US Deaths in Vietnam and Iraq by Month

I was watching John McCain and Bob Graham yacking at each other on Meet the Press yesterday, and good lord, this is sounding more like Vietnam all the time. It won’t be long before we’ll have politicians talking about “peace with honor” and secret plans to end the war.

And that reminded me of something I’d been meaning to do for a while. Whenever I bring up a Vietnam/Iraq comparison, fans of the current war point out that casualty rates in Vietnam were way beyond anything we’ve seen so far in Iraq. Which is true, if you’re talking about the Vietnam war at its peak. But there was a long run-up during which Vietnam simmered along at much lower casualty rates. I keep meaning to put together some charts to compare the two wars in terms of the US death toll, and now I’ve done that.

For my Vietnam statistics I used the excellent Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund site, where there is an advanced search tool that lets you query the database of war dead by month. For the Iraq statistics I used Lunaville’s page on Iraq coalition casualties.

In each case, I counted all US deaths in the war zone, rather than only counting combat fatalities. In the case of the current month (October 2003), I took the fairly morbid step of estimating that the current monthly total of 24 deaths would rise to 32 deaths over the next 10 days. (Here’s hoping that estimate turns out to be high. I’ll revise the charts at the end of the month to reflect the true total.) (Update: Sadly, I was low. The actual number of US deaths in October was 42. I’ve updated the charts accordingly, and have posted some new observations in this item: Iraq war deaths.)

For the first chart, I plotted deaths for the first 12 months of the Vietnam war, and the 8 months to-date of the Iraq war. I picked December of 1961 as the “starting point” for the Vietnam war mainly because that was the month in which SP4 James Davis of Livingston, Tennessee, was killed by the Viet Cong, with Lyndon Johnson later referring to him as “the first American to fall in defense of our freedom in Vietnam.” (See this interesting timeline of the Vietnam war.) Note, though, that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial currently lists Capt. Harry Griffith Cramer, who died in October of 1957, as the earliest Vietnam war death.

Since my main interest in putting this graph together was to think about (and stimulate thinking about) politicians’ and citizens’ perceptions of war-related death tolls, I figured that Johnson’s willingness to identify a particular death as the “first of the war” was as good a starting point as any.

Anyway, here’s the graph (note that you can click on any of these images for a larger version):

It’s interesting to me how the Iraq war, so far at least, shows dramatically more US deaths per month than the Vietnam war did at a comparable point in its political lifetime. Yes, I realize that there were far fewer troops in Vietnam at this stage of the war than we currently have in Iraq. I grant that the two wars have followed very differerent scenarios so far. What I’m really interested in here is the domestic political picture, and its relationship to the ongoing death toll.

Let’s get a little more perspective. Here’s the same chart, but with the numbers for Vietnam extended out to December of 1965, by which time, armed with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (passed in August, 1964), Johnson had dramatically increased the number of US troops on the ground:

Finally, here’s a version of the chart that shows the entire extent of the Vietnam war, ending with the fall of Saigon and the evacuation of the US Embassy in April of 1975:

You can spin the data depicted in these charts however you like. For myself, I view them with concern. When politicians are allowed to launch wars for ill-defined reasons, with vague exit strategies and ever-shifting criteria for success, you have a formula for tragedy. That’s what happened back in the 1960s, and I can’t see any reason to believe it isn’t happening again today.

Note: I’m completely aware that this comparison is not normalized for number of US troops present in each conflict. This is not a comparison of death rate per unit of troop strength, and it doesn’t claim to be. If you want that, you’ll have to make a different graph. See discussion below, and on the following pages. The graphs are all the same; I just update them in place when the new numbers become available.

129 Responses to “US Deaths in Vietnam and Iraq by Month”

  1. Lead Balloons Says:

    Nice work. Maybe an even better comparison of the severity of the two conflicts would track all casualties, not just deaths. This might be a more accurate comparison of the intensity of the two conflicts because the U.S. Army has gotten so good at saving severly wounded soldiers. Thus, many of the wounded in Iraq are more directly comparable to the dead in Vietnam, because they received a wound that would have killed them in Vietnam.

  2. Hmmmm Says:

    I was thinking about this same exact chart yesterday and wondering if one could estimate what would happen if this turned into a situation similar to Vietnam. Any possibility of normalizing the curve by the number of active people to determine a rate ? I think that the suggestion on casualties would also be informative.

  3. John Callender Says:

    Deaths per troop level should be pretty easy, I think. I’m not sure if numbers of wounded/injured are going to be as readily available, but I could look.

    I could also just post a link to some version of the raw data file I’m working with, which would make it easier for someone else to build on the (smallish) amount of work I did putting together the numbers shown here.

    Hmm. I’ll try to do some or all of those things over the next few days, and if I do I’ll post an update to this item (and probably a new item, too).

  4. Scott Says:

    By comparing U.S. deaths in Iraq vs Vietnam, you are not really comparing “apples to apples”. With addition of Kevlar vests and greater medical resources it is a good assumption that the majority of U.S. injuries in Iraq would have been U.S. deaths in a situation like Vietnam. The pentagon is claiming the number of U.S. wounded in Iraq to be 900+, but unofficially and according a number of U.S. medical personnel, the number is more like 8’000+ –caused by the average of 26 attacks per day on U.S. troops. If you account for the wounded, I think you’ll find this 8 month Iraqi occupation is far worse than first several years of Vietnam.

    Here’s an interesting story:

  5. =OppHater Says:

    So the point of all this is…? The chart is nice and the points everyone makes of “well if you eliminate the progress we’ve made with medicine then the total deaths really is X” are useless speculation. I say useless because you also have to consider not just technology but motivation.

    Are the guerrillas in Iraq as motivated as the Vietnamese were? And so on. The truth is that you can sit and make all these arguments and you still miss the point that only a fool measures the success or failure of a war based on the number of deaths. That’s what got us into the Vietnam mess in the first place.

    Whether one achieves the objectives of a war or not is what determines the success or lack their of. Would anyone here consider the 291,557 battle deaths in WWII (source department of veterans affairs), a waste of life and effort? Would Europe and the world have been better off with Hitler and the Nazi’s in power? I know, you may argue that you can’t compare WWII with Iraq. If that is your approach then you can’t compare Vietnam with Iraq either.

    The truth is that each and every conflict is different in every aspect but one, good people always die. Sometimes in vein, sometimes not. It seems that many of you get a sense of glee when you here that another service man/woman has died. All this sudden caring for service men and woman is really just an extra tool in your hatred of the administration. Where were all of you caring folks during the roaring nineties, when the standard of living for the service men and woman was around the poverty line? No one gave a *am then.

    Look, just be honest and say you hate the administration. You do not need to hide behind foolish speculation of how things could be or would be if this or that happened. You hate this administration for the same reason others hated Clinton, ignorance. All these charts and the orgy like agreements they entice remind me of religious people getting a boner over them being able to “Prove” that God exist. Who cares? You believe in God good for you. And if you hate the administration, good for you. But please stop with the useless charts/comparisons. This is not marketing 101.

  6. SeriouslyHonestlyAsking Says:

    I wonder if anyone knows what the right answer might be in this case. The situation being that the twin towers have just been demolished and the Pentagon also attacked. These were not just buildings. They represented everything behind them, and of the future. But it’s more than even that, isn’t it? It’s about people who were targeted for no reason other than that they were of a certain way of life. Thousands of people now dead because airliners flying other citizens over the country was hijacked and transformed into a bomb. What do you do? What is right, justified? Who wins, who loses? We didn’t know any of these answers, did we? But we did know one thing. We cared too much. Have you ever tried to tell someone’s wife who was killed in New York that George Bush is going to war because he wants their oil. I could of told you years ago that this wasn’t a win-win situation. So you tell me, what is right?

  7. Michael Says:

    Nice charts!

  8. Nick The Vietnam Vet Says:

    While the Bush administration spins this ‘liberation’ of Iraq and denies any comparison to Vietnam, charts are a good way to stop the spin. I endured two tours in Vietnam and I can tell you that this is exactly the way it started. All of this administration’s rhetoric seems so familiar it’s starting to trigger flash-backs.

  9. BOB BASE Says:


  10. J. Weides Says:

    To really give a picture that compares apples to apples, I believe the comparison should be made on a rate basis. That is death per 1000 of US troops in the conflict at any given time. All the military members who participated including those off shore on naval vessles and flying in the air should be included for each period to give an accurate comparison between the two time periods.

    What say you to this approach?

  11. jonathan Springer Says:

    This whole site it one big Lie lol haha who would go to and expect the truth?


  12. Mike Says:

    I think if you really want to compare apples to apples, read the fillowing. The graph shows deaths for the Iraq war starting from march 03, the begining of the comrehensive military assult on Iraq. The graph for Vietnam starts from Dec ’61 When troops in south vietnam were advisors to the south. They operated mainly with the South Vietnmese troops, teaching combat to the South Vietnamese army. The first notable combat of the war wasn’t until early ’64 when Five hundred Viet Cong troops cross the border and seize three strategichamlets. They are forced to withdraw after a 14 hour gun fight with South Vietnmase troops. From wat I can find, the US didn’t start active combat within enemy territory until after Aug ’64. The first air attack in North Vietnam was Aug 6 ’64, in response to an attack on the U.S.S. Maddox. Aug 7 ’64 The United States Senate approves the Tonkin Gulf Resolution authorizingthe President to “take all necessary measures” to repel attacksagainst US forces and to “prevent further aggression” in the area. The first major assault on the north was Operation Rolling Thunder in March of ’65. This date, IMHO, would be a better date to start the comparison with since it is most similar the the Mar ’03 event. Before that time we were not actively engaged in combat in enemy territory.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Can you tell us at what date in the Vietnam conflict deaths equalled 375, the number we have had in Iraq as of 11/5/03? Thanks.

  14. John Callender Says:

    If you begin counting when I did, in December of 61, Vietnam deaths for US servicepeople passed 375 in December of 64, when they reached a total of 392. So one way of looking at it would be that we have lost as many people so far in Iraq as we lost in the first 3 years of Vietnam.

    On the earlier questions about troop levels at various stages, it’s been harder to come up with definitive numbers. For Iraq, I have a number of 148,000 US troops in July of this year, and 130,000 in October. For Vietnam, I have snapshot figures of troop levels as follows:

    Dec 61: 3,200

    Dec 62: 11,500

    Dec 63: 16,300

    Dec 64: 23,300

    Dec 65: 184,300

    Dec 66: 425,300

    Dec 67: 485,600

    Dec 68: 536,100

    Dec 69: 474,400

    Dec 70: 335,800

    Jun 71: 250,900

    I’ll try playing around with graphical representations of those figures for an updated version of the graphs. In the meantime, please let me know if you come across any more-detailed numbers on US troop levels for either conflict.

