And the parts of the Iraqi Army that were not Republican Guard were poorly trained draftees with terrible morale and little hope of being an effective fighting force against the insurgents, any more than they were effective against us.
3. Everybody in the Iraqi government had to be a Baath Party member to get promotions. There were upwards of two million Baathists. We only banned about the top 20,000 of those Baathists from government service. (They can hold other jobs we haven't been vindictive.) But if we had left those top guys in power, it would have, once again, destroyed any credibility we might have had. We would have been perceived -- correctly -- as being in bed with the old regime.
The charges that the Bush administration has lied are clearly false. Every lie they point to is, in fact, an honest mistake or a judgment call or a secret that needed to be kept for national security reasons. There has been no pattern of deception by this administration. They must be thinking of another presidency where words had floating definitions and documents were constantly being lost.
The more you know about the facts of what our government was doing, the more you realize that they have not been spying on ordinary citizens innocently going about their business. If there has been some edging toward the boundaries of civil liberties, it does not compare to what Lincoln or Wilson or FDR did.
Furthermore, the very exposure of the program has made it less effective now that our enemies know that we have been monitoring their electronics, they will find alternate means of communication. So those who are getting all hot and bothered about the "danger" of our government's actions have made us all just a little less safe from the very real danger of terrorist conspiracies.
During wartime, some whistles should not be blown.
Many have said that trying to establish democracy in Iraq is like planting wheat on stone. There are no institutions to support democracy. There is no democratic tradition to draw upon.
First, that is not, strictly speaking, true. The institutions may not look like the ones we had before we got democracy, but there are nongovernment power centers that are cooperating in the democratic experiment. And besides, we had city machines and party bosses for a lot of years, not to mention dictatorial southern sheriffs, proving that many places in America were ill prepared for democracy as recently as fifty years ago yet our more-or-less democratic government survived and has been more-or-less responsive to the will of the people.
Second, it has been vital, not just for Iraq, but for the overall war against terrorism, to offer an alternate ideology.
Osama is playing upon the people's loyalty to their religion, and their resentment of Islam's diminished role in the world. If all we offered to answer him was brute force to crush any government that supported him and other terrorists, every victory in the field would win him more recruits.
But instead we offer, in addition to the stick that we used against Saddam and against the Taliban, the carrot of democracy. We will shelter you and protect you while you create an effective government and military of your own. Muslims can, without sacrificing their faith, have the benefits of free elections and a relatively fair and free economy. You can be safe in your homes and make choices in your own life without anybody telling you whether you can own a television or shave or vote for a particular candidate.
That's a dream that will appeal to a lot of Muslims. That's why the terrorists hate our experiment in democracy. That's why the people are embracing it. Far from being a mistake, the introduction of democracy into occupied countries is the linchpin of our strategy.
Besides, humans are humans. They all want to be free -- and they all deserve to be. There is no country on earth whose citizens want to be enslaved or terrorized by their government. It is idiotic to claim that some countries "don't want" democracy. They may not want a politic system that exactly mirrors ours, but freedom? Oh, yes, they want it.
The Stupidest Decision in American History
There's a lot of competition for the title of "Stupidest Decision in American History." But if we withdraw from Iraq now, or even announce a unilateral timetable for withdrawal, I think that we will have our all-time winner.
The consequences of such a withdrawal would be immediate and hideous.
And the reasons for withdrawing are specious or false. We are not caught in a quagmire we are conducting the overall war on terror rather brilliantly, and it's working. We are indeed suffering ongoing losses, but it's at a low level, militarily speaking, and what we are winning with those lives tragically lost is a sturdy victory that will have positive ramifications throughout the Muslim world.
If we stay. If we see it through.
What Do They Think They're Doing?
Since we are not losing, it is hard to see what the people calling for American withdrawal think they are accomplishing.
Every speech by an American leader calling for immediate or early withdrawal leads quite directly to the deaths of more American soldiers. Because our success depends on proving Osama wrong, discrediting him and the other terrorist leaders, and weakening the loyalty of those on the periphery of the terrorist movement.
But every one of those speeches undoes the work of a thousand soldiers. It encourages borderline participants in the terrorist movement to stay involved, because it seems to prove that Osama is right and that makes it look like God is with him and he will prevail in the end.
That's why the terrorists trumpet every one of these speeches to each other as if they were a victory on the battlefield. Because each one of those speeches by an American leader is a victory for the terrorists on the most important battlefield they fight on -- the hearts and minds of the Muslim people.
Even if this war were being badly run, even if the Bush administration was full of liars and incompetents, even if we were losing the war, it would still be shameful for Americans to openly make statements that directly aid our terrorist enemies.
If during the Revolutionary War, members of Congress had made the kind of defeatist public statements that we're regularly hearing from some today, there is little chance that the war could have continued.
Fortunately, we have a President today who understands what winning this war requires. As long as the American people don't lose sight of the goals of this war and continue to give him a Congress that will support the war, then we will continue to make progress toward victory.
The problem is there is little chance that we will break the back of international Islamist terrorism before the end of 2008. That means that there is a very good chance that, without a pro-war incumbent, we will find ourselves with a new president who won't have Bush's spine.
Or President Bush's vision. Because for all that the Left has loved to call him dumb, the only people I hear saying truly stupid things these days are those that the Left considers smart -- or at least smarter-than-Bush.
Well, dumb-guy Bush and his team have been leading us in the best- run war in American history -- not a flawless war, but one with far fewer and less costly mistakes than the norm. (Dear Furious Letter Writers: Don't even bother arguing this point with me until you've studied the mistakes made in all our other wars so you have some kind of perspective.)
Sadly, I don't see either party advancing candidates for the presidency who show any sign of being as smart as Bush about what our national security requires.
- 28 July – An Iraqi military Mil Mi-17 helicopter crashes in a sandstorm. All five crew-members are killed.  17 April – A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter goes down about 12 miles (19 km) north of Tikrit. 7 U.S. service members are killed and 1 other injured.  21 February – An OH-58 Kiowa helicopter crashes in northern Iraq killing the two pilots on board. 
- 9 November – An OH-58 Kiowa experiences a hard landing north of Baghdad in Saladin Governorate. Two U.S. Army pilots are killed.  They were assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks.  19 September – One U.S. service member is killed and 12 others injured when a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter goes down inside of Joint Base Balad.  26 January – Two OH-58 Kiowas collide near Kirkuk while evading enemy fire, killing four soldiers. 
