I came across a reference to a statistic which was apparently printed recently in the New York Times, or some such thing. They were saying that the civilian casualties in Iraq have reached 50,000 since the "war" began. This is, they say, based on official Iraq mortuary and health services information; the real number is likely unknowably higher. Anyhow, it's hard to put such a number into perspective, but here's how they attempted it: the body count is as if a World Trade Center destruction size event happened every 5 to 6 days since March of 2003. Now that is indeed startling to think about.
I did the math for myself, and it actually worked out to more like a World Trade Center disaster every other month and a half. Not quite as dramatic, but still rather disturbing. (I think the more dramatic calculation was based on proportional values: the article also said elsewhere that, proportionally, if the USA lost the same percentage of people as 50,000 is to Iraq, it would be about a half a million people killed.)
In another article I came across today, it mentioned that about 500 billion dollars have been spent by the US government on their Iraq operations so far. US officials when promoting the war originally said it would cost a mere 50 to 60 billion. The amount they spend per month has been increasing, not decreasing, apparently.
It's taken nearly 4 brutal years, but the steadfast determination of the Bush government has hung in there and is getting ever closer to having killed as many of its own soldiers as victims claimed by the WTC attack. 2500 compared to 3000.
It's really painfully astonishing, all of this. Whatever it means.
Here's a cute picture of Istra from last night. She's just helping out Sandro sort out his paperwork down at their office ...