  15. Scott Mc Says:

    Perhaps you have all forgotten a very important thing. The world changed on September 11th. For no reason the United States was attacked. The terrorists didn’t care about the lives of those they killed. They didn’t think for one second about political parties. Liberals and anti war protesters seem to think that the people who died that day where just leaves in the wind. The terrorists don’t care if you like bush. They don’t care if you hate him. They don’t care if you’re American. They don’t care what religion you are, they don’t even care if you hate America. To them it doesn’t matter. For no reason other that you live in the United States is enough for them to justify killing you. Ask your self, do I hate bush? Then think for a second about your answer and how it doesn’t matter what you answered, you would be dead if you where in those buildings. You husbands and wives would be without you. Your children would have no parent, your family would be without you, and all because to are an evil American. And while some have chosen to enlist in the military, and some have been killed in Iraq. There families can take ease in knowing that their loved one died to make America a safer place. And while the death toll will surely rise, as the now 25 million free Iraqis begin to understand that life in a free country is the most beautiful thing, they will thank the solders who gave there lives for them as strangers, and honor them as liberators. “The tree of liberty grows with the blood of evil tyrants.” -unknown

  16. Bush is a Mass Killer Says:

    The controlled news media won’t do the following 3 studies. Why don’t you? 1) Include all of Southeast Asia, or you miss early deaths. When I read the papers during the Kennedy years, they covered Laos more than Viet Nam because it had a bigger war. 2) Include deaths of defenders, not just attackers/occupiers. But the US government keeps the numbers secret. For Vietnamese, did the UN break down by year its count of 2-3 million dead? If not, estimate the breakdown, giving weight to times of slaughter, like Colby’s Operation Phoenix. For Iraqis, start with 8-10,000 civilian deaths documented by Western news agencies, which means it was, let’s say, 12,000. shows how each death occurred (artillery from the air, tanks, etc.). Then estimate the US military’s targeting accuracy for each kind of death by asking around. If it’s 1 civilian killed for every 3 Iraqi soldiers or 10 or 15, then military deaths were 36,000 or 120,000 or 180,000. With some work you could narrow that range. 3) Include injuries. This article says casualty numbers are available but unreported:

  17. james Venizelos Says:

    Really, why waist the time comparing death tolls of these two conflicts? The truth is Americans and others will die in larger numbers than anyone cares to accept. Most recognize the hasty unnecessary decision to invade Iraq. Of those pro-war supporters who believe that Americans are the true victems of the undeserving attacks on Sept. 11, ask yourselves why these terrorists attacked the USA. Think hard and maybe you can see that our arrogant, self-absorbed, over-consuming life style is corruptive to the rest of the world,(of course, if you represent these characteristics you’ll never admit it). Furthermore, violence has never and will never solve anything. As one Battle of Normandy vet stated, “War is not glamorous. In war, no one wins!”

    God bless America and all other nations!

  18. mary claffey Says:

    i’m really getting sick of the post-9/11 rhetoric, i.e. ‘the world is a different place since 9/11 so all the rules have changed’. the world for americans may be different, but it isn’t for most everyone else. and most were not surprised.

    i spent the spring of 2001 at the united nations commission on human rights in geneva, switzerland representing an ngo (non-government organization). one of the issues that we defended was ending the sanction against iraq. the main thrust of the argument was that they did not work and only succeeded in starving innocent iraqi civilians. i was fully aware of the evil nature of the baath party, but felt that it was critical to work through the united nations to effect change. i returned to the states that summer convinced of two things: 1. no matter how much i hated the bush administration and the foreign policy conducted by both parties of the past 20 years, i loved the united states and knew it was one of the best and safest places to live in the world. 2. i was also categorically convinced that our current administration–on top of the previous 3’s foreign policies–was effectively raising a generation of terrorists in the islamic world. everything that was wrong in their lives had our dirty fingerprints all over it. it shamed me to acknowledge this among non-americans particularly. but it’s true.

    the last point i’d like to make is that there was a certain former fbi agent who had spent a career tracking osama bin laden and al qaeda and really *knew* what was coming. unfortunately, his warnings went unheeded and he died in the towers. go to to watch their program about him, “the man who knew.” his name was john o’neill.

  19. b Says:

    Scott McBrainwashed–9/11 has nothing to do with Iraq, except that it provided a useful manipulation for americans just like you to be drunk on nationalism and fear to not see what was really happening in Iraq.

    To JC–interesting charts, I stumbled upon them while googling for this exact information. Thanks for making them.

    The argument I can’t seem to answer is that we have more deaths in Iraq as of now *because* we have fewer troops-that they are spread so thin, making them more vulnerable. Aside from the obvious statement that no one can know what would happen in an alternate reality, I suspect that increased troops would increase resentment and Iraqi resistance, which would probably consequently increase deaths. Also I’m not sure about how the number of troops currently stationed in Iraq compares to the number in Vietnam at the same stage considering concentration of violence geographically. Weren’t conflicts in Vietnam more spread out geographically?

  20. Glen Says:

    Whatever similarity between Vietnam and Iraq there is, an important point to make I believe, is that the data you present currently do not show any relationship.

    One problem is normalization. You’ve normalized the data for time (per month) but you haven’t normalized it for any other real differences between the two conflicts. As has been stated an obvious factor that would influence deaths would be the number of troops. Still that normalization will just show if Iraq is more lethal than Vietnam (or not) per etc., etc. It will say nothing about what might happen in the future., i.e. it will have no predictive value in itself.

    I noticed that the graph of Vietnam US deaths shows a regular and symmetrical pattern. Another thing one also sees superimposed on the general trend is a yearly cycle in the death rates. If this data were smoothed a bit it might be even more regular (using a moving filter wider than a month). You could experiment with different time intervals for the filter and pick the shortest window that gets rid of most of the “noise” (to use a terrible analogy). As has also been mentioned this pattern probably is very similar to just the number of troops in harms way, and the changes in death rates probably parallel the escalation and withdrawl of US troops. Is this speculation correct?

    Maybe a better way to present this data would be as a cummulative plot of war deaths. Cummulative plots have the advantage that they are much less noisy and thus are not as dependent at getting the temporal sampling window just right. Thus, they would obviate the need for the filtering mentioned above.

    I would think that the regular pattern of deaths may be able to be used to predict future deaths. For example we can see the death rate starts out low but then ramps up as if heading much higher, then the increase in the rates slows, stops and reverses, coming back down to low levels.

    At the broadest scales maybe this data reflects how many deaths the US would tolerate until it changed the system (in the 60s and 70s). I think the US is much less tolerant of military deaths (on our side at least) now than then. I think that by at least year 6 (of your graph) that the rate of increase has slowed. Probably at this point one could have made a pretty accurate prediction of the total cumulative war dead at war’s end.

    There does not appear to be enough data (time) in the Iraq data to make similar predictions, which probably means it will go on longer (not a hard prediction to make).

    One thing that might help is to look not at deaths but at the cummulative number of attacks on US personel in Iraq. This graph I believe will be much more robust than your death rate graph since it wouldn’t include the effects of the US countermeasures. It will ramp up but the important thing is when limits begin to be seen in the increasing rates.

    Of course war should not be viewed just analytically as I have done here. For another more “accurate” way to view it please read Ernie Pyle’s unpublished (because of his death) article of the end of WWII in Europe.

    For what it’s worth.


  21. Proud Military Brat and Bush Supporter Says:

    I really don’t see what the point of you showing all these statistics is. It really proves absolutely nothing. One can compare these 2 wars all day long and it does not really amount to anything. Especially when you consider, that the first months that American soldier were in Vietnam, they were there as advisors, not for combat. Well I suppose it makes you all feel better that you can reinforce your own opinions by posting these statistics. Have fun living in your world of mythical comparisions where you seem to think that Saddam was a nice guy who nevered harmed a soul and Bush is a mass-murderer.

  22. Fritz Says:

    Troops levels in Vietnam did not equal those that are currently in Iraq until 1965. You might find that comparing current US casualites in Iraq to the 1965 Vietnam numbers more credible.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    i am in iraq right now and i am about sick of hearing everyone that is not involed in anyway over here. bitching and groaning about how this is effecting them. Now tell me why you took all the time to make this chart and compare this to Vietnam. This isn’t Vietnam. I am just fed up with everyones bitching.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    i am in iraq right now and i am about sick of hearing everyone that is not involed in anyway over here. bitching and groaning about how this is effecting them. Now tell me why you took all the time to make this chart and compare this to Vietnam. This isn’t Vietnam. I am just fed up with everyones bitching.

  25. pat mcguinness Says:

    I hardly see the value of comparing Iraq and Vietnam. Why not World War I, or Korea, or Israel’s lebanon occupation? Iraq and Vietnam wars were drastically different, the geography, the time-frame, the tactics, the strategy, the technology … In Iraq our army conquered an entire country in the space of 3 weeks!

    Now, go back to the drawing boards and compare with an invasion of a country of 24 million.

    Compare Iraq with 1944 France – phew, we did much much better in 2003 in Iraq.

    In Vietnam, our failed strategy was not to see the Govt of the north as the enemy and imagine (fooled by commie propoganda) that vietcong were indiginous. It was like fighting the symptoms and not the disease. it was only in 1972 that the US used a strategy to defeat the North Vietnamese’s will to fight through bombing – it quickly ended the war. (A war we ‘won’ in the 1973 Peace Treaty and a victory we threw away in 1975 by failing to support the South Vietnamese with Air Power – this was a real crime of the McGovernites!) Had LBJ done the Linebacker II kind of bombing in 1965 (the strategy Goldwater proposed and LBJ responded by accusing Goldwater of being a ‘warmonger’), the war would have been over in 1965, with a Korean-like “draw” that kept South Vietnam independent. As it was, we wasted 50,000 lives on a flawed strategy that dared not win, but tried only not to lose. Wars of attrition dont go well when the other side has Commie propoganda convincing hundreds of thousands to die and you’ve got Walter Cronkite and draft-card burners.

    In Iraq, the strategy has mostly been brilliant. We used surprise and mobility to destroy his regime with less loss of life than suffered in a single terror bombing of marines in 1983 lebanon. We never had and dont have now a dumb war against the indians that ignores the chiefs. We took out the chiefs two sons, and have actively pursued the “top52” deck of cards leaders. Most are in custody now. Our limit is not force projection, but on the ground intel. It only gets better for us when Iraqi security forces are up and running, and the bad guys are if anything making it easier to win the war on terror through the current difficulties.

    The Islamofascists have as their template Lebanon 1983. Our template must be from 1945 Germany, 1901 Philipines, and more recent examples of stabilization.

    Our current low-level of deaths with a large occupation force that is stabilizing the country is one that could continue for 50 YEARS and not reach the level of deaths in Vietnam. There is no reason to suppose the current terrorist-bombers pose any threat that could expand that much. Anything beyond low intensity indirect terrorism can be decisively responded to by our military.

    Maybe Israel in Lebanon could be considered a worst-case reasonable scenario, where there are opponents who ‘wear us down’. But our plan to democratize and build up Iraq’s own security forces ensures that the US wont be a permanent on-the-streets presense. We may end that role within the next 12 months.

    Vietnam comparisons are for historical illiterates who think that war of mankind’s 10,000 wars is somehow the only relevant yardstick. It aint.

    We did the right thing in Iraq and we will win. The only thing that can defeat us in Iraq is defeatism itself.