- 15 November – An OH-58 Kiowa Warrior strikes a tower near Mosul killing the 2 pilots.  4 October – Two American UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters collide while trying to land in Baghdad. An Iraqi soldier is killed, and two Iraqis and three Americans injured.  The incident is ascribed to mechanical failure.  18 September – A CH-47 Chinook en route to Balad from Kuwait crashes 62 miles (100 km) west of Basrah International Airport, killing seven U.S. soldiers.  1 June – A U.S. helicopter crashes south of Baghdad, injuring two soldiers. The type of helicopter is not revealed.  27 March – An Iraqi military Mil Mi-17 helicopter is shot down during heavy fighting in northern Basra.  4 March – An Iraqi military Mil Mi-17 helicopter crashes in a sandstorm south of Baiji (about 90 miles (140 km) south of Mosul in northern Iraq), killing an American airman and seven other people. 
- 2007 – Four AH-64 Apache helicopters are destroyed on the ground by Iraqi insurgent mortar fire the insurgents had made use of embedded coordinates in web-published photographs (geotagging) taken by soldiers to track the exact location of the helicopters.  20 November – A Royal Air Force HC.1 Puma ZA938 crashes. Two SAS troopers die after the troop transporter goes down in an urban area during a covert mission over Baghdad. Two other men from 22 Special Air Service Regiment are seriously injured in the crash although their condition is not thought to be life-threatening. A further seven SAS and three RAF personnel survive the impact and are rescued by Coalition forces.  22 August – A UH-60L Black Hawk 06-27077 crashes in northern Iraq, killing all 14 U.S. soldiers on board. The military says initial findings indicate that the aircraft had experienced a mechanical problem.  14 August – A CH-47D Chinook 89-00171 from B Company, 1–52 Aviation Regiment crashes near the al-Taqaddum air base west of Baghdad, killing five crew on board.  10 August – A U.S. NavyHH-60 "Rescue Hawk" makes a forced landing in Yusufiyah. The two crew members sustain non-life-threatening injuries.  31 July – An AH-64 Apache goes down after coming under fire in eastern Baghdad. The two crew members are safely extracted.  4 July – An OH-58 Kiowa 95-0002 crashes into power lines in Mosul, killing the pilot and injuring the copilot.  2 July – OH-58D Kiowa 91-0560 from 3–17 Cavalry Regiment is shot down by small arms fire along a canal south of Baghdad, in Babil Governorate. Both pilots are rescued by strapping themselves onto the stub wings of an AH-64 Apache. The helicopter is later destroyed.  29 May – OH-58D(R) Kiowa 93-0978 from B Troop, 2–6 Cavalry Regiment is shot down between Baqubah and Muqdadiyah with small arms, killing the chopper's two pilots.  15 April – Two British Aérospatiale Puma helicopters are involved in a mid-air collision near Taji, north of Baghdad. Both aircraft crash, with two personnel killed and one seriously injured.  5 April – A UH-60 Black Hawk carrying nine is shot down in Latifiya using anti-aircraft heavy machine guns, 4 were wounded.  1 March – An OH-58D Kiowa makes a hard landing south of Kirkuk, injuring both crewmembers, and becomes entangled in overhanging wires before hitting the ground.  Reports had varied whether the crash was due to a mechanical  or electronic failure  and whether it is shot down.  22 February – A UH-60 Black Hawk crashes in an area north of Baquba City during a clash between gunmen and U.S. troops.  21 February – A UH-60 Black Hawk is hit by RPG and small arms fire north of Baghdad and makes a hard landing all nine military personnel on board are rescued.  7 February – A CH-46E Sea Knight from HMM-364 is shot down by a shoulder-fired missile in al-Karma, outside Fallujah, killing all seven on board.  2 February – AH-64D Apache 02-5337 from A Company, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division shot down by a combination of gunfire and a shoulder-fired missile, near Taji, killing the two pilots.  28 January – An AH-64D Apache from 4th Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, is shot down by hostile fire during the Battle of Najaf, killing the two pilots.  25 January – A UH-60 Black Hawk is shot down by gunfire near Hit. All aboard survive the incident.  20 January – A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter crashes near Najaf. One soldier is killed.  20 January – A UH-60 Black Hawk from C Company, 1–131 Aviation Regiment  is shot down by a combination of several heavy machine guns and a shoulder-fired missile north-east of Baghdad. All 12 crew and passengers on board are killed in the incident. 
- 11 December – A CH-53E Super Stallion 164785 from HMH-465 carrying 21 personnel crashes in brownout conditions in Al Anbar Province, killing 1 and injuring 17.  Helicopter was written off.  3 December – A CH-46E Sea Knight from HMM-165 carrying 16 personnel makes an emergency landing on Lake Qadisiyah in Al Anbar Province. Four of the passengers drown in the incident.  6 November – An AH-64D Apache from A Company, 1–82nd Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB) attached to 25th Combat Aviation Brigade crashes north of Baghdad, killing the two pilots.  7 September – A CH-53D Sea Stallion (157146) from HMH-463 makes a nighttime hard landing in Al Anbar Province and is later written off.  8 August – A UH-60 Black Hawk 86-24535 from 82nd AAC (MEDEVAC) attached to 3rd MAW crashes in Anbar, killing two crew members and injuring four.  18 July – A PZL W-3WA Sokół (Polish Air Force) crashes at an air base in Al Diwaniyah, injuring 4 crew and 3 passengers.  13 July – An AH-64D Apache from 4–4th Aviation Regiment is shot down south of Baghdad. The two pilots survive.  27 May – An AH-1W SuperCobra 164591 from HMLA-169 crashes into Lake Habbaniyah, killing the pilot and a maintenance ground crew member on board.  14 May – An AH-6M Little Bird (OH-6 Cayuse) from the 1–160th SOAR is shot down during combat operations in Yusufiyah, southwest of Baghdad, killing the two crewmen.  6 May – A Westland Lynx AH.7 (Royal Navy) from 847 Squadron is shot down with a SA-14 over Basra, killing five crewmen and crashing into a house.  1 April – An AH-64D Apache from 4–4th Aviation Regiment is shot down southwest of Baghdad, killing the two crewmen.  16 January – An AH-64D Apache 03-5385 from C Company, 1–4th Aviation Regiment is shot down north of Baghdad, killing the two pilots.  13 January – An OH-58D Kiowa 95-0021 from 1–10th Aviation Regiment is shot down outside Forward Operating Base Courage, near Mosul, killing the two pilots.  7 January – A UH-60L Black Hawk 91-26346 from B Company, 1–207th Aviation Regiment crashes near Tal Afar in bad weather, killing 12 people on board. Reports suggest it was not shot down. 
