I try to keep things light around here but I think it’s important that the following story from Reuters is shared.
U.S. toll in Iraq hits 4,000 as four soldiers killed
By Ross Colvin
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The death toll of U.S. soldiers in Iraq reached 4,000 on Monday, days after the fifth anniversary of a war that President George W. Bush says the United States is on track to win.
The U.S. military said four soldiers were killed on Sunday when a roadside bomb, the biggest killer of American soldiers in Iraq, exploded near their vehicle in southern Baghdad.
One soldier was wounded in the attack, which brought the number of U.S. military deaths to 4,000 since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
The deaths came on a day when the U.S.-protected “Green Zone”, the government and diplomatic compound in central Baghdad, was hit by repeated rocket and mortar fire, part of an upsurge in violence in the capital and elsewhere.
Sunday’s violence, in which dozens were killed, underscored the fragility of Iraq’s security. There has been an increase in attacks since January, although U.S. military commanders say overall levels of violence are down 60 percent since last June.
What impact the 4,000 milestone will have on a war-weary American public and the U.S. presidential campaign will be hard to assess in the short term, but war critics are likely to seize on it to boost their case for U.S. troops to be withdrawn.
“You regret every casualty, every loss,” U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said during a visit to Jerusalem. “It may have a psychological effect on the public, but it’s a tragedy that we live in a kind of world where that happens.”
The U.S. military dismisses such tolls as arbitrary markers.