  26. charleybarley Says:

    From my non-American point of view:

    a) the invasion of Iraq was unjust – it was partly finishing Bush family business, partly the US twiching like a wounded animal after 9/11 (finally acqknowledging its vulnerability, but in all the wrong ways and for all the wrong reasons). And of course: partly to get the oil. Don’t for a minute try to convince me that GWB cares one iota about the lives of civilian Iraquis. US power over Arab oil, that’s what the President wants, plus some points in heaven from his God – as well as the support of the conservative religios right wing here on Earth.

    b) OK, Saddam is gone, but the world is now by far a more dangerous place than before, with Bush and his right wing war mongers provoking terrorist activities. The war they could handle, the peace they can not. Iraq is now a hornet’s nest, with a lot of US military power poking around in it. They should leave immediately and let the UN take over. The UN might not provoke such hostility, and be more interested in the making world (as a whole!) a functioning mechanism.

    c) Why this single-minded preoccupation with “American lives”, “US deaths”? As if Americans counted higher than everybody else. The graphs above won’t show an accurate picture of your wars until they include the deaths of Vietnamese civilians slaugthered by the American military machine. (But of course that would make the graphs so large they couldn’t fit on this page anymore.) Wars always include several fighting parties, and those we all should care first and foremost about are the civilians killed. And the only real enemy are the Hawks who want war – regardless if they are on “our” side or not.

    Contrary to another writer above, I do believe the US was attacked for a reason on 9/11, and that the terrorists do care about who (or rather what) they attac. The planes didn’t arrive out of a vaccuum, and had US foreign policy historically been based more on understanding, mutual respect and humility (instead of power thirst, narrowmindedness and fear of Communism-or-whatever), the towers would probably still be standing in New York City.

    America is a great country, which have given me better cultural experiences through music and movies than any other countries, but the US surely deserve better politicians – people who help the UN run the world (for the benefit of everybody), instead of making enemies everywhere as they try to do it themselves.

    A saying in my country: “Whoever is very strong, must also be very kind”.

    P.S. I’m quite convinced the organized terrorism from Usama &co will end once GWB has terminated his presidency. Anybody wanna bet?

  27. Anonymous Says:

    I think we need to remember the mission/success profile in Vietnam, which seemed to stagnate. Casualties increased dramatically as the missions of Vietnam, such as controlling strategic geographic locations, were attempted, often with little success. Strategic positions in Vietnam never were accomplished and casualties rose as we attempted this. Compare that with Iraq, where every strategic geographic location is under our control, with only unlawful combatants residing as guerillas and terrorists conspiring to inflict casualties. Simply put, we own Iraq and we never came close to owning Vietnam. The majority of combat is over in Iraq and I challenge anyone to discuss how these unlawful combatants will ever reach the hierarchical structure needed to seriously combat our troops…They cannot.

    Iraq’s borders remain unsealed for the simple reason that foreign terrorists are flooding to Iraq’s borders to “drive the Americans out.” We are doing battle with the terrorists with the terrorists and unfortunately for them, they are up against the United States men and women, who are the largest, proudest, strongest force ever seen in this known universe. These soldiers are fighting terrorists-the same terrorists who could be plotting battle in the subways of New York or Chicago, instead they get the distinct honor of doing battle with America’s finest. Our men and women are fighting this war for our freedom and safety. We each owe them gratitude so let me be the first on this website to say: Thank You Each and Every Man and Woman who is fighting this war to secure our country, our liberty, and our way of life.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    To CharleyBarley:

    I am taking your wager. Bin Laden and Al Qaida were in existence long before GWB and executed several terror attacks against the US during the Clinton administration. Your central problem seems to be an inability to blame terrorists for terrorist acts. Your statement, “Why this single-minded preoccupation with “American lives”, “US deaths”? As if Americans counted higher than everybody else” –seems to me to be defeatist as if you have already conceded the lives of your fellow citizens to terror, so why shouldn’t the United States?

    Well, our right to life and liberty is transcendental, so you will have to excuse us if we refuse to accept one US citizen’s loss of life to terror as one too many.

    The UN is an absentee landlord.

    But please allow me to agree 100% with one of your statements, we do deserve better politicians! That was a perfectly genuine, honest, and accurate statement–I cannot speak for my fellow citizens, but all too often I find myself choosing the best of the worst.

  29. David Dowd Says:

    War is war. The deaths that are the result of the war in Iraq are the same as any other war. As far as the service man that is stationed in Iraq who says, ‘i am in iraq right now and i am about sick of hearing everyone that is not involed in anyway over here.’ I would like to point out that the war in Iraq is being carried out in the name of all Americans. The image that is produced because of the results of this war will affect every American not just people who are in Iraq. GWB is carrying out a war in the name of this country and it’s citizens, not just you and your comrades. And as far as you saying, ‘I am just fed up with everyones bitching.’ Well get used to it because in America we live in a society where we are given the right to BITCH as loud as we want and I will continue to BITCH about the actions of a government that is committing acts that I see wrong. So boo-hoo and bitch, bitch, bitch. Also we cannot say for sure that the majority of fighting in Iraq is in the past. You never know what the future holds. The recent spikes in attacks over in Iraq is a good example. A question that I am interested in that I have not seen the data for is how many people overall have been killed in the conflict i.e. UN Personnel, Other Foreign Troops and Iraqi Civilians?

  30. David Dowd Says:

    War is war. The deaths that are the result of the war in Iraq are the same as any other war. As far as the service man that is stationed in Iraq who says, ‘i am in iraq right now and i am about sick of hearing everyone that is not involed in anyway over here.’ I would like to point out that the war in Iraq is being carried out in the name of all Americans. The image that is produced because of the results of this war will affect every American not just people who are in Iraq. GWB is carrying out a war in the name of this country and it’s citizens, not just you and your comrades. And as far as you saying, ‘I am just fed up with everyones bitching.’ Well get used to it because in America we live in a society where we are given the right to BITCH as loud as we want and I will continue to BITCH about the actions of a government that is committing acts that I see wrong. So boo-hoo and bitch, bitch, bitch. Also we cannot say for sure that the majority of fighting in Iraq is in the past. You never know what the future holds. The recent spikes in attacks over in Iraq are a good example.

    Furthermore, a question that I am interested in that I have not seen the data for is how many people overall have been killed in the conflict i.e. UN Personnel, Other Foreign Troops and Iraqi Civilians?

  31. Kyle Says:

    I’m not impressed. In the year you chose as Year 1, there were 3,205 American servicemen in Vietnam. You’re comparing casualties from a conflict with over 100,000 men to a conflict that had a mere 3,205 deployed at the time? In your Year 4, there were 23,300 American soldiers in Vietnam, or one fifth of the current Iraqi occupation. Yet, there were, say, 15 times as many deaths as we currently see in Iraq, according to your own chart! I am not impressed.

    Vietnam occupation numbers from

  32. Sick and Tired of the Spin Says:

    I live in NYC and watched the towers fall. And I’m here to tell you that the world did not change on 9/11.

  33. Carl Says:

    A few people have commented that the stats drawn together are meaningless because of the obvious differences between the two situations, but I think this misses the point.

    It would be true if you tried to use the stats to *prove* a similarity between the two situations, but I don’t think that would be a sensible thing to do.

    What the stats clearly do is *disprove* the commonly held assumption that the current situation in no way resembles Vietnam, because the level of casualties in Vietnam was on a massively greater scale – I have to admit that had been my assumption before looking at these graphs. What is shown is that there is no statistical basis on which to say this is nothing like Vietnam. The nature and tactics of the enemy also has certain similarities to Vietnam, and (for example) if there is a tipping point in Iraqi public attitute to the occupation at some point in the future then things could start looking a lot worse – if it’s happened once it can happen again.

  34. R.E.C. Says:

    I appreciate the work of the graph–but I don’t think it applies to this situation–it could in the long run be a very expensive war (money and more importantly lives), but the comparison that is more obvious to me is that we don’t really have powerful friends in that region, or more importantly, in Iraq itself. There’s probably a majority of the people that are happy to see Saddam gone–but even those people are just as likely to want the U.S. out altogether. I think the dissent will grow, unfortunately–and of course I hope to be wrong–things will become very chaotic and attacks will be more centered at the successful citizens of Iraq–Capitalism and Democracy bring about huge inadequacies between classes at their infant stages–it takes a steady hand to understand this and allow time for that stage to pass and have the masses begin to profit from the greed that Capitalism brings with it–underground rules will begin to rise; you might have mafias etc…the possibilities are endless to this nightmare–but what I do know is that almost no one in in the Middle East wants the have a democracy because the U.S. put it there–hatred is not more powerful than Love–but Love can take centuries to triumph–look at the mess in Russia. I hope, one year from now, to be saying how naive and wrong I am about this.

  35. Omar Al-Farouq Says:

    There is one thing all of you are overlooking.

    We did not take kindly to Sadam oppressing us and we will not take kindly to George Bush oppressing.

    It is one thing to be oppressed by your own people, but entirely different to be oppressed by foreign invaders.

    Invaders who force their culture and morals (or lack thereof) on our populace.

    The way the American soldiers treat our children and women is very disrespectful in our culture.

    Soldiers pointing guns at children and male soldiers physically searching our women is totally demaning to us in our culture.

    We have an honour of family in our culture and the American soldiers are violating that honour.

    We will defend it even if it means death.

    This is something you can not understand because it does not exist in American culture.

    We do not hate Americans, we just hate the foreign policy, especially when it results in our oppression.

    Keep your eyes and ears open. We will be free soon.

    The road to Iraq is paved with American blood.

  36. truth Says:


  37. Anonymous Says:

    dear ‘truth’,

    you suck. now i understand how we got stuck with GWB. douchebags like you.

  38. Dave Says:

    This is the truth!!!All you Democrats like Kerry Should know no you were there Vietnam was the bloodiest war of them all that was not a justified war like in Iraq Keep up the Truth………………..Thanks

  39. Dave Says:

    This is the truth!!!All you Democrats like Kerry Should know you were there Vietnam was the bloodiest war of them all that was not a justified war like in Iraq Keep up the Truth………………..Thanks

  40. George W. Bush Says:

    To Omar : Keep it up son and you’ll be in the cage with Saddam And to the Iraqi people your freedom will soon be there and the bloodshed will end God Bless You All

  41. Anonymous Says:

    u wanna noe who lost vietnam 4 us? the democrats. they cut funding going torwads the south vietnamese army. and whoever says Iraq is lyke Vietnam must have thier head up thier ass Iraq is better then Vietnam, in vietnam most of the deaths were caused by booby traps not battles there were battles and honorable men died in them but most died from booby traps a george bush is doin a great job so all of u protesting war and talking smack about george bush and comparing vietnam to iraq needs 2 get thier head out of thier ass read a book about vietnam and watch CNN!

  42. Anonymous Says:

    u wanna noe who lost vietnam 4 us? the democrats. they cut funding going torwads the south vietnamese army. and whoever says Iraq is lyke Vietnam must have thier head up thier ass Iraq is better then Vietnam, in vietnam most of the deaths were caused by booby traps not battles there were battles and honorable men died in them but most died from booby traps a george bush is doin a great job so all of u protesting war and talking smack about george bush and comparing vietnam to iraq needs 2 get thier head out of thier ass read a book about vietnam and watch CNN!