- 26 December – An AH-64D Apache 03-5375 from 1–4th Aviation Regiment collides with another Apache near Baghdad, both crewmembers are killed.  Second AH-64 was not destroyed. 2 November – An AH-1W SuperCobra 165321 from HMLA-369 shot down near Ramadi, killing the two pilots.  29 August – An OH-58D #90-00377 from 4th SQDN 3ACR was engaged by enemy fire. TF Freedom pilot killed by SA fire near Tal Afar. The A/C took rounds and the PI was wounded and able to recover but had to make an emergency landing north of the city, he was unable to fly back. A/C was recovered by SP and MTP.  12 August – An AH-64A Apache 90-0442 from C Company, 8–229th Aviation Regiment crashes near Kirkuk, injuring both crewmembers. Helicopter is written off.  19 July – AH-64D Apache 02-5319 from 1–3rd Aviation Regiment crashes in Iraq, injuring the two pilots. Helicopter is written off.  2 July – A CH-47D Chinook 85-24335 from C Company/159th Aviation Brigade destroyed in a fire on the ground at Ramadi Camp.  27 June – An AH-64D Apache from 3–3rd Aviation Regiment is shot down by a shoulder-fired missile near Mishahda, killing the two pilots.  31 May – An Italian AB-412 helicopter crashes near Nasiriyah, killing the four soldiers on board.  26 May – An OH-58D(I) Kiowa 93-0989 from 1–17th Cavalry Regiment is shot down with small arms near Baquba, killing the two crewmen.  21 May – A CH-47D Chinook 87-00102 from B Company, 4–123rd Aviation Regiment crashes in Iraq due to failure of both engines. Five crewmen injured. Helicopter was blown in-place.  17 April – AH-64D Apache 03-5370 from 4th Squadron, 3d ACR makes hard landing near Baghdad.  3 March – A Westland Lynx mk.8 (Royal Navy) crashes during Gulf exercise. The three crew members survived. The Lynx was repaired and was later deployed to HMS Nottingham.  28 January – An OH-58 Kiowa 96-0019 from 1–7th Cavalry Regiment crashes in Baghdad after hitting electrical wires, killing the two crewmen.  26 January – A CH-53E Super Stallion 164536 from HMH-361crashed in Al-Anbar province, killing 30 U.S. Marines and one Navy sailor. 
- 15 December – A PZL W-3WA Sokół 0902 from 25 BKP crashes near Karbala due to pilot error three Polish soldiers are killed and four injured.  9 December – AH-64A Apache 91-0012 from A Company, 1–151st Aviation Regiment hit a UH-60L Black Hawk 82-23668 from N Company/4-278th ACR on the ground at a Mosul base, killing the two Apache pilots and wounding four soldiers on board the Black Hawk. Both helicopters destroyed.  14 November – UH-60A Black Hawk 87-24602-from the 11th Aviation Regiment-Medevac northwest of Baghdad sustained heavy machine gun fire and multiple system malfunctions that required emergency landing at Camp Taji. All nine on board were not injured. 12 November – UH-60A Black Hawk from 1–106th Aviation Regiment was engaged by small arms fire and shot down by an RPG hitting the cockpit while flying at low altitude northeast of Baghdad, wounding three of the four crew members.  The severely wounded co-pilot Tammy Duckworth would become a Senator of the United States for Illinois in 2017.  11 November – AH-1W SuperCobra 161021 from HMLA-169 is shot down by RPG and small arms fire near Fallujah. It is destroyed by Iraqi rebel forces, crew recovered intact.  9 November – US OH-58D Kiowa shot down by rocket fire over Fallujah.  16 October – Two OH-58D Kiowas 94-0172 and 97-0130 from 1–25th Aviation Regiment collide near Baghdad, killing two pilots aboard the first craft, and wounding two aboard the other.  23 September – AH-64D Apache 02-5292 from B Company, 1–227th Aviation Regiment, 4th BCT, 1st Cavalry Division crashes near Tallil AB, Iraq when pilot loses control following tail rotor problem.  21 September – UH-60A Black Hawk 87-24579 from A Company, 1–244th Aviation Regiment crashes near Nasiriyah, wounding four crew members.  8 September – CH-46E Sea Knight 153372 Shot down by RPG Fire South of Camp Fallujah, crashes and is burned out near Al-Buaisa. All four crew members injured.  4 September – OH-58D Kiowa (3–17 CAV) shot down over Tal Afar, Iraq both pilots safe. Incident highlighted in TV Documentary Kiowa Down.  11 August – CH-53E Super Stallion 164782 from HMM-166 (Reinforced) crashes in the Al-Anbar province, killing two Marines and wounding three others. 8 August – OH-58D(I) Kiowa 96-0015 made emergency landing north of Baghdad after being hit by RPG. Crew unhurt.  5 August – UH-1N Huey 160439 from HMM-166 shot down near Najaf crew wounded.  Helicopter was later written off.  28 July – a USMC AH-1W SuperCobra was hit by ground fire while supporting ground operations in Anbar province, killing the pilot, Lt. Col. David S. Greene. The copilot managed to land the helicopter.  19 July – near Basra, a British HC.1 Aérospatiale Puma XW221 of 33 RAF Squadron crashes, killing one crewman and injuring two others.  24 June – AH-1W SuperCobra 163939 shot down in Fallujah pilots safe.  12 June – OH-58D(R) Kiowa 94-0171 from A Company, 1–25th Aviation Regiment crashes north of Baghdad both pilots safe.  26 April – OH-58D(I) Kiowa 91-0567 from P Troop, 4th Squadron, 2d ACR made emergency landing at Kut after engine problem and burned out. Both crewmembers safe.  16 April – CH-47D Chinook 92-0301 from C Company/193rd Aviation Brigade (Hawaii Army National Guard) makes hard landing during sandstorm and was later destroyed. Crew memberssafe.  12 April – MH-53M Pave Low 69-5797 of 16th SOW/20th SOS shot down by RPG near Fallujah, three on board are wounded. Helicopter was later destroyed.  11 April – An AH-64D Apache 02-5301 from C Company, 1–227 Aviation Regiment, 4th BCT, 1st Cavalry Division shot down west of Baghdad, killing both pilots. 