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True magnitude of life loss being ignored

| January 19, 2006 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

I was in high school when the Vietnam War was going on. I distinctly remember hearing during the evening news not only the number of American troops killed but also the number of Vietnamese casualties.

Beginning in the Gulf War, and now again in the Iraq war, the number of persons killed, other then American Troops, is conspicuously missing. I do not know the entire reason why this type of reporting has changed, but I do feel it is important that people are made aware of the true number of lives that have been lost since the decision to invade Iraq was made.

It is indeed tragic enough knowing that over 2,000 U.S. soldiers have already been lost. But when one considers that, by the best estimates available, somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed as well, the tragedy seems that much more significant.

Figures from the first two years of the war indicate that 24,865 civilians were reported killed. Twenty percent of those killed have been women and children. Thirty percent of those killed were the result of the initial invasion phase. Fifty-three percent of all civilian deaths involved explosive devices. Air strikes caused 64 percent of the explosives deaths. At least 42,500 civilians were reported wounded.

No matter what your political position is on the Iraq war, I feel it is important to be informed on the true magnitude of the loss of life in Iraq.

Jeff Wedel