  43. js Says:

    Thanks for putting together this graph, it just shut up a moron that I was arguing with on another blog.

    It’s nice to see that there are two types of Bush apologists here: ones who fall back on vulgar jingoism (FUCK YOU BUSH RULEZ U R TEH SUKK!) and those who point out that Vietnam was not EXACTLY THE FUCKING SAME so none of these comparisons matter.

    Here’s a thought: no two wars are exactly the same, but by looking at historical trends and comparing raw data, you can get a look at some of the ways that situations were the same and some of the ways that they are different. Fucking A, has no one had a fucking social studies class?

    Anyway. Good work.


  44. Alex Says:

    James..learn how to spell waist. It is waste.!!

    lol what a joke

  45. geaorge bush Says:

    I want war!!!!

  46. truth-is-gay Says:

    Hey Truth, Get some freaking balls and go on to the frontlines and die please, lol, you are a loser.

  47. truth-is-gay Says:

    Hey Truth, Get some freaking balls and go on to the frontlines and die please, lol, you are a loser.

  48. truth-is-gay Says:

    Hey Truth,

    Get some freeking balls, why don’t you go on to the frontlines and die, lol, you’re a loser.

  49. RealTruth Says:

    To compare these properly, you should start both wars with the same data point. You started counting on the Vietnam War with the first recognized casualty. Start the Iraq War with the same data point. I believe the first American killed in Iraq was on January 16, 1991. Given that starting point we are way better off in this war.

    You don’t like that analysis? You don’t accept that 1991 was the start of conflict between US and Iraq? Then lets analyze it another way. Lets match the point at which we took effective control over the entire country. In Iraq, that was before May 1st, 2003. In Vietnam What? We never took effective control over the entire country? Then how can we compare the end of the Iraq War, where we are trying to stabilize the country for a transfer of power back to the Iraqis on June 30th, 2004, to the beginning of the Vietnam War, where we continued to fight for 13 more years without any positive result?

    You picked a good way to frame the two wars to satisfy your hate filled ideology. On the surface it even seems like a good analysis, but it is flawed since you ignore facts that put a different perspective on the analysis. If the hate filled ideologues continue to preach their skewed view of reality and teach their children to hate as they do, are suicide bombers too far off in our future?

  50. anonomys Says:

    need more graphs that show more

  51. just a citizen Says:

    What I found interesting is that those who disageree with your analysis, see to attack you personaly by resorting to name calling or wanting you dead. Thats kinda weakens the arguments that they use to support the war in Iraq. I agree with most of those who question the validity of any comparison to Vietnam at this point, but I am extremely concerned about where this war is heading. It is becoming increasingly a civil war. Plus I can’t think of any examples of where the US has been succesful in installing a democracy. The fact that we don’t have an exit policy and that an increasing number of Iraqis are turning against us should cause our leaders to be concerned. The fact that most in Washington make it very clear that we can’t afford to leave Iraq, yet they really don’t have a political solution, only a military one which at best is questionable. Plus even though it can be argued that Saddam was evil and his being gone is good for the country, that wasn’t the reason we used for invading Iraq. Where are the WMD’s? At any rate, nice job on the charts, it’ll be interesting to see how things progress, unlike some comments, I don’t wish you or any one else to be on the front lines and die. I fear too many have already died, and I doubt very much that the person who wants you on the front lines has volunteered to go to Iraq.

    Keep updating and let’s see where it leads.

  52. Stan Says:

    Troop morale varies by percentage casualty rate (multiple studies of previous conflic data support this contention) and a good use for your well researched stats is to gauge troop morale by casualty percentage. It makes sense to include US wounded, the dead/wounded coalition troops and mercenaries (security contractors in the current Orwellian lingo) along with US troops killed. Dividing by numbers deployed shows the % risk of death or injury. The time course of a month might better be replaced with the length of deployment.

    I know it is hard to get any accurate figures from the Pentagon since this is a political war rather than a military one but these changes might make inter-war comparisons of casualty related morale more meaningful. It might also extend the comparison frame to include other conflicts.

  53. mountainrescue Says:

    Any chance you could update this through March?

  54. Matt Says:

    Can we see a rate comparison, as mentioned above. This doesn’t seem statistically accurate.

  55. John Callender Says:

    I have updated it each month since I started doing it. If you go to the month-by-month archives for a particular month and scroll to the bottom of the page, you should see a posting with the latest graphs, and commentary on the latest numbers.

    The actual images of the graphs are all the same, and get updated each month. In other words, the images of the graphs you see here on this page, and on all the other monthly postings about this, reflect the latest numbers. I realize that makes some of the commentary on older pages seem oddly out of step with the accompanying graphs, but I figured this was a better approach than the alternative.

    On the question of whether or not these are “statistically accurate”, it’s a question of what you’re trying to show. I’ve stated at least a dozen times (including in the discussion thread, above) that I’m not trying to compare Iraq and Vietnam in terms of the lethality risk to a given soldier. I’m only talking about the domestic political picture, and the impact of the ongoing bodycount on that.

  56. Michael Rowley Says:

    Nice clean numbers, but that’s it.

    Your little charts are for innocent little deer that get caught in your spotlight of “data, so you can then shoot them up with more

    I will wait until year four, and see if your little propaganda ploy is still up when there has been no spike in deaths in Iraq.

    At least I know why you lose elections.

    Piss poor marketing from the left; again, thank GOD.

  57. mads larsen Says:

    The 20. century teaches some important lessons.

    no country which has invaded another country and thereby started a war has won that war.

    all significant uprisings lead by nationalistic guerilla groups has succeded in the end.

  58. AJV Says:

    You’re and idiot! The mere NAME of your website betrays your so-called neutrality in this issue. Better luck next time Socialist.

  59. hades_ibex Says:

    Iraq is not Vietnam. It is doubtful that any foreign government will ever support and arm the resistance fighters (insurgents) in Iraq, so the conflict will always be David vs. Goliath. And the US will not likely ever suffer 1000, 2000 or more deaths in one month. The analogy here more closely resembles the Israel occupation of Palestinian territory but on a larger scale.

    The messages here are almost all based on fear. One side fears another quagmire in Iraq, so opposes Bush. The other side fears another 911, so rallies around Bush. Consequently GWB will try to prevent the quagmire in order to disarm his opponents but will keep stoking the fires of fear regarding terrorism to keep his supporters under his wing. It would be counter-productive to his election goal to actually defeat terrorism. Where would all the orange/red alerts come from?

  60. John Callender Says:

    Wow. That has to be one of the more intelligent things to show up over the blog-comments transom in some time. Thanks for the contribution.

  61. elkoolio Says:

    If people learnt from history, historical quotes wouldn’t be pertinent.

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken, 1923

    This war was (is being?) fought – as with most wars not because of ideology but because of vested interests. The President has vested interests and so does his administration and financial backers; and they will no doubt argue, so do the people of the USA.

    The only difference is that any vested interests satisfied on behalf of the people will be as a by-product of the satisfaction of vested interests by the aforemention group of three. The people are not and will not be the driving force behind this action; not because of their worries about terrorism and not even because of their blood-lust for retaliation post 11th September 2001 on any country they can project their hatred on – it not mattering whether they had anything to do with the attacks – just so long as the average man couldnt point to it on a map.

  62. hades_ibex Says:

    elkoolio, I liked your frank comments about how the power structure in D.C. is based on interests of those other than the electorate.

    I would like to say, however, that you missed two crucial letters: “i” and “n”. The interests are INvested not vested. Vested implies somehow absolute or inherent. If Bush’s big corporate backers thought they could make a better return on their money by supporting Kerry for president, they would take their dollars there.

    The sad thing is, this isn’t considered to be corruption because it is all legal. Its legal for corporations to support a government that will award them contracts at a later date.

  63. Alex Johnson Says:

    You liberals fail to see the catch-22 in comparing Iraq to Vietnam. If Iraq is Vietnam, then Bush is Richard Nixon–a not terribly likable Republican–and Kerry is George McGovern–a hapless left-wing liberal. We all know how that election went.

  64. Alex Johnson Says:

    You liberals fail to see the catch-22 in comparing Iraq to Vietnam. If Iraq is Vietnam, then Bush is Richard Nixon–a not terribly likable Republican–and Kerry is George McGovern–a hapless left-wing liberal. We all know how that election went.

  65. Alex Johnson Says:

    You liberals fail to see the catch-22 in comparing Iraq to Vietnam. If Iraq is Vietnam, then Bush is Richard Nixon–a not terribly likable Republican–and Kerry is George McGovern–a hapless left-wing liberal. We all know how that election went.

  66. Ryan Says:

    You should make this graph dynamic, so it is always up to date. As of today we have something like 770 people dead, don’t we…? I could help with some PHP if you want. The graph is cool, good job.

  67. hades_ibex Says:

    Alex Johnson: you fail to understand the meaning of “catch 22”. You also do not understand what a comparison is. Pointing out a difference does not diminish the similarities.

  68. GDorn Says:

    I’m sick of seeing people confusing 9/11 with Saddam.

    Pop quiz time:
    1) How many of the hijackers were Iraqis?
    2) How many of the hijackers were recruited, trained, or funded by Saddam’s regime?
    3) Where was Osama bin Laden from?
    4) What did bin Laden think of Saddam’s regime? Why?

  69. Truth be told Says:

    Loved youre charts it realy hel bring the two wars into perspctive for me thanks.

  70. Silly Me Says:

    As someone who had an uninterested coach teaching my high school history lessons, I appreciate the graphs as information…data to give some semblence of comparative analysis. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

    As some of the above comments demonstrate, there is a lot of immaturity in the world. It continues to amaze me how a difference of opinion causes playground bullying or name calling. These are the same differences of opinion that cause wars. Someone doesn’t like how someone else thinks, so instead of picking up their toys and going home, or actually listening and thereby perhaps learning something, they destroy the nursery.

    I come from a military family, and I am proud of the courage and strength shown by the majority of men and women in the forces; however, I don’t agree with the war in Iraq. Still, I thought that being an “American” meant that I had a right to voice that opinion without being attacked, verbally or physically. Silly me.

  71. Repub we stand, Liberal we fall Says:

    What I don’t understand is that people who don’t support Bush want soldiers to die so the death toll goes up. And what else I don’t understand are that these soldier who don’t want to go to war. Hello, you signed up for the military, a free education, but the risk of going to war comes with it. Now when there is a war, not all but the soldier who are against it don’t want to go.

    Also lets say Gore was president instead and 9/11 happen. We, the US would of done nothing. There most likey would be many more attacks against the US and Gore would do nothing. Bush at least had the balls to stand up for his country.

    Now we come to the post war. Not everyone is going to be happy with a decision for there government. Instead once we do leave, leaving Iraq with capability to defend itself and wait 20 years down the road, Iraq will impove. The people who are opposed to their new government will die off or have a change in mind.

    Well that last part is my thoery.