7 April – OH-58D Kiowa crashes near Baquba after being hit by ground fire pilots rescued. 30 March – Two AH-1W SuperCobras 163947 and 164595 of HMLA-775 collide near Al Taqaddum, Iraq pilots rescued. Both helicopters destroyed.  19 March – AH-6J, 25364, 1-160th, shot down vicinity of Amiriyah by SA-XX while conducting precision close air support during day ops. Both pilots rescued by Special Operations forces. 11 March – CH-46E Sea Knight 153389 from HMM-161 makes hard landing in brownout conditions in Al Anbar province took additional damage during transportation and later was written off.  25 February – OH-58D(R) Kiowa 97-0124 crashes in Iraq with 4th Squadron, 3d ACR, after striking electrical wires west of Baghdad, killing the two pilots.  25 January – An OH-58D Kiowa (93-0957) from 3–17 Cavalry Regiment crashes into the Tigris River during a rescue mission, after hitting electrical wires, killing both pilots.  23 January – An OH-58D Kiowa (93-0950) from 3–17 Cavalry Regiment crashes just after take-off outside Mosul, killing both pilots.  13 January – AH-64 Apache from 4th Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment shot down near Habbaniyah, pilots rescued.  8 January – A UH-60 Black Hawk (86-24488) from 571st Medical Company (Air Ambulance) shot down near Fallujah, killing 9 crew and passengers.  2 January – An OH-58D Kiowa 90-0370 from 1–17 Cavalry Regiment (assigned to 1–82 Aviation Brigade) shot down near Fallujah, killing a pilot.  1 January – UH-60L Black Hawk 93-26514 from 5–101st Aviation Regiment makes hard landing. 
- 11 December – AH-64D Apache from 1–101st Aviation Regiment crash-lands due to the APU clutch failing and starting a fire in flight and subsequently is burned to the ground 15 miles (24 km) south of Mosul. The pilots survived.  9 December – An OH-58 Kiowa helicopter is hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, forcing a crash landing. Both crewmembers survive.  25 November – OH-58D Kiowa 96-0040 crashes after its tail rotor struck ground.  21 November – OH-58D Kiowa 92-0605 from D Troop, 1–17 Cavalry Regiment written off, reason unknown.  15 November – Two UH-60L Black Hawks from 4–101st Aviation Regiment(93-26531) and 9–101st Aviation Regiment(94-26548) collide and crash after one aircraft coming under fire 6 and 11 soldiers (crew and passengers) on board are killed, respectively, and 5 others on board the first AC are injured in Mosul.  7 November – UH-60L Black Hawk 92-26431 from 5–101 Aviation Regiment shot down by a MANPAD near Tikrit all four crew, and both passengers from the Department of the Army are killed.  2 November – near Fallujah, CH-47D Chinook 91-0230 of Detachment 1/F Company/106th Aviation Brigade shot down with an SA-7 missile 16 soldiers killed, 26 wounded.  30 October – AH-64D Apache 00-5211 (ex AH-64A 86-9009) of 6–6th Cavalry Regiment crashes near Balad AAF, Iraq, and burned out. Both crewmembers are safe.  25 October – UH-60L Black Hawk 96-26653 From B co. 3-158 Avn. Regt. of the 12th Avn. BDE crashes and burns out after being hit by an SA-7 missile near Tikrit, 1 soldier injured.  23 October – AH-64D Apache 00-5219 (ex AH-64A 86-8972) from 1–101st Aviation Regiment crashes in Iraq while approaching to land at Kirkuk. The APU clutch failed and started a fire in flight. Aircraft landed safely but fuselage was almost completely burnt through.  13 October – OH-58D Kiowa (93-0991) from C Troop, 1–17th Cavalry Regiment crashes inside Iraq, pilots survive.  7 October – OH-58D Kiowa (92-0578) crashes inside Iraq, pilots survive.  2 September – A soldier is killed as a UH-60L Black Hawk from 2–501st Aviation Regiment rolls over during a nighttime troop insertion southwest of Baghdad.  28 August – CH-47D Chinook 88-0098 from F Company/159th Aviation Brigade written off in Iraq.  14 August – AH64D - 01-05241 (ex AH-64A 87-0507) - IRAQ - C Co, 1stBattalion, 4th Aviation, 4th ID Crashed while performing a maintenance test flight. Cause was the Intermediate Gearbox. Both pilots survived, but had extensive back injuries. The aircraft was cannibalized for parts and used as a trainer for ground personnel to extract downed aviators.  19 June – AH-64A Apache 87-0498 of R Troop, 4th Squadron, 3d ACR makes hard landing following inflight fire. Helicopter is written off.  12 June – AH-64D Apache of 101st Aviation Brigade helicopter shot down near Baghdad, both crewmembers survive.  19 May – CH-46E Sea Knight 156424 of HMM-364 crashes in Al-Hilla, killing four Marines another Marine drowns trying to rescue the crew.  9 May – UH-60A Black Hawk 86-24507 of 571st Medical Company (AA) crashes into Tigris River, the vicinity of Samarrah, Iraq killing two pilots and crew chief. One more soldier was injured.  6 May – OH-58D Kiowa 94-0163 of N Troop, 4th Squadron, 3d ACR crashes near Al Asad and burns out. One crewmember injured.  30 April – A Marine CH-53E Super Stallion 162486 of HMH-465 crashes near Najaf and burns out. Crew escaped.  14 April – A Marine AH-1W SuperCobra 163940 of HMLA-169 crashes near Samarra, injuring both pilots. Helicopter was later destroyed.  6 April – UH-60 Black Hawk 93-26522 from B Company, 4–101st Aviation Regiment crashes inside Iraq, crew survive.  5 April – AH-1W SuperCobra 161020 of HMLA-267 crashes, killing both pilots.  2 April – A UH-60L Black Hawk (94-26557) of B Company, 2–3rd Aviation Regiment is shot down near Karbala, killing 7 soldiers and injuring 4 more.  31 March – AH-64D Apache 84-24201 of C Company, 1–3rd Aviation Regiment crashes on landing in Iraq, injuring the two pilots. Helicopter was written off.  30 March – UH-1N Huey 160620 of HMLA-169 crashes three die.  28 March – Two AH-64D Apaches, 97-5032 of A Company and 98-5068 of B Company, 2–101st Aviation Regiment crash in Iraq one pilot injured.  