February Death Toll Down for Us, Up for Them

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.

19 Responses to “February Death Toll Down for Us, Up for Them”

  1. lies.com » US War Dead in Iraq for May Says:

    [...] : The cruelest month 41 US Iraq war dead in December Post-Saddam death toll up slightly February death toll down for us, up for them Thirteen months in [...]

  2. lies.com » US Soldiers Continue to Die in Iraq Says:

    [...] : The cruelest month 41 US Iraq war dead in December Post-Saddam death toll up slightly February death toll down for us, up for them Thirteen months in [...]

  3. lies.com » Eighteen Months In Says:

    [...] : The cruelest month 41 US Iraq war dead in December Post-Saddam death toll up slightly February death toll down for us, up for them Thirteen months in [...]

  4. lies.com » The Bush Legacy in Iraq Says:

    [...] : The cruelest month 41 US Iraq war dead in December Post-Saddam death toll up slightly February death toll down for us, up for them Thirteen months in [...]

  5. Yngwie Says:

    OK, I’ll spout off a comment on what an idiot you are.

    In 1964, America’s troop commitment in Vietnam peaked at 25,000. These were almost all advisers and support personel – not combattants. Most historians consider 1965 agree that the war began in 1965. It’s silly to start the war proper the day the first US advisers stepped of the plane in Dec. 1961. I believe the US has advisers in Columbia and the Philippines. Is the US at war in those countries too? I don’t think so, not yet. But if the rest of the posts on your blog are as misleading as this one than the site really merits its name.

  6. Yngwie Says:

    Should have re-read before posting. 3rd sentence should read: Most historians consider that the war began in 1965.

  7. Robert Lemozin Says:

    So, just because you caught your mistake, does this mean that we can’t spout off on what an idiot YOU are?

    All you are saying is that a greater percentage of Americans were killed in the earlier stages of the conflict. This does not bode well for the rest of the current quagmire.

  8. Robert Lemozin Says:

    So, just because you caught your mistake, does this mean that we can’t spout off on what an idiot YOU are?

    All you are saying is that a greater percentage of Americans were killed in the earlier stages of the conflict. This does not bode well for the rest of the current quagmire.

  9. Robert Lemozin Says:

    So, just because you caught your mistake, does this mean that we can’t spout off on what an idiot YOU are?

    All you are saying is that a greater percentage of Americans were killed in the earlier stages of the conflict. This does not bode well for the rest of the current quagmire.

  10. Robert Lemozin Says:

    So, just because you caught your mistake, does this mean that we can’t spout off on what an idiot YOU are?

    All you are saying is that a greater percentage of Americans were killed in the earlier stages of the conflict. This does not bode well for the rest of the current quagmire.

  11. Robert Lemozin Says:

    So, just because you caught your mistake, does this mean that we can’t spout off on what an idiot YOU are?

    All you are saying is that a greater percentage of Americans were killed in the earlier stages of the conflict. This does not bode well for the rest of the current quagmire.

  12. Grayce Says:

    Instead of squabbling over the exact start of the Vietnam War, I think anyone who cares about these young men and women getting killed in Iraq, and is bothered by the way the vets were welcomed home from Vietnam, because they were doing what the country asked of them,despite how they felt about it instead of being a coward,and just because you don’t belive in the war thats no excuse not to stand up for your country,like it or not as an American it is your duty to serve if your asked to-bottom line.Anyway, use that energy to do more than sit around and complain.Our troops need to know we support them,There are many organizations from which you can adopt a unit and send them out some packages,that says a lot more than anything you type up and post,or is it you only care enough to complain and make charts, but not to do something that the troops can appreciate?

  13. Grayce Says:

    Instead of squabbling over the exact start of the Vietnam War, I think anyone who cares about these young men and women getting killed in Iraq, and is bothered by the way the vets were welcomed home from Vietnam, because they were doing what the country asked of them,despite how they felt about it instead of being a coward,and just because you don’t belive in the war thats no excuse not to stand up for your country,like it or not as an American it is your duty to serve if your asked to-bottom line.Anyway, use that energy to do more than sit around and complain.Our troops need to know we support them,There are many organizations from which you can adopt a unit and send them out some packages,that says a lot more than anything you type up and post,or is it you only care enough to complain and make charts, but not to do something that the troops can appreciate?