  72. nikos Says:

    A non-american point of view

    1. US lost Vietnam war (fact)
    2. US could have won Vietnam war (hypothesis 1)
    3. There could have been no war at all (hypothesis 2)

    Although US lost this war, President Clinton, visited this country a few years ago, the people cheered at him, and generally Vietnam is not considered an enemy country. What you think would be different today if we had hypothesis 1?
    Nothing different just more dead US & Vietnamies because the war would be longer.
    If hypothesis 2 had happened? The same result again with no dead, no crippled, no pain.
    All ex-eastern Europe was considered a threat for US security and now these countries are entering NATO, not as a result of war.
    Why some of you Americans insist so much in war?? As the only superpower US has the responsibility of keeping this world safe. This is not achieved by making wars worldwide.

  73. brian -- pittsburgh Says:

    While I am not a George W. Bush fan and will not be voting for him in November, I do not view this war as completely unecessary and unjust (ill-prepared and misleading perhaps). The human rights record of Saddam Hussein was atrocious. An image in the July 12th edition of Newsweek shows a warehouse full of corpses from one of the mass graves Saddam and his regime were responsible for. His torture chambers and cruelity were legendary and were sure to be continued for decades to come under the role of his equally sadistic sons. The death of American soldiers and Iraqis soldiers and civillans is horrible and are hard to measure against lives lost and potential future lives lost. However, this day had to arrive and Saddam has to be brought before a court to be tried for his brutal and appalling transgressions against humanity. Hopefully, Bush will be able to avoid furthur alienation of the international community and be able to leave a managable situation for the next. administration.

  74. Jershowitz Says:

    I was looking for these EXACT graphs when I stumbled upon your site. Thanks for updating these buggers and for all the hard work you’ve put into this.

    In re: to one of the first people to post a comment, The pentagon released a report in March 04 stating that close to 20,000 US personnel were medically evacuated from Iraq since the beginning of the war. At that time, a little over 600 troops had been KIA (if I recall correctly).

    If my numbers are correct (they’re rounded grossly), then the US suffers 33 1/3 injuries for every troop death.

    I would appreciate it if someone with access to more precise figures would publish a more accurate ratio.


  75. Marine 3/1 Says:

    I think the charts are very knowledgeable, but you have to realize that each war is different. I really believe that this war is in no relation to Vietnam and it will not produce the casualties that Vietnam produced, because it will not last as long as Vietnam.

  76. CarlosX Says:

    Pres Bush is like Herbert Hoover and John Kerry is like FDR. The economy is in shambles, you can blame the Iraq war, 9-11, etc, but the real reason is that Bush is a bad leader. He does not care that jobs are being outsourced by big companies. He only wants to make war. Clinton led the US to eight years of prosperity. I wish Gore had won. The twin towers would still stand and the biggest worry would be that INTERNET2 was not fast enough to steam the new Hi-DEF movies.

  77. JD Says:

    non American.
    Interesting to read some of the ill thought and illiterate rants posed by mostly pro war saddists. Thank you for the comparitive figures. It is a moral tragedy that in an advaned society we are still calculating human losses or worse still even making historical comparisons. As history shows that history will and can repeat itself. It would be interesting to see a chart mapping the financial cost of the war to the American people and the loss of public utilities, such as public school education, road funding, hospital facilities. That is a huge burden to place on future generations.

  78. Bob Says:

    Total gibberish. My main opposition to this authors inaccurate article is that he has missed on key factor and that the AMOUNT of soldiers in Vietnam in 1961 compared to the amount that is in Iraq now. In 1961 the USA had 3,205 soldiers in Vietnam. Today the US has around 130,000 troops in Iraq!!! Hello, you see the problem trying to compare Vietnam of 1961 to Iraq 2004? The author either out of ignorance or on purpose makes it seem as if were talking about an equal pool of troops in both conflicts.

  79. John Callender Says:

    Well, no, actually I didn’t do that. But you didn’t bother to read the discussion that follows the graphs; presumably you just looked at the pictures, and assumed you knew what my intentions were from that.

    Your assumption was incorrect.

  80. J H MARTIN Says:

    I don’t believe the mindless crap that spues from moronic liberals, “You don’t deserve to be free” and maybe the next terrorist attack will take people like you out, so we want have to listen to your garbage any more.

  81. rfn Says:

    We have now passed the 1000 mark for US deaths in Iraq. Thank you George W. Bush (somehow Clinton will be blamed for this too). Sadly more husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers will be missed. How many children have lost their mother or fathers ? I am deeply saddened – I served during the first Gulf war and now have children. I cannot support any President that send Americans to their death for NO reason. Don’t give me that 9/11 crap either – the 9/11 commission reported the truth that we alreadly knew – there are no connections between 9/11 and Iraq. And please, those supporters of the war – we invaded because we had overwhelming proof of WMD.

    “Repub we stand” – Under Gore’s watch, 9/11 would have not happened. The threats of terroism were ignored by Bush (or were they ???). I do not know any terrorist plans that Bush has prevented – but Clinton’s administration prevented several – namely the y2k plan. So please do not put Bush on such a high pedestal. When he was here in Texas as governor, no good came then and no good has come now from his presidency. I sure as hell don’t want my leader to be sitting on is ass listening to children’s stories while the country is being attacked – imagine if this were a nuclear attack – the entire country would have been destroyed during those wasted minutes. At least I know from their previous experiences in Vietnam, that John Kerry does not twiddle his thumbs when attacked – he rises to the challenge. Bush twiddled his time during the vietnam war and twiddled his time at the elementary school. If you want Bush on your side, God help you – because he will not be there.

    So here are the lies/deceits of the Administration:

    1. 9/11 and Iraq – implicit/direct connection repeated – LIE
    2. Iraq had WMDs – not just a few but several hundred tons – LIE
    3. Bush Administration hid the fact that North Korea had nuclear weapons during the Iraq Resolution debate in congress. Once the resolution was passed – the administration released this information.
    4. Medicare actuary threatened to be fired if he released information to Congress (which just announced today that action was illegal).
    5. Abu-Ghraib – No more needed here
    6. Memos/Documents of torture that led to Abu-Ghraib.
    7. Patriot Act
    8. EPA employees threatened if information released.
    9. Free-speech zone
    10. Haliburton/energy commission.
    11. Authorized flying saudis/bin ladens out of the country on 9/13 – and don’t give me that Richard Clarke crap (rhetoric) – someone above him told him to do it.
    12. Banner on aircraft carrier “Mission Accomplished” – This was done by the Bush Administration – not the navy.
    13. Bush AWOL (during the vietnam war and during his presidency)
    14. Links between Bush’s adminstration/family to oil/energy/saudis

    Patterns, Patterns, Patterns – The Bush Administration has very discernible patterns of behavior. Intimidate, threaten, coerce, hide, lie to achieve their end goal. With great power, comes great responsibility and great accountability, which this administration has shown neither. The “go it alone”, “bring them on”, break the rules (geneva convention), “preemptive” approaches defines this adminstration. Not just to other countries but to our own citizens.

    They do what they want, abuse our civil liberties (for the sake of protection), refuse to release information without being held accountable – this administration is the ENRON for the government world. Except there are no methods of investigation because they refuse to release the information.

    Franklin said (this is coming from memory) – “Those that sacrifice liberty for safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety”.

    I can only hope for our country’s security, prosperity and liberty that Bush loses this election.

  82. Ira Lacher Says:

    The death toll is not the only parallel. Military operations are beginning to resemble those of Vietnam as well: US forces look for “insurgents” (VC) who are smuggling weapons and other materiel on some route from somewhere (Ho Chi Minh Trail) and try to contain them. It didn’t take long for Vietnam military operations to fall into this pattern of no strategic goals, while VC operations increased and widened. This is what happens when you overestimate or completely misread your exit strategy, as uncounted retired military men and women are pointing out.

    In the end, unless there is some quick and massive understanding by the administration, Iraq will either fall into radical Shiite hands, the same way Vietnam fell to the more popular Communists, or the country will degenerate completely into Afghanistan, another neocon-led operation that was totally bungled.

    And they’re wanting four more years?

  83. crazyabz Says:

    Good work!

  84. afghanihash Says:

    We should not be in Iraq. Bush should have finished the job started in Afghanistan. The warlords and opium growers now control the country, and Osama still hides there. The huge opium crop has fed a new generation of junkies w/ stronger and cheaper heroin. This will kill more Americans than any terrorists could. Thank you GWB.

  85. Paul Schunemann Says:

    I have a few comments to make. For one thing, I find it both humorous and sad (I guess I’m ambivalent) that some people here believe they can divine Mr. Callender’s intentions and attitudes solely by his making graphs of accurate statistics. Even if one were correct in asserting his graphs are irrelevant, or worse, misleading, the graphs, in themselves, do not allow one to divine the inner workings of Mr. Callender’s mind (e.g., that he, as one commentator claimed “hates” people who are for the war, or for Bush, or even, my goodness, that he hates America, itself.) The only way one could do that would be if we make the assumption that making a statistical comparison of empirical data is, inherently, a bad thing. But, if that were so, then, since there really are, basically, just facts and opinions and what we deduce from those facts and opinions, what they are really saying is all that actually matters are only the opinions. (For example, saying Mr. Callender should have made different graphs than he did, or analyzed different data, are opinions as there is nothing empirical which can prove what the proper approach should be. People can only appear to prove this by circular reasoning, assuming what they are trying to prove.)

    This reminds me of a “lawyer’s” saying that I once heard: “If the facts are on your side, argue the facts. If the law is on your side, argue the law. If neither are on your side, shake your fists and pound the table.” I find no one here, on either side of the “Iraqi War question”, disputing these numbers, or, citing any established law which invalidates them.

    I must point out here that facts are subject to interpretation, which is why, generally, they can’t definitively “prove” anything. Thus, issues like the rightness or wrongness of the Vietnam War, or its “win ability” can and will rage on endlessly. However, what I find most interesting about this site is that a great many pro-war people here seem to be doing a lot of fist-shaking and table-pounding to justify their position. But, very few people who are anti-war here seem to do this when they argue for theirs. This suggests that the arguments for the war are weak compared to those against it and that the pro-war arguments are, perhaps, not only unsound, but invalid, as well.

    All I’m trying to do here is be logical, by the way. I, myself, don’t “hate” anyone. I’m a lover, not a fighter, in fact.

    There is one final point I would like to make here which doesn’t argue for either side of the Iraqi War issue, but does illuminate one big difference between the Vietnam War and our current conflict in Iraq. In one narrow sense, the Iraq War isn’t a war, at all. (This in no way diminishes our noble soldiers there who put themselves in harms way for what they believe to be a greater good.) What I mean is this: in the Vietnam conflict we were at war with a country, North Vietnam, to enable its defeat by another country, South Vietnam, each with a specific geographical location and political system. Who are we at war with in Iraq? Certainly not Iraq. We won the war against Iraq in three weeks. We are, now, trying to “save” Iraq, in some sense. Who are we fighting, then? Why, Iraqis, mostly. The ones who don’t like us, of course. And where are these enemy Iraqis? In Iraq. All over Iraq. And, now, who are we fighting “for”? Why, Iraqis, of course. The ones who do like us. And where are the “good” Iraqis? Again, in Iraq. All over Iraq.

