I’ve updated my Iraq-Vietnam comparison graphs with the numbers of US dead in Iraq during the month of February, and the news is good, at least for our loved ones currently stuck over there: only 20 US war dead last month. That’s the best month since the start of the war. On the not-so-great side, at least for those who still believe Bush’s assertions that the outcome of all this will be a democratic and stable Iraq, the downturn in US fatalities doesn’t seem to have been so much the result of the people blowing us up having been defeated, as their having switched to blowing up other Iraqis.
If you’re interested in the total deaths for US troops so far, it comes to 544. One way of looking at that is to realize that at its peak, the Vietnam war was killing nearly five times as many US soldiers each month as in the entire first year of the Iraq war. From a less-optimistic point of view, Bush’s elective war so far has managed to kill off as many of our youth as the first three and a half years of Vietnam.
Again, I’m getting these figures from the advanced search tool at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund site, and from Lunaville’s page on Iraq coalition casualties. The figures are for the number of US dead per month, without regard to whether the deaths were combat-related.
The first graph shows the first year of each war. (Click on any image for a larger version.)
Next, the same chart, with the Vietnam numbers extended out to cover the first four years of the war:
Finally, the chart that gives the US death toll for the entire Vietnam war:
Obligatory note: I am not claiming any military significance in this particular comparison. I’m just talking about the wars’ respective political histories. See lengthy discussion in my previous postings here, here, and here, for example. Or don’t bother, and just spout off in the comments about what an idiot I am; you’ll have plenty of company.