28 March – OH-58D Kiowa 95-0006 from A Troop, 2–17th Cavalry Regiment crashes in Iraq, pilots survive.  27 March – OH-58D Kiowa 95-0024 from C Troop, 2–17th Cavalry Regiment crashes in Iraq, pilots survive.  26 March – UH-1N Huey 160444 of HMLA-269 makes hard landing in sandstorm and is written off.  23 March – AH-64D Apache 85-25407 from C Company, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 4th BCT, 1st Cavalry Division shot down during attack on Republican Guard two pilots taken prisoner.  Helicopter was supposedly destroyed by Coalition forces, but Iraqi TV showed an AH-64 being taken to Baghdad on a low loader.  22 March – Two Royal Navy ASaC.7 Sea Kings XV650 'CU-182' and XV704 'R-186' of 849 Squadron/A Flight collide over the Persian Gulf, killing six British crew members and one American.  20 March – CH-46E Sea Knight 152579 of HMM-268 crashes in Kuwait 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) from Iraqi border, killing eight British marines of 42 CDO and four U.S. Marines.  19 March – MH-53M Pave Low 67-14993 of 20th SOS carrying special forces crashes in southern Iraq. No one is killed. The craft was later destroyed to prevent capture. 
- 26 November 2008 – A US Army C-23 Sherpa from 2–641 Aviation Brigade made a wheels up landing at al-Kut, while operating with Task Force 34. None of the four-man crew and seven passengers were injured.  12 November 2008 – A USAF F-16 caught fire on takeoff. The pilot survived.  27 June 2008 – A C-130 Hercules is damaged beyond repair in an emergency landing northeast of Baghdad International Airport. All 38 on board were transported to nearby Sather Air Base for medical evaluation. The aircraft was significantly damaged in the landing, and was deemed a write-off and destroyed.  7 January 2008 – Two F/A-18 fighter jets operating from USS Harry S. Truman crashed during an Iraq-related mission in the Gulf. All three pilots were rescued. 
- 16 July 2007 – A US F-16, serial 92-3901, from the 35th FW crashed. The pilot survived. The crash was attributed to under-inflation of the landing gear tires.  15 June 2007 – A US F-16, serial 89-2031, from the Ohio ANG crashed on takeoff at night. The pilot, Maj. Kevin Sonnenberg, was killed. The cause was not hostile fire and is believed to be pilot spatial disorientation.  12 February 2007 – A British C-130 Hercules is destroyed by coalition forces after being heavily damaged in a night landing in southern Iraq two are injured. The aircraft was struck by four improvised explosive devices placed by insurgents, upon landing at a temporary runway in Maysaan Province. 
- 27 November 2006 – F-16CG, serial 90-0776, from the 524th Fighter Squadron crashes near Fallujah while on a low-altitude ground-strafing run. The pilot, Major Troy Gilbert, was killed. His body was taken by insurgents. Partial remains were recovered in 2006 and in September 2012.  The final remains were recovered in 2016. 
- 2 May 2005 – Two F/A-18C Block 39/40 Hornet fighter jets of VMFA-323, BuNos 164721 and 164732, collide over south-central Iraq, during a sortie from USS Carl Vinson, killing the two pilots.  30 January 2005 – A British C-130K Hercules C.1P XV179 is shot down north of Baghdad, killing 9 Royal Air Force crew and one British soldier. 
- 29 December 2004 – An American Special ForcesMC-130H Hercules (c/n 382-5054, 16th SOW, 15th SOS) is written off while landing on Q-West airfield near Mosul, Iraq, though no one was hurt. The pilot was unaware a large pit had been dug in the runway. 
- 12 June 2003 – F-16CG A United States Air Force F-16C Block 40B Fighting Falcon 88-0424 of 388th FW/421st FS crashes near Baghdad due to fuel starvation. The pilot ejected safely.  8 April 2003 – A-10A 78-0691 of 124th Wing/190th FS shot down by Iraqi Roland SAM pilot survived.  7 April 2003 – F-15E 88-1694/SJ of 4th FW/335th FS crashed on a combat bombing mission near Tikrit, Iraq. Both the pilot and weapon systems officer (WSO) were killed.  2 April 2003 – F/A-18C Block 46 Hornet 164974 of VFA-195 is shot down by a US Patriot missile, killing the pilot.  1 April 2003 – F-14A Tomcat 158620 'NF-104' of VF-154 crashes the pilots survive.  1 April 2003 – AV-8B+(R) Harrier 165391 of HMM-263 crashes off USS Nassau the pilot was rescued.  1 April 2003 – S-3A Viking 160584 of VS-38 crashes off USS Constellation two pilots survive.  23 March 2003 – Tornado GR.4A ZG710 'D' of 13 Squadron is shot down by a US Patriot missile, killing the pilot and navigator, both from 9 Squadron. 
Several civilian and other aircraft have been shot down or crashed in Iraq as well:
- 17 July 2009 – An MD-530F contracted to Xe (formerly Blackwater) crashes at Butler Range outside Baghdad. Two pilots died. The cause was not known. 
- 7 March 2007 – A privately contracted Mil Mi-8 helicopter from Georgia crashes due to technical failures, injuring its three Ukrainian crewmembers, and several Iraqi passengers. 
- 31 January 2007 – A Blackwater USABell 412 helicopter is shot down under fire near Karma during a flight between Al Hillah and Baghdad. A US military helicopter rescues the passengers and crew. 
- 23 January 2007 – A Blackwater USA MD 530F helicopter is shot down by hostile fire in Baghdad. All of the 5-man crew are killed in the incident, likely executed after surviving the crash. One survivor was also killed under unclear circumstances, when another Blackwater helicopter descended to the crash site. 
