The Pentagon reports 4,487 American soldiers killed and 32,226 wounded in Iraq since the onset of the American initiated war in 2003. The piece below by Dan Froomkin, however, notes that this ‘official’ government figure of wounded includes only those “wounded in action” and is therefore a vast under-estimate of the true numbers of Americans injured.
Whereas the number of dead as reported is mostly accurate, Froomkin writes that in truth close to 500,000 of the 1.5 million American soldiers sent to Iraq have suffered injuries. When we add to the American dead and wounded the number of Iraqi dead and wounded the catastrophe of that war becomes at once clear and unfathomable.
Given the massive disinformation campaign perpetrated by the Bush-Cheney Administration on the American people in the run-up to the Iraq war after 9/11 it seems to me that those responsible for lying and deceiving Congress should be investigated for war crimes in the interest of justice, truth and moral responsibility.
Froomkin reports that injuries to American soldiers include but are not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, traumatic brain injury, fibromyalgia (chronic fatigue syndrome), breathing disorders, substantial hearing loss from acute acoustic blasts, hepatitis A, B and C, leishmaniasis (also known as the “Baghdad boil”), malaria, memory loss, migraines, sleep disorders, and tuberculosis. Deployed soldiers also were exposed to many hazardous health conditions including open-air burn pits, infectious diseases, depleted uranium, toxic shrapnel, cold and heat exposure, and chemical agent resistant paint. Many wounds suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan will persist over our veterans’ lifetimes, and some consequences of military service may not be felt until decades later.
If America has learned anything at all from this immoral adventure (as if we should not have known it already) it must be that war is far too destructive, too deadly and too tragic to too many people on both sides to enter except in the most extreme circumstance of national self-defense, which Iraq was clearly not.
Froomkin does not discuss the numbers of Iraqi dead and wounded. The following chart detailing Iraqi casualties is taken from Wikipedia but does not include Iraqi injuries. If the ratio of Iraqi casualties to injuries is similar to American ratios, the figure of wounded in that devastated land are astronomical. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War
|Iraq Family Health Survey||151,000 violent deaths||March 2003 to June 2006|
|Lancet survey||601,027 violent deaths out of 654,965 excess deaths||March 2003 to June 2006|
|Opinion Research Business survey||1,033,000 deaths as a result of the conflict||March 2003 to August 2007|
|Associated Press||110,600 deaths||March 2003 to April 2009|
|Iraq Body Count project||103,536 — 113,125 civilian deaths as a result of the conflict. Over 150,726 civilian and combatant deaths||March 2003 to October 2011|
|WikiLeaks. Classified Iraq war logs||109,032 deaths including 66,081 civilian deaths.||January 2004 to December 2009|
FOCUS: How Many US Casualties in Iraq? Guess Again.
Dan Froomkin, Reader Supported News
Froomkin begins: “Reports about the end of the war in Iraq routinely describe the toll on the US military the way the Pentagon does: 4,487 dead, and 32,226 wounded. The death count is accurate. But the wounded figure wildly understates the number of American service members who have come back from Iraq less than whole. The true number of military personnel injured over the course of our nine-year-long fiasco in Iraq is in the hundreds of thousands – maybe even more than half a million…”
READ MORE http://www.readersupportednews.org/opinion2/266-32/9181-focus-how-many-us-casualties-in-iraq-guess-again
Dan Froomkin is the Senior Washington Correspondent for the Huffington Post. He previously wrote a column for the online version of The Washington Post called White House Watch.