    These two sides are not, as was the case in Vietnam, originally from two differing political systems which enjoyed separate geographical bases. Essentially, then, we are really helping Iraq fight Iraq. This current conflict is a war only in the sense that it is a civil war with us aiding one side. Certainly, the Vietnam War can be viewed as such, as well. It’s rather like our civil was, even–except, in our civil war, both sides were so formerly integrated it was, indeed, “brother against brother”. And it is this same similarity of our civil war to the Iraq civil war that differentiates the Vietnam War from the Iraqi one.

    One could argue that the Iraqi war is, at least, factional (Sunni versus Shiite versus Kurd, etc.), but even these factions are fighting within themselves. Also, there is loose coordination between them, sometimes, further blurring distinctions. So, there are, then, differences and similarities between all three conflicts. But, the point I am going to make is indifferent to the finer details. My point is this: (and you thought I didn’t have one!) the US-Iraq War is over. The Iraq civil war has begun. The US is aiding the Iraqi side which likes it. Perhaps, it has good reason to do so. Perhaps, not. That would be an opinion. Nonetheless, it appears we have deduced that the US-Iraq is over and the Iraqi civil war began at the end of it. By its invasion of Iraq and defeat of Sadaam Hussein, the US, effectively, started this civil war. Only time will tell if it has the power to end it.

  86. Kevin Tracy Says:

    Nice comparison, it’s put together very well. But the situation where we put troops on the ground in Vietnam was totally different than the situation when we went into Iraq.

    In Iraq, the organized conflict ended a month or two after fighting started.
    In Vietnam, the organized conflict didn’t start until later because we sent forces there to defend the south and the democracy there while the North waited for us to make the first move.

    In Iraq, the enemy we are facing now is largely an insurgency of international Islamic terrorists from Iran, Syria and others. But the governments aren’t officially sending a lot of material supplies needed to defeat the coalition.

    In Vietnam, the enemies were Vietnamese nationalists. They received support from the Chinese military in the form of tanks, aircraft, and SAM systems among much else. The enemy was quite a bit more dangerous in those days although some of the same terroristesque tactics were used.

    In Iraq, like I said, the enemies aren’t nationalists and an overwhelming majority supports the US presence there.
    In Vietnam, President Kennedy had the elections rigged so that a pro-US government would be in place. When I think history might show that while narrowly divided, the communists should have won.

    It’s a different war in a different scenario. I say support the war in Iraq because the people of Iraq deserve to be free. And if we can pull it off, who knows, maybe the people of the region will want to elect their leaders too. I doubt it will bring total peace to the Middle East, but at least they will have some freedoms they otherwise would never have had.

    God created all man equal… not just Americans.

  87. John Callender Says:

    Wait; you’re saying you support the war in Iraq because the people of Iraq deserve to be free? Does that mean the people of Vietnam didn’t deserve to be free? Or would you have supported the war in Vietnam as well, using the same logic?

    Obviously there are differences between the two conflicts. But I’m not sure I see the evidence that an “overwhelming majority” of Iraqis “supports the US presence there.” I think that depends very much on how you phrase the question. There are parts of Iraq that have basically become “no go” zones where US troops don’t even enter any more. I find it hard to believe that an “overwhelming majority” of the Iraqis in those places, at least, support the US presence.

    Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether or not the people of Iraq “deserve” freedom. What matters is whether US policies in Iraq succeed or fail in acheiving our goals.

    At this point, an informed, objective analysis shows quite clearly that US policies in Iraq are failing. The insurgency is gaining, rather than losing, strength. The Bush administration is continuing to assert, quite strenuously, that the policies are succeeding. They have no particular evidence they can point to, so they just assert it, over and over.

    This approach may work with enough of the US electorate to give Bush four more years; we’ll find out on November 2. It clearly won’t work in Iraq. Bush can’t change course there, since to do so would be a tacit admission of failure, and he lacks the moral courage required to acknowledge error. So Iraq will continue its downward spiral.

    The only question at this point is whether the electorate willl be smart enough to figure this out now, or whether they will need four more years of bloody intelligence failures to become convinced.

  88. Yvonne Vairma Says:

    As a service member who has served a term in the MiddleEast during this current conflict, I believe information like this is absolutely invaluable to the public. Our accepted forms of information dispersal (a corporate-controlled media) are not interested in reporting accurate, fair, and timely information. Only profitable information is of any use to them. I know because my job in the Army is to release information to and oversee the very journalists that are reporting these stories.
    I believe this website is very well-informed, and something that many Americans would benefit from looking over. Regardless of one’s opinion on the parallels between the current conflict and the one 30 years ago in Vietnam these opinions are not sufficient enough to dismiss important questions. Instead of insisting that this war will never turn into a larger conflict than it currently is, or will not last very long, let us at least ask ourselves: Why? What if? What proof do we have that it will not escalate? Are we prepared to face it if it does? What control do you and I as citizens have over the prevention of escalation? It is possible that this conflict may last a decade – how do you deal with that possibility? What truly is the cost to ourselves, and to others? Where is this heading? As we say in the Army: Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.
    If our society is not looking at our situation realistically, we would be blindsided should this conflict end up asking more of our general public than tax dollars and opinion polls on websites. What happens if your own sons and daughters get called into conflict alongside me and my comrades, how will you face that? There’s no guarantee that it will happen, but even more importantly there is no guarantee that it won’t. We must address these issues beyond the ideologies that have fueled our public opinion. We must look at all possible outcomes, good and bad.
    Becoming a well-informed citizen does not inherently make one a liberal, it simply means one is not a sheep.

  89. Scott G Says:

    I’ve noticed that one person compared Bush/Kerry to Nixon/McGovern. In reality, Bush would be Johnson. the person who first used bogus intelligence to massively increase troop presence in-country (i’m counting the no-fly zones as an in-country presence). Should bush be elected to another term, then the race would be similar to the Nixon/Humphrey race in 1968.

    As for the figures in the graphs, I’m among those who agree that the deaths should be organized per 1000 troops or some number like that.

    One person said that most of the deaths in vietnam were mostly booby-traps, not battles. how many battles have we fought in iraq? one for the airport, one for bagdhad, we’re currently fighting in fallujah. that’s about it. Vietnam had Khe Sahn, the Tet Offensive, and in fact was a more fore-on-force war than Iraq. Most of the deaths were not from ‘booby-traps’ but from ambushes of patrols.

    One person suggested that al qaeda was clinton’s fault. while al qaeda grew under clinton, it was actually created in response to George H.W. Bush sending American troops to Saudi Arabia to drive out Saddam. Osama (Usama if you like) was incensed that ‘infidels’ would be allowed to set foot into their country, and that women would be allowed to dress as americans do and drive military vehicles. His end-goal started off as, and might still be, simply trying to get americans out of the middle east. his hatred of America isn’t for no reason. he has several reasons to hate all westerners, dating back to the middle ages and the crusades, and before then to roman and jewish occupations. while most of that is irrelevant to modern times, it does provide some of the basis for his reasoning.

    Now, i’m not excusing terrorism. i think they should be eradicated. The war in afghanistan was the right war, at the right time(if not too late) for the right reasons. the war in iraq will only enflame more radical islamics to join terrorist organizations.

    Is kerry the better man? we won’t know unless we give him a chance. Is bush the better man? Have the lives of you and your loved ones improved or gotten worse? Do you feel more at risk with Bush than you did with Clinton? Do you believe alienating other countries citizens will inspire them to buy more american products and help our economic recovery or to boycott them and continue to help it stagnate?

  90. Anonymous Says:


    I liked your site. I served on the flt. deck crew of the Carrier Lincoln 8/93 to 8/97. My biggest complaint is that I think its sad that the American people don’t seem to be to concerned for our troops until war time. If they do its for the ground forces only and no one else. I hope this changes.


  91. Joe Says:

    Your numbers are a statistical train wreck. One cannot extrapulate the actions of guerillas.

  92. John Callender Says:

    Where am I extrapolating anything as to guerilla actions? I’m just putting up the number of people reported as having died after the fact.

  93. Jacob Hayes Says:

    This information should be spread to each and every household. Get CBS and FOX News to broadcast it 24/7. Have hourly updates on each and every American life lost in Iraq. But let’s not stop there, put their names on the list. Notify the families of loved ones lost before the Department of Defense can do so.

    But before you do, put the names of the 605 POWs (mainly women and school-aged children) taken by Saddam Hussein during his invasion of Kuwait at the top of the list. Mention that they never made it out of his prisons because he denied the International Red Cross access to them. Send letters (not email, take the time to write them) to the families of those POWs and let them know that you grieve for their losses the same as the American and Kuwaiti soldiers that gave their lives giving them back their freedom. The contact for the Red Crescent Society is .

  94. Johnny D Says:

    Let’s look at the bigger picture folks

    Two different eras, two different types of threats. What’s so different ?

    WE’VE NEVER HAD THE CIVILIAN POPULATION ATTACKED ON US SOIL. We are truly fighting a borderless war, even much more so than Vietnam, where we had a general idea of where the enemy was. That’s right, you could die driving to work tomorrow, thanks to a terrorist, and WE DID NOT START THIS SHIT ! They struck first. We need to keep American troops in the Middle East until the terrorists truly understand we will stop at nothing to kill them all and their families if they happen to be in the same house at the time. Especially since no other country at this time will allow US troops to be stationed on thier soil. As a former member of the 82d Airborne Division, I know you cannot launch sustained miltary operations from the ocean. And, neither can you win a war from airstrikes alone

    I have a hard believing most people dont think about the possibility Bin Laden would’ve ran right into Iraq after we invaded Afghan.


  95. Peter Says:

    Using April 1965 as the starting point for Vietnam since that is when LBJ sent in the first ground combat units.

    As you can see, the two conflicts don’t even compare in terms of their intensity, with about 7 times the deaths in Vietnam over the same number of months. This is true even when you compare the different troop levels. In 1965, there were 184,000 U.S. forces in South Vietnam and in 1966 this number rose to 385,000. In comparison, there are about 135,000 U.S. forces in Iraq.

    Vietnam Iraq
    April 1965 60 March 2003 65
    May 1965 88 April 2003 73
    June 1965 147 May 2003 37
    July 1965 104 June 2003 30
    August 1965 179 July 2003 47
    September 1965 151 August 2003 35
    October 1965 236 September 2003 30
    November 1965 545 October 2003 43
    December 1965 326 November 2003 82
    January 1966 400 December 2003 40
    February 1966 510 January 2004 47
    March 1966 562 February 2004 20
    April 1966 404 March 2004 52
    May 1966 590 April 2004 135
    June 1966 597 May 2004 80
    July 1966 561 June 2004 42
    August 1966 504 July 2004 54
    September 1966 528 August 2004 66
    October 1966 514 September 2004 (Up to 9/7) 23
    Total 7006 1001

    Moral: Your graph sucks

  96. John Callender Says:

    Moral: Your graph sucks

    Heh. Yeah, we’ve discussed that shortcoming in detail. For about the last year now.

    Of course, as you point out, even with the dates shifted, the two conflicts still aren’t remotely comparable, at least not in the terms that you, and about 1,000 other previous commenters, insist on believing I intended to compare them.