- 9 January 2007 – A MoldovanAntonov An-26 crashes near Balad in the 2007 Balad aircraft crash, killing 34 of the 35 on board. 
- 30 May – A Comp Air 7SL aircraft with the Iraqi Air Force crashes in eastern Iraq, killing four Americans and an Iraqi on board. 
- 21 April – A BulgarianMil Mi-8 is shot down north of Baghdad, killing the 11 civilians on board. Casualties consisted of six American contractors, three Bulgarian pilots – one of whom was executed shortly after the crash – and two Fijian gunners. 
Summing up the above list we have the following tables:
137 (52 to hostile fire including 4 AH-64 Apaches destroyed on the ground by mortar fire)
Iraq Timeline: 2007
By Beth Rowen
Lt. Gen. David Petraeus is named the top commander in Iraq. He replaces Gen. George Casey, Jr. Adm. William Fallon succeeds Gen. John Abizaid as the head of Central Command.
In a nationally televised address, President Bush announces an additional 20,000 troops will be deployed to Baghdad to try to stem the sectarian fighting. He also says Iraq will take control of its forces and commit to a number of "benchmarks," including increasing troop presence in Baghdad and passing oil-revenue-sharing and jobs-creation plans.
Despite an increase in violence in Bagdhad, Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki called the security offensive a "dazzling success."
The House of Representatives votes, 246?182, in favor of a nonbinding resolution that expresses support for U.S. troops but criticizes President Bush?s ?surge? that calls for some 20,000 additional troops to be sent to Iraq. Seventeen Republicans voted to adopt the resolution.
In a policy shift, U.S. officials say they will participate in high-level talks with Iran and Syria at an upcoing meeting about Iraq.
The British military transfers military control of Basra to the Iraqi government. It was the last region that was still under British control.
Iraq is recovering from the reign of terror that was brought on by Saddam Hussein. The country has rebuilt some of its infrastructure to allow for an exponential growth opportunity in the oil industry. The government of Iraq has a plan to deal with ISIS to create additional financial stability for the nation.
- Stable and Solid Monetary Policy
- Competitive and Progressive Local Finance Sector
- Flexible and Adaptive Organization
- Competent and Skilled Human Resources
- Constructive and Integrated Communication Channels and Business Relationships
“The Central Bank of Iraq must adopt a monetary policy that stabilizes the value of local currency in order to build and preserve a stable financial system to establish and promote a free market economy based on competition, sustainable development, and business opportunities.”
The Central Bank Act – Clause (3)
There are issues that need to be addressed before Iraq can participate normally in the global economy. Iraq needs civil peace and a legitimate government. The Hague and Geneva Convention limits on the restructuring of the economy will need to be followed. Iraq still needs a solid monetary system plus more market-oriented finance and banking systems. The industrial sector must be focused on global best practices paying particular attention to both productivity and to relative prices. Most importantly, Iraq must ensure the new government can not again use oil revenues to reestablish an authoritarian regime.
Janaury 2006 in Iraq - History
Here are the updated graphs of US war deaths in Iraq for January, with 62 US fatalities during the month. As always, I’m comparing the military casualties to those from the Vietnam war at a similar point in each war’s political lifetime (which some have charged is misleading see disclaimer below).
The data come from the advanced search tool at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund site, and from Lunaville’s page on Iraq coalition casualties. The figures are for the number of US dead per month, without regard to whether the deaths were combat-related.
The first graph shows the first 35 months of each war. (Click on any image for a larger version.)
Next, the chart that gives the US death toll for the entire Vietnam war:
Disclaimer: Every so often someone comes along and says I’m guilty of intellectual dishonesty by comparing apples to oranges in these graphs. For the record, here’s what I am not arguing with these graphs:
- I’m not saying that Iraq is somehow deadlier per soldier-on-the-ground than Vietnam. For both wars, the number of fatalities in any given month tracks pretty closely with the number of troops deployed (along with the intensity of the combat operations being conducted). There are more troops in Iraq today than were in Vietnam during the “corresponding” parts of the graphs. Similarly, for later years in Vietnam, when the monthly death toll exceeded the current Iraq numbers, there were many more troops in place.
- I am not saying that Iraq is somehow “worse” than Vietnam, and have not chosen the starting dates for the respective graphs out of a desire to make a dishonest argument to that effect. I include the first graph mainly because I wanted a zoomed-in view of the Iraq data. And I include the second graph, which shows the entire span of the Vietnam war, because I want to be clear about what the data show about overall death tolls — where any rational assessment would have to conclude that, at least so far, Iraq has been far less significant (at least in terms of US combat fatalities) than Vietnam.
I was just curious how the “death profile” of the two wars compared, and how those deaths played out in terms of their political impact inside the US. For that reason, I chose as the starting point for each graph the first fatality that a US president acknowledged (belatedly, in the case of the Vietnam graph, since US involvement in the war “began” under Kennedy, but the acknowledgement was made only later by Johnson) as being the result of the war in question.
As ever, you are free to draw your own conclusions. And for that matter, you’re free to draw your own graphs, if you have a way of presenting the information that you believe would be more honest. In that case, feel free to post a comment with a URL to your own version. Thanks.
This entry was posted by jbc on Monday, February 20th, 2006 at 11:32 am and is filed under the_usa, war. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
12 Responses to “Iraq War Dead for January, 2006”
Strangely enough(?), you made adjustments to your disclaimer just as the molehill is about to reach the mountain. Such changes were predicted by posters when you first posted the graphs – so those folks didn’t “lie.”
I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve adjusted the disclaimer in my ongoing effort to say clearly what it is I am (and what I am not) trying to imply by posting these graphs, but if my changes have been predicted in the past by critics, I’m not aware of it. If you want to state more clearly what it is you think I’m doing, and what it is you think it demonstrates, then maybe we can engage in some sort of dialog.
Could you create a graph showing the relative death tolls PER CAPITA of soldiers. In otherwords, if we have more troops in Iraq than we had at the time in Vietnam, then show the ratio of deaths to soldiers in the field for each conflict over time.
