The New England Journal of Medicine puts Operation Iraqi Freedom into perspective:
It’s true. Despite the incredibly dangerous job our armed forces do for us everyday, which involves explosive devices and getting shot at, it’s truly a wonder that combat deaths in Iraq have taken until now to reach 1,000 in the just over 20.5 months since March 2003.
For comparison, some 700 bicyclists were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2002, according to the National Safety Council, which if that rate were continued for 20.5 months rather than 12, would total some 1,196 fatalities. If we heard a constant drumbeat of the cycling casualties on American roads in the news, we’d be calling upon Charles to get out of that “quagmire” as well.
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It is the good work and courage of the armed forces that ennobles their sacrifice above those who merely get hit by a car, just as it ennobles the work done by the police and firefighters and EMS here at home, and we need to hear more of it in the mainscream media. We dare not be shown the context it seems, lest the deaths have some meaning beyond a human tragedy.
Combat fatalities in Iraq are the lowest of any war in U.S. history, mainly because of advanced protective armor and battlefield medicine. It’s also an indication of the relative professionalism of the combatants, when the terror gangs are violating all the laws and customs of war, and still can’t survive a stand-up fight.
Update: More GIs surviving Battlefield Injuries