    But see, again (and again, and again), I’m not trying to compare them in that way. I’m just looking at the wars’ respective political histories, from the point in time when the president was willing to acknowledge deaths as having occurred as a result of the war.

  97. afghanihash Says:

    Now that GWB has won the vote he can begin to clean up the mess he has made in Iraq. Immediate withdrawal would not be the disaster that has been predicted. We can leave and those people will continue to kill each other ,like they have been doing for all time. Whats so bad about that?

  98. Gavin Berman Says:


    Can you tell me where you are getting your month by month casualty figures for Vietnam. I’m struggling to find any. I would appreciate a quick response.


  99. John Callender Says:

    Replied via email:

    As I mention in my postings on the issue, I used the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund advanced search tool, at:

    I ran the tool for each month of the conflict and entered the returned count of deaths in a spreadsheet. I’ve attached a tab-delimited text file of the resulting spreadsheet data. Hope it’s helpful.


  100. Anonymous Says:

    It is very bad to see how many young lives pay USA for the agression
    in IRAQ.But I am not sure if the numbers are right, because the rebel
    forces talk about many action a day and your soliders are not undead.
    I have shoot with AK-47 when i was in army and projectil is abble
    go through two big trees and kill.Shoot target on 300m is normal.And the RPG is abble to destroy a house.Do you agree with your Invasion?
    The newspapers are speaking about 100000 killed civilians, that is
    more then killed Sadam.And your prisions are like concentration camps.Many peaple in here hate Amerikans and they say that they
    are like nacist.But I know that the peaple in USA are normal.You
    have only shit goverment.

    Zdenek from Czech Republic

  101. Anonymous Says:

    the secret hand behind this war ,and the motivation of Bush to excute the orders of His masterminds through a tunnel of different ideologies ; appetising Bush short religious and material missions ,truly is a dangerous falll to huaman values on this planet.they want to turn man to a feroucious vicious animal; it is a war of wolves hiding in huamn skin

  102. shemen Says:

    Are these really lies if not then why are you called

  103. finally_happened_to_them Says:

    Why do so many americans cite the twin towers attacks in their reasoning for defending the invasion of ay-raq? Apparently there’s a poll that states that around half of americans believe Saddam Hussein knocked ’em over. Surely there aren’t so many gullible knuckleheads in existence? What else did bush and his cronies tell you? Was Saddam at the controls as well and parachuted out at the last minute or what? Ridiculous? Psst…heard the one about WMDs? Stupid.

  104. david Says:

    Hey all you flamin liberals 4 MORE YEARS BABY

  105. afghanihash Says:

    Since you obviously support the shrub, why dont you go to Iraq and fight for what you believe in? Not really worth your life or family member is it?

  106. SFC Chaney Says:

    I actually just got back from Iraq and I will let you know I sent my absentee ballot in for Bush while I was still over there. If Kerry had won I would not have reenlisted, and the majority of my soldiers would have done the same.

  107. afghanihash Says:

    Sounds as though you dont believe in the war. Who is president should not matter if a war is justified. since this is so important to bush, maybe his daughters should enlist to make daddy proud.

  108. Rob W Says:

    Comparing Vietnam killed in action to Iraq killed in action is like comparing apples and oranges. There is far more action in Iraq than the death totals would indicate, because according to the U.S. Army, far more wounded soldiers survive now than before. According to the figures given today in the Chicago Sun-Times, for every soldier killed in action in Vietnam, four were wounded. For every soldier killed in Iraq, twelve are wounded. If medical care were only as good as it was in Vietnam, there would be far more deaths. Thus the chart is wrong and things are far worse in Iraq than the KIA numbers would imply.

  109. ronald boomer Says:

    Can you tell me if Karl Vaught died during the Viet Nam conflict?

    Thank you for your assistance!

  110. afghanihash Says:

    How would the KIA in Iraq chart if deaths occured at 1 in 4 wounded, as in Vietnam?
    The organized insurgents are doing a better job than an army could. It would be nice if we could find them and knew who they are.

  111. Riffissimo Says:

    If I squint, stand on one leg, and turn off the lights, I can see that beginning of the Iraq war is deadlier than Vietnam. Unfortunately, I like to read things with my glasses and in the sunlight.

    Why are we willing to go back to 1961 for Vietnam, but not to the attack on the American warship in 88?…the first Gulf War?… the hijacking of Aquile Lauro (sp) (whose leader was given asylum in Iraq)… the first WTC attack (whose leader was given asylum in Iraq)? … the operation of the no-fly zone?… This analysis kills the credibility of the website. It’s hard enough to know the right course of action in the world without lobbing on these spurious obfuscations that you call arguments.

    I would be more patient with these arguments if somebody on the anti-war side would take accountability for the costs of not going to war. This isn’t a choice between war and a happy little peace.

    People protested entry into WWII. We waited until we “had to go to war.” Had we acted earlier, would we saved some of the 80 million civilians and soldiers that died? Will you take responsibility for that?

    If you’re holding Bush accountable for deaths in Iraq, are you willing to accept the deaths that occurred when we took your side of the argument? Had Bush senior went into Iraq, how many Kurds and Shiites would have been saved? 100,000? Surely the 10k that were gassed. Maybe Bush Sr was listening to your argument. Will you put a bumper sticker on your car that says, “Bush Sr and I contributed to the deaths of 10,000 kurds” ?

    It’s healthy to question leadership, but this demonizing and feel-good, holier-than-thou stuff doesn’t belong. Is this about making Bush the bad guy to distinguish you as the nice guy/gal? Or is this about contributing to a discussion about the right course of action?

  112. Dennis Edwards Says:

    George Bush is an ASSHOLE
    End of story

  113. afghanihash Says:

    Thank you Dennis for summing it all up.

  114. Anonymous Says:

    Good-looking site. Congratulations.

  115. Anonymous Says:

    You have a great website. Keep up the good work.

  116. Jimbo Says:

    The graph idea is a little misleading. What we are doing in Iraq is the equivalent of what never happened in Vietnam. We are fighting the enemy on the enemies turf.We never invaded North Vietnam with troops. We tried to counter the North in the South, we never even bombed important targets in Vietnam until Nixon mined Haiphong and bombed up near the Chinese border. Vietnam would be like fighting Iraq from aircraft carriers while China and Russia supplied them without ever sending a boot in.If you recall North Vietnam finally settled in Paris shortly thereafter.Was the settlement a good one? It sure was for the North Vietnamese. We gave the cause away because politically is was bad news. Then after arming the South Vietnamese to fight an expensive American equipped war, we cut them off in 1974. By cut off I mean Ford reduced military aid to South Vietnam to 1/8th the amount China/ Soviet union was supplying North Vietnam. Kepp in mind the North Vietnamese Army was equipped to operate much more cheaply than the ARVN. In effect the disparity between funding at the end (1974-1975) was probably effectivly 15 times more for North Vietnam. But I digress,one of the reasons Americans are getting killed at a relatively high rate in Iraq is because there are too many exposed in large groups. But what would I know, I’m just an old ex-grunt from Americal.

  117. Jimbo Says:

    Vietnam would be like fighting Iraq from aircraft carriers while China and Russia supplied them without ever sending a boot in.
    Bad comparison, let’s say the same but having our troops staioned in a contested province (such as where the Kurds Live) while Saddam continually attacked and we couldn’t invade his province).

  118. Sum Homo Indomitus Says:

    Dear Friends,

    Saying that the USA was attacked on 11 September 2001 “for no reason”
    completely ignores decades of history. During the Reagan presidency,
    Libya was bombed, Lebanon was occupied, and troops were sent to the
    Persian Gulf region to engage in various joint exercises with the
    rulers of countries like Saudi Arabia. The USA supported Iraq in
    the conflict with Iran and also, apparently, sold enormous amounts
    of weapons and ammo to Iran in exchange for however many hostages
    the Hez Bollah could grab.

    So, the person who says the USA was attacked “for no reason” should
    certainly take a few days, visit a college library somewhere, and
    research the “Iran Contra” scandal, just for starters. A bit of
    research about how Reagan re-commissioned some WW2 battleships so
    they could use their 16 inch guns to lob huge explosive shells into
    Lebanon would seem like another thing to read up about. It might
    also be useful to look at some more recent events, such as that
    complete mess in Somalia where Americans were sent to capture the
    leader of the Habr Gidr clan, Mohammed Farad Aideed because he had
    the courage to stand up to the UN when they sent Pakistani troops
    to seize his radio station.

    Really. If you support the UN seizing radio stations in Somalia
    and closing newspapers in Kosovo in order to control what people
    read and hear, then you are some sort of dimwitted fascist and there
    would be no point to you reading any further. On the other hand,
    if that happened in Texas, if a radio station were seized by UN
    troops, there would be nothing *left* of those troops by the time
    the boyz here got done. At least Aideed left the eviscerated bodies
    of the Pakistani troops where they could be found.

    To follow up on the radio station thing from May 1993, the USA sent
    military helicopters, 19 choppers by some accounts, to surround a
    meeting of the Habr Gidr clan elders. TOW missiles and 30 mm cannon
    were fired into that building until it was obliterated, killing
    dozens, including all the men of the Habr Gidr who were cautioning
    against going to war. Read about it at Mark Bowden’s Philadelphia
    Inquirer web site on “Black Hawk Down” or in his book. The movie
    by Bruckheimer left all that stuff out.

    Or look at “Monica’s War” when Clinton sent cruise missiles to
    destroy an aspirin factory in Sudan and some tents in Afghanistan.
    There has been plenty to motivate the suicide bombers and those
    who flew aircraft into buildings in 2001.

    Iraq was not involved in the attacks on 11 September 2001. If you
    doubt it, read the report of the 9/11 Commission. That’s what they
    say. And they looked at a lot more data than they are allowed to

    Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Colin Powell lied when he
    said that they did. George Tenet lied when he said that they did.
    George W. Bush lied when he said that they did. In the two years
    of occupation, the USA has not even been able to manufacture a
    credible story for Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. It
    is obvious beyond any doubt that nothing Iraq had would ever have
    been able to reach the USA – they had no delivery systems by way
    of missiles, they had no military aircraft that were allowed to
    fly, and they could not have harmed the USA. Yet, the USA attacked.

    Now, I am not one to say there must be no retaliation. Okay, Saddam
    was a jerk, he killed a lot of his people, just as well he’s gone.
    Okay, Saddam tried to kill GW’s father around 1993 timeframe, and
    that may be a source of ire that resulted in some old fashioned
    retribution. Fine. But, Saddam is gone. Saddam is in captivity.
    Saddam is going on trial. What is it going to take to get the USA
    to accept victory and let the Iraqi people choose their own fate.

    Newsflash! The Afghans just elected Hamid Karzai, to the surprise
    of no one, and the USA has not withdrawn its troops from Afghanistan.
    No doubt they are now there at the request of Karzai. Does anyone
    remember president Thieu of South Vietnam?


    Sum Homo Indomitus
    “I am not part of your empire.”

  119. Riffissimo Says:

    Can you expand on your president Thieu analogy?