People have asked for that before, but I’ve never been able to find good data on the month-by-month troop levels for Vietnam. From what data I have found, my sense is that the monthly death toll tracks pretty closely with current troop levels for each conflict. In other words, neither war is particularly more deadly for a given number of soldiers than the other — though in each case, death rates are also closely tied to what sort of activity is happening at the time. During the first battle of Fallujah, for example, or during the Tet Offensive, casualty rates go way up.
Do you suspect we are about to experience a spike in the conflict? I don’t think we are, but it’s possible if Bush widens the war to include either Syria or Iran, but currently we aren’t fighting on a “front” in the same way they were in Vietnam. We’re now more in a police action rather than a war.
Dunno. If the latest violence is a sign that the long-predicted civil war is getting going in earnest, I could see that leading to an intensification of fighting and a spike in US deaths, but I could just as easily see it leading to a drop in US deaths as the insurgents focus more on killing Iraqis and the US hangs back and doesn’t try to intervene. Mostly, though, I think things are likely to continue more or less as they have been going.
The number of wounded in Viet Nam was about equal to the number of deaths. In Iraq, the number of wounded far exceeds the number of deaths. I think that the two numbers need to be compared in any discussion because there are, because of advanced medical care, fewer deaths now than 30 years ago. The extended cost of the war in Iraq due to the permanent injuries and future medical costs associated with the treatment of those injuries will be a presently uncalculated cost that will burden the next several generations … more deficits created by this Administration.
As a Vietnam veteran I’d like to point out one difference between the period between December 1961 – December 1964 in Vietnam and March 2003 – present in Iraq. During the first three and a half years of the Vietnam war (1961 – 1964) U.S. troops were there in an advisory role. U.S. combat units were not committed to Vietnam until March 1965 when the U.S. marines landed in Danang, and it wasn’t until summer of that year that the first Army divisions arrived. In Iraq, combat units were committed at the biginning of the war. Therefore, comparing casualties for the period between 1961 – 1964 and 2003 – 2005 is somewhat misleading because of the difference in the missions of those two periods.
Despite the fact that there were more troops in Vietnam at the time, a more comparable period would be between 1965 – 1968 and 2003 -2005.
You said, “The number of wounded in Viet Nam was about equal to the number of deaths.”
I’m not sure what you mean, and maybe I’m misinterpreting you statement, but in Vietman there were over 58,000 deaths and over 300,000 wounded.
“you’re free to draw your own graphs, if you have a way of presenting the information that you believe would be more honest. In that case, feel free to post a comment”
Maybe a more “honest” way to assess fatality numbers from the two was would be to look at the average fatalities per day for the entire course of each war. This way no one can accuse you of comparing apples and oranges by comparing vastly different phases of the wars with each other.
Here are the numbers that I calculated:
Length: 2,800 days
Deaths per day: 20.795
Length: 1,100 days
Deaths per day: 2.093
There were 10 times more deaths per day, on average, in the Vietnam War than in the Iraq war. I agree that this doesn’t by any means imply that the Vietnam war was somehow “worse” but I think it does give a feel for the the difference in magnitude between the numbers of lives lost in the two conflicts.
The length of each war in the above data is based on the duration of major combat operations (August 1965 to March 1973 for Vietnam, March 2003 to Present for Iraq). Even if the end of “major combat operations” for Iraq is considered to be the infamous “Mission Accomplished” day there is still a huge disparity between both wars:
Iraq War (up to “mission accomplished”):
Length: 42 days (3/19/03 to 5/1/03)
Deaths per day: 3.262
Still many times more lives were lost each day, on average, in Vietnam than during the phase of the Iraq war in which most of the intense fighting occurred.
This is just another way of looking at the figures.
Yeah. Or you could just point to the total numbers of deaths so far, and eliminate any whining over where to put the beginning and endpoints: Iraq (to date): 2,303. Vietnam: 58,226.
December 18, 2005: New York Times Columnist Again Predicts Resolution in Iraq within Six Months
Continuing his trend of predicting a resolution in Iraq within six months—a trend that has been ongoing since at least November 2003 (see May 6-11, 2006)—New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman says on CBS, “We’ve teed up this situation for Iraqis, and I think the next six months really are going to determine whether this country is going to collapse into three parts or more or whether it’s going to come together.” [CBS News, 12/18/2005 Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, 5/16/2006]
Janaury 2006 in Iraq - History
/>1st Battalion 22nd Infantry />
Battles and History
The Battalion organization has always existed in the US Army, though its size and role has differed over time.
The term Infantry "Battalion" has evolved to mean an organization comprised of 3 or 4 Companies of Infantry
and additional supporting units, and is directly subordinate to Regimental Command.
Under the Reorganization Objective Army Divisions (ROAD) plan of 1962-1964 the Army discontinued the use of
Regimental Command as the basic command structure within Brigades and instituted Battalion Command as the
basic command structure. This allowed each Battalion to be an independent entity, which in turn allowed each Battalion
to be assigned to a different Division if the Army deemed it necessary.
From around the beginning of the twentieth century to 1963 the 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry traditionally consisted
of Companies A, B, C and D of the 22nd Infantry Regiment. During that time the structure of Battalions within the Regiment
was formally adhered to however, before that time, Battalions were formed as needed, without regard to any formal structure.
For historical purposes, therefore, in order to present the history of 1st Battalion,
it is necessary to present the history of the Regiment
before the time when Battalion organization was rigidly defined.
A great deal of the early history of other Battalions of the Regiment is therefore presented on this website.
Beginning with the year (circa) 1966 only the history of 1st Battalion is presented.
The 22nd Infantry advances under fire, Battle of Chippewa, July 5, 1814.
Regulars, By God ! ----------------- Deeds Not Words
The 22nd Infantry Regiment was part of General Winfield Scott's Brigade in 1814. Because of a shortage of blue cloth, the Brigade went into battle
against the British at Chippewa, wearing jackets made of the only cloth available, in a "buff" or gray color. Because of their gray jackets,
the British commander, Major General Phineas Riall, mistakenly supposed them to be local militia.
However, as the 22nd and other units of the Brigade advanced through artillery and musket fire with unwavering military precision,
General Riall corrected his mistake with the cry "Those are regulars, by God".
The Regiment embraced the enemy General's description, and "Regulars, by God" became the 22nd's unofficial motto.
The official motto of the Regiment is "Deeds Not Words", and was approved in 1923, along with the Regiment's Distinctive Unit Insignia.
