Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Marines in Fallujah

This Washington Post story recounts how Marines in Fallujah discovered a terrorist cell, and all the materials for suicide bombings. It’s a short and interesting story, but what it reminded me of, above all else, is that we are getting no figures on how many Iraqi insurgents were killed by Marines in Fallujah. Everytime I read a story about Fallujah, there is always a Marine that says something like this: "we killed a lot of them." I have been wondering what the numbers are, I have heard different figures on TV news. This WaPo story from today says that we say 700 were killed and Iraqi doctors in Fallujah say 600 (they claim "civilians").

Discussions - 1 Comment

The military hasn’t been keeping or releasing body counts for this war. I believe this is a wise position. The goal is not to kill cemeteries full of Iraqis. The goal is to create a democratic and peaceful Iraq. If dead bodies are the metric for victory, then there is an institutional push for more dead bodies, whether in the form of dishonest incident reports or in the form of atrocities. I am with you in questioning the civilianness of those killed in Fallujah, but a raw statistic of those deaths, be it 600 or 700 or even 1000, is not a reliable indicator of the success of our mission.

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