  14. Anonymous Says:

    We must compare the numbers killed in action, in both campaigns, to the overall troop deployment figures. At the start of Iraqi Freedom in Mar 03, the U.S. deployed over 100,000 troops. In Vietnam, total troop deployment figures had reached Iraqi Freedom’s only by late 1965, by which time we were losing 500 soldiers a month. The ratio of killed in action to total number of troops deployed is one more example of how Iraq is nowhere near the quagmire of Vietnam.

  15. chris Says:

    We must compare the numbers killed in action, in both campaigns, to the overall troop deployment figures. At the start of Iraqi Freedom in Mar 03, the U.S. deployed over 100,000 troops. In Vietnam, total troop deployment figures had reached Iraqi Freedom’s only by late 1965, by which time we were losing 500 soldiers a month. The ratio of killed in action to total number of troops deployed is one more example of how Iraq is nowhere near the quagmire of Vietnam.

  16. Doug Says:

    “Lies.com” Is a GOOD name for this web site! At least so far as these graphs are concerned! Another good name would have been “apples and ornanges.com”

    IF the U.S had of gone full scale on Vietnam on a particular day (as FINALLY happened GW’s push) THEN you compare the graphs, but we never did that EVER in Vietnam much less on whatever date your chart refers to as the beginning!

    At least have the decency to redo your graphs picking a more reasonable start date for Vietnam … like a date when there was a huge shift in policy and significant military assets were put into play … I would think it would even have been well after the 1965 date expressed by “most historians” and then once you do that please have the truthful decency to LABEL the graph with information showing key differences. No matter what side of an argument someone is on there is always value in comparisons. Even apples and oranges so long as graphs are labeled “apples” and “oranges.” It’s all about credibility, be credible and perhaps you may influence someone in a new direction … all lies do is to preach to an apostate church’s own choir! Do your homework and use TRUTH to sway people! If an argument is legitimate it should not need sensationalized and warped to the point of lameness charts! Do you ONLY want to convince morons! Don’t you have confidence to convince people with functional brains??

  17. John Callender Says:

    Actually, I think you should lie down for a bit.

  18. Tim Says:

    To all of you that insist the war started in 1965. kiss my ___.
    My father was a member of the United States army and arrived in 1961.
    I have read the few letters he sent home before he was killed. In 1961. I can assure you the war was well under way in 61. My father was a combat soldier. NOT a military advisor.He served 3 tours in Korea. He was sent to Veitnam as a door gunner.
    To all you who complain about the start dates. The war started when our soldiers started to die!!! Pull your heads out of the sand or shut up!!!

  19. bertbertrand Says:

    Nice work, even if those are right who are saying that the Vietnam war began really in 1965.

    I see three important differences between both wars, which lead to a conclusion:

    1) terrain: when in Vietnam, US forces fought mostly in jungle, that is to say in a perfect terrain for a guerilla, resistance fighters in Iraq does not have that much hide outs, except in the cities.

    2) resistance fighters do not enjoy foreign support (for the moment), and then fight with RPG and AK47 against the overwhelming firepower of the US forces.

    3) modern combat equipment of the US forces are much more effective than during the 70s, when soldiers fought in light combat fatigue, and usually even without helmets, because of the heat.

    My conclusion is that:
    1) civilian casualties are very high, because of the urban fighting, and the using of heavy weaponry in urban area (but US people don’t care of civilians)

    2) There are only 1400 US death (add 180 others and 200 mercenaries), but some 5000 heavy wounded. They don’t die, since heavy protection and fast rescue are available today. I think they would have die in Vietnam.

    My conclusion: it is a war, not a pecekeeping mission. It is a colonial war, since the US are occupying a foreign country. The iraqis are fighting the occupation force, they’ll eventually succeed, but they’ll pay the heaviest price, especially women and children. We won’t know nothing about that, since US medias and people don’t give a damn about iraqis. Oil prices won’t move, and that will be the only result, wether we find it good or not.

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