An early use of "Deeds Not Words" can be found in General Orders No. 64 of the 22nd Infantry Regiment, dated December 10, 1894.
This order was actually the formal farewell letter to the Regiment, by the outgoing Regimental Commander, COL Peter T. Swaine.
See Insignia & Memorabilia on this website, for photos of a letter written by an officer of the Regiment, dated 1903,
using a stationery heading with the motto "Deeds Not Words".
A theory of the origin of this motto comes from Bob Babcock, President of the 22nd Infantry Regiment Society:
"In reading the history of the 22nd Infantry Regiment in the Philippines, I found a reference to General Orders No. 10, dated June 4th, 1900.
The order read, 'Captain George J. Godfrey, 22nd U.S. Infantry. Killed in action. Shot through the heart. His military record is closed.
A brilliant career ended. Deeds, silent symbols more potent than words proclaimed his soldier worth..'
My speculation is that when official regimental crests and motto's were established in the 1920's, this order eulogizing a great infantryman
who had fought in Cuba and the Philippines played a part in the establishment of our official motto - Deeds Not Words!
And our Regiment has lived up to the motto."
1st Battalion Colors
Synopsis of 1st Battalion History:
Originally authorized on June 26, 1812, the 22nd Infantry Regiment was one of a number of additional Regiments of Infantry
consitutued by Congress on that date, in an attempt to quickly rebuild the depleted United States Army.
Recruitment was done in Pennsylvania. The Regiment fought in eight battles during the War of 1812.
Its final engagement of the war was the seige and assault of Fort Erie in August and September 1814.
Inactivation of the Regiment was done after the War of 1812, by an Act of Congress approved March 3, 1815,
when its assets were incorporated into the 2nd Infantry Regiment.
The 22nd Infantry was technically re-constituted on 3 May 1861 in the Regular Army as Companies A and I, 2nd Battalion, l3th Infantry.
It organized in May 1865 at Camp Dennison, OH. It reorganized and was redesignated on 21 September 1866 as Companies A and I, 22nd Infantry.
Companies A and I, 22nd Infantry consolidated on 4 May 1869 and the consolidated unit was designated as Company A, 22nd Infantry.
The Regiment was brought up to strength, as the remaining Companies were filled and designated.
The 22nd Infantry served in five major campaigns of the Indian Wars of the late 19th century.
It was the first American Army unit to set foot on Cuban soil in the Spanish American War and fought with distinction at the battle of Santiago.
It served in six campaigns during the years 1899-1905 in the Philippine Insurrection and Moro Wars.
The Regiment was stationed at the Presidio in California, and served in the relief efforts during the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.
It served in Alaska from 1908-1910.
From 1910 to 1917 the 22nd Infantry saw duty along the Mexican border. From 1917-1922 the Regiment was assigned to Fort Jay
and other forts in New York, and guarded the Port of New York during the First World War.
The 22nd Infantry was assigned on 24 March 1923 to the 4th Division [later redesignated as the 4th Infantry Division].
The 1st Battalion was inactivated on 30 June 1927 at Fort McPherson, GA.
The 1st Battalion reactivated on 1 June 1940 at Fort McClellan, AL, as part of the 4th Infantry Division.
During World War II the 22nd Infantry landed on D-Day at Utah beach, and fought through five campaigns into Germany itself.
It was inactivated on 1 March l946 at Camp Butner, NC.
The 22nd Infantry was reactivated 15 July l947 at Fort Ord, CA. As part of the 4th Infantry Division the 22nd served in Germany from 1951-1956.
It reorganized and was redesignated on 1 April 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company,
1st Battle Group, 22nd Infantry and remained assigned to the 4th Infantry Division (with its organic elements being concurrently constituted and activated).
It was reorganized and redesignated on 1 October l963 as the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry.
The Regulars of 1/22nd Infantry arrived in Vietnam in 1966, fighting in thirteen campaigns of that war.
Three Battalions of the 22nd originally went to VN with the 4th Division, but the 2nd & 3rd Battalions were soon transferred to the 25th Division.
The 1st Battalion remained with the 4th Division until the Division left VN, and then came under command of IFFV (1st Field Force).
1st Battalion earned the distinction of being the longest serving unit of the 22nd in Vietnam, 1966-1972.
During the Tet Offensive, the 1st Battalion of the 22nd earned the Valorous Unit Award, during the fighting in the Provincial Capital of Kontum.
Throughout its tenure in VN, the 1st Battalion performed its missions as a true "straight-leg" Light Infantry Battalion.
In late 1970, after the Battalion was pulled out of the jungle of the Central Highlands of II Corps, the Republic of Vietnam awarded the 1st Battalion,
for the second time during its service in Vietnam, the RVN Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation, many years before the Republic of Vietnam gave this
award as a blanket award to anyone who served in VN.
1st Battalion left Vietnam in 1972 and was stationed at Fort Carson, CO as part of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized).
It inactivated on August 1984 at Fort Carson, CO and was relieved from its assignment to the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized).
It reactivated in May 1986 at Fort Drum, NY and was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division (Light).
1st Battalion served in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in Florida, saw duty in Somalia
and was instrumental in returning President Aristede to power in Haiti in the 1990's.
Relieved in February 1996 from this assignment to the 10th Mountain Division (Light),
the 1st Battalion was reassigned to the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Hood, TX.
1-22 Infantry became part of the Army's Test Division, and was known as Force XXI, experimenting with advanced technology
and tactics, evaluating and adpapting them to change the Army into a twenty-first century military organization.
The 1st Battalion became the Army's first all-digital Battalion, and took that technology with it to Iraq
during Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003-2004. The 1st Battalion returned to Iraq for its second tour of duty there
from 2005-2006. In March of 2008 1st Battalion served its third tour in Iraq, returning to Fort Hood in March of 2009.
In the summer of 2009 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry moved to their new duty station at Fort Carson, Colorado, with 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized)
in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan.
From August 2010 to June 2011 the Battalion served in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, adding another combat theater to their
long history of overseas deployments. The Battalion returned to Fort Carson, where they served and continued to train,
maintaining a state of readiness should the nation require their service anywhere in the world.
From February to October 2013 1st Battalion deployed to Camp Buehring, Kuwait.