  120. Riffissimo Says:

    Is anyone concerned that Bin Laden referred to Iraq extensively in his declaration of war document. Iraq has been the biggest PR campaign for terrorists for more than a decade (that is, other than Europe’s anti-semitism campaign). It’s about time we did something to change that. Surely, oil-for-food payoffs and oil-for-food regime funding weren’t the solution. Certainly not when Hussein was killing babies and advertising them as part of his anti-sanctions PR blitz. Is that what you call “peace” when you say Bush should have opted for peace?

    The choice wasn’t between War and Peace… it was between war and disaster. You think there’s discontent in the middle east now? Wait 20 years when all of the oil is gone, and all they have to show is some palaces with porn and weapons in the basement. We need democracy in Iraq now!

  121. Cassie B. Says:

    There has been no evidence to prove a link between Bin Laden and Iraq. Iraq holds 10% of the world’s oil reserves. Of course Bush went after the oil. And Bin Laden didn’t initiate the 9/11 attacks because he doesn’t like the way we live. That is the most ignorant way of thinking. He did it because he dislikes U.S. foreign policy with respect to other nations. He dislikes U.S. presense, ESPECIALLY, in Saudi Arabia. There are over 700 U.S. military bases in over 130 nations. We would not take kindly to, say the Chinese setting up a base on U.S. soil.

    On the topic of Iraq, you cannot plug in a style of government (US government) which is barely over 200 years old into any nation. It’s absurd. Anyone with half a brain knows this. One of the oldest civilizations known to man was born in Iraq thousands of years ago (the Sumerians). Those people were doing just fine and were still doing fine. And it was the Iranians who gassed the Kurds, not Saddam. It was during the Iranian-Iraq war. AND THAT WAS THEIR BUSINESS: NOT OURS. Of course there are no weapons of mass destruction. We are the ones causing the mass destruction. We are the only ones to have ever used nuclear weapons. No wonder no one likes us. We have become the bully of the world. This is how great empires fell in the past. Time and history never lie.

    It is not liberating Iraqis when 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed and their men, women, and children have been abused, tortured, and raped since we invaded. It is 2.5 times more likely that an Iraqi will die after our invasion. They are not “free”; they are terrified and dying. The Iraqi economy was doing well under Saddam before the sanctions were imposed. During the sanctions pushed by the U.S., 500,000 Iraqi kids perished according to UNICEF (United Nations Childrens Emergency Fund). Sadaam may not be the greatest guy, but the people were safe, people of all faiths could worship without threat, and the economy was improving. And there were no weapons found. There are over 80 dictatorships in the world with horrendous conditions for the citizens. But we don’t care about them; they have nothing of value to us. Thanks to Bush for all the senseless murder and violence. And thanks to Bush for the 87,000,000,000 we taxpayers paid for nothing, while citizens here are suffering from lack of health insurance, declining economic conditions, and growing poverty. The gap between the lower and upper class is growing. And it seems, ironically, the lower to lower middle class (which comprises most of this country) are for this. Go do some research and find out for yourself that one out of every five children HERE IN THE U.S. goes to bed hungry. Go find out for yourself how many millions of people here are in poverty.

    To get to the bottom of any issue one must examine the problem from all sides possible, no matter how ridiculous it may seem, and use his or her own brain to come to a conclusion. However, in this country, the lower to lower middle class has become brainwashed sheep believing every stupid thing the media states, which is owned and controlled by a few individuals. What does this mean? We get THEIR point of view. Think people. Think. Use that wrinkly mass inside your heads.

    One day it may be us suffering from invasion and occupation, murder, abuse, and torture. You never know what can happen. We need to start caring and valuing the lives of everyone, not just ourselves. That will be our downfall. We are all human beings.

  122. burningbush Says:

    Jan 7,2005…
    Referring to the campaign to stabilize Iraq, Mr. Bush said: “I know it’s hard, but it’s hard for a reason. And the reason it’s hard is because there are a handful of folks who fear freedom.”

    What an ass we have for president. He alone should be able to clear Iraq of a handful of insurgents

  123. chimpy Says:

    Commentary: An Urgent Call to Republicans

    Hey, Republicans! If you voted for this war, go fight in it.
    By Donald Trader

    I’d like to put out an urgent call to Republicans to make sure their sons and daughters volunteer for active military service. Uncle Sam needs you. National Guard and Army Reserve recruitment is falling short by some 50%, and it’s getting tougher and tougher for the Marines, the Army and the other services to get the kind of recruit they want. Wait a minute — the Marines and the Army ought to be flooded with volunteers!

    I know that George Bush ran as a war president, and his main declaration was that he would stay the course in Iraq and Afghanistan, and wherever he felt military intervention was required. He held one crowded and cheering rally after another on this theme all across the United States, including Tennessee. I saw all those good people on TV waving their American flags and doing high fives. I read many letters in this very newspaper supporting the war, including some from students of fighting age.

    Some 59,000,000 Americans voted for George Bush and the Republicans. That includes the majority of the people in Tennessee. So why are we short of recruits to fight in Iraq? We ought to be inundated with enthusiastic volunteers. Tomorrow morning, I’d like to see 59,000,000 SUV’s pulling up in front of Marine Corps and Army enlistment offices. I see Tax Cut Hummers full of happy families, including healthy looking young people, whizzing by U.S. recruitment offices, and I wonder what the problem is: brake failure every time you get close to signing up to fight in a war you supported for a President you elected?

    Now if you’re a young Republican who hates taxes and supports the war in Iraq, you can’t get away any longer with a ridiculous yellow ribbon on the back of your car. You’re going to have to pay for the war, and you’re going to have to fight in it. Who did you think was going to do that, if not you? Democrats?

    I’ll volunteer to drive busloads of young Republican volunteers to their first military basic training session after they enlist. And there should be a huge number of volunteers; I don’t think Republicans are cowardly blowhards like most Democrats. Otherwise, I’m sorry to say, I’m going to tell my Congressman Lincoln Davis that we need a military draft in this country. The reason is simple: we need to hold people accountable for what they do, and it’s time for Republicans to go face combat and support their Commander in Chief. You voted for it. Now go get in it.

  124. Patrick Says:

    I respect your study. In addition, I enjoyed the comments that where provided. I think that you may have benifited by using simple charts that compare a month by month comparison of the two wars. For instance, a header with vietnam on one side and Iraq on the other. List the months on the left and simple input the data from the start of each war. In other words, how many soldiers were killed in the first month of Vietnam and how many in the firts month of Iraq. Now provide the next month!!!! Simplicity offers you to maximise exposer of your study. Providing data that will be read by a small few scholars will provide little assistence. Remember scholars didn’t remove U.S. troops from Vietnam, nor did politicians. It was the remarkable work done by the masses of ordinary people who protested on behalf of the beleifs. Once again good work and best of luck

  125. chimpy Says:

    We were supposed to be saving the world from WMD (none found) and we were told we’d be welcomed as saviors from Saddam (didn’t happen). What, then, has NOT been a lie from the Bush government?

    Why is the resistance growing in popular support among both Shiite and Sunni Muslims everywhere? Because of the stupid policies of George W. Bush, that’s why. Can anyone think of a way to make more enemies? Short of attacking additional innocent countries, we can’t.

  126. chopperpilot Says:

    I don’t think you can really speak about what a war is and isn’t if you haven’t even been there. Neither can you passionately support something that requires another to give his/her life or the life of his/her children if you wont offer up your own. This was elequently put by chimpy.

    I’ve been there and I’ve seen it and I can tell you that we are not fighting terror, we are breeding terror. No one should say that we should stand by and let terror exisist. But a BAD plan should never be a subsittuiton for NO PLAN at all. What we are doing is not working. If we stay this course we will FAIL!

    We can debate numbers and statistically flawed charts all day long. But what do we say to a vietnam vet like my father? A man who has spent 40 years in the Army, who went to not only Vietnam but, Panama, the Gulf War, Operation Desert Fox, Afghanistan, Iraq, and has done tours in Korea, Bosnia and many other places.

    He is convinced that we are HEADING for another Vietnam. A no one can call him a coward, or an anti-american.

  127. nhanVN Says:

    do you know how many vietnameses was killed in vietname war?
    my father told me: “if ONE american die, it means TEN vietnameses are killed”
    i wish it were not war in my country, also in Iraq

  128. rhmonroe Says:

    The comparison of deaths in two such very different wars is ridiculous. It is kind of like comparing the the number of deaths in the American Civil War with the War in Vietnam. It would be just as relevent. And far more American’s died in the civil war. The real difference in death numbers has to do with several factors not the least of which is the technology available to the sides fighting. One of the other factors that this war has that Vietnam didn’t have was the willingness of religious zealots to blow themselves up. Anytime someone is willing to kill themselves in the process of hurthing innocent people – the deaths toll is far more tragic than it is when people use conventional arms.

    If you want to quantify deaths in the ranks of the U.S. Military – you need to talk about the general death rate for people in the military. From 1980-1995 the average yearly death toll was 1943 troops. During this time only 226 of those deaths was from “hostile action.” From 1996 – 2022 averaging 866 deaths per year. Now, in a time of hostile action, 2000 soldiers have died during a two year period. And for a single day death toll of soldiers we haven’t surpassed the the October 23, 1983 terrorist attack on our “peacekeeping Marines” in Beirut. That day 241 U.S. Service members died. Anytime someone dies, it is painful for the people intimately involved. But as someone from a military family – I can tell you that it is less painful when they are dying for the cause of liberty than it would be if they simply were a homicide in their barracks, which a vast majority of “peace time” deaths are.

    Someone made a comment about the U.S. paying Iraqi soldiers – of course we are. Other than renagade terrorists, real soldiers the world over get paid for being a soldier. There is not much work in Iraq to be had yet, and being a soldier in the cause of freedom is the “employment” choice that these men are making. And they are making it knowing that there is a good chance they will die, that they will be ostracized by their neighbors because in Islamic countries – even if you aren’t a fundementalist and even if you envy the american lifestyle – Hell even if you are grateful at the hope of democracy, it isn’t politically correct to be Pro-American. People in Iraq are risking their lives to turn out to vote; they are risking their lives when Saddam goes to court and they show up in the streets jubilent that finally he is going to trial. I wonder how many Americans would turn out to vote if they knew that there was a liklihood that a suicide bomber would show up at their polling place. Hell, in America people don’t turn out to vote because of apathy, rain, heat, lines that might have more than 20 people in them.

    We are sitting on the eve of one of the most important political changes in the history of the world – And some people just don’t get it. Compared to this the Berlin wall was nothing. The break up of the USSR was nothing. Israel getting a homeland was nothing. They all pale by comparison when it comes to the importance of an Islamic country with a real democracy in the middle east.

  129. Caleb Walzman Says:

    You bring up interesting points and I would like to add a comparison that seems to be left out a lot, which is the soldier’s reporting on the war. In Vietnam the G.I.’s were creating underground newspapers. Now in Iraq there are soldiers blogging about the war. There’s one aspect about war that will always remain and that is soldiers wanting to write about their experiences. I didn’t even really know about the whole G.I. movement, but I just saw this documentary on it called, Sir! No Sir! It’s pretty interesting.

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