3,000 Killed

No more Saddams and Zarqawis to get but more soldiers heading in...
Today (Dec. 31), the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq since the beginning of the illegal invasion reached to 3000, making this month’s death toll, 113 [updated], the third highest since March of 2003. But what’s more significant about this month’s death toll is that it can be counted as the highest death toll without major battles, because the other two months with higher death tolls coincided with the battle of Fallujah at the end of 2003, and the battle of Najaf at the beginning of 2004.

Two months ago, the toll was the now second highest this year, 106, but there was an indirect reason. It was the holy month of Ramadan where more Iraqis are expected to fight against the occupation for religious reasons.

Other months with more than 100 U.S. troops killed always had an indirect or direct reason: elections, constitution, etc. But Dec of 2006 had nothing special. It was just a regular month under the occupation, and it is this insignificance that makes it very significant. This month was an indicator of how violence levels against the U.S. troops are reaching to a new height, and of how Iraq is turning into a more dangerous place for U.S. soldiers because of the lack of a political plan that would end the violence, and because of the lack of a timetable for withdrawing all the troops.

Putting a timetable for a complete withdrawal that leaves no permanent bases in Iraq is the most important first step to end the growing violence in Iraq. Ending the U.S. presence is necessary in dealing with both the Iraqi-U.S. and Iraqi-Iraqi violence. In addition, around three out of four Iraqis and U.S. soldiers in Iraq are for setting a timetable for withdrawing the troops. A majority of Iraq’s parliamentarians share the Iraqi people's legitimate demand as well.

But what is the Bush administration doing?

Sending more troops to Iraq!

I can’t believe that after the last U.S. congressional elections, which was viewed by many observers as an American referendum against the war on Iraq, the bush administration changed the national discourse from discussing the details of bringing the troops home to discussing the details and numbers of how many more troops should be sent to Iraq.

Every time one U.S. soldier is killed in Iraq, statistics indicate that:

  • more than 7 other U.S. soldiers get injured
  • more than 60 other U.S. soldiers go back home with PTSD and other mental diseases
  • more than 200 Iraqi civilians get killed
  • more than 1000 Iraqis leave the country
  • and other thousands of Iraqis get injured, traumatized, or kicked out of their homes

In December, an average of 3 to 4 U.S. soldiers were falling every single day in Iraq, and other thousands of lives were lost and ruined.

There are no more Saddams and Zarqawis to kill. There are just more Iraqis and Americans losing their lives for no cause.

I hope 2007 will be a 'happy new year,' a year that would witness the end of the unjustified and unnecessary war on Iraqis.
Raed Jarrar is an Iraqi architect who writes the Raed In The Middle blog and contributes to numerous others.
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