Saturday, February 24, 2007

US MILITARY & CONTRACTORS VIRTUALLY EQUAL IN NUMBERS IN IRAQ

IRAQ--Not only does the public not understand that hundreds-of-thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed in this conflict, but that roughly half of the people there on the American side are private contractors. The reality is, we have over 250,000 military and mercenary soldiers in Iraq, and we still cannot provide adequate security and infrastructure throughout the occupied nation.

US MILITARY FORCES: 135,000

PRIVATE CONTRACTORS: 120,000

Source: AP

Number of American Troops KIA as of this writing: 3,154 (number wounded, 23,677)

Number of Private contractors KIA: closing-in on 800.

Sources: AP, and Antiwar.com.


The AP had this to say:

While the Defense Department issues a press release whenever a soldier or Marine dies, the AP had to file a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain figures on pre-2006 civilian deaths and injuries from the Labor Department, which tracks workers' compensation claims. By the end of 2006, the Labor Department had quietly recorded 769 deaths and 3,367 injuries serious enough to require four or more days off the job. (AP, 02.24.2007)

and:

If the contractor deaths were added to the Pentagon's count of U.S. military casualties, the number of war dead would climb about 25 percent, from about 3,000 as of the end of 2006 to nearly 3,800. (ibid)

Quite a mess, eh? It's absurd that the AP had to do a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain this information, but that's the GOP for you...and dyadic-politicians like Billary Clinton, Joe Lieberman, and Rahm Emanuel, Charles Schumer, and others in Congress. Using private contractors has had many functions for the neoncon cabal, and hiding casualties--which includes wounded who have survived--is one of them.

So, in-fact, the casualties are considerably higher, but without the stigma it might have engendered had there been a draft. It's time to end the all-volunteer military, and time to reinstate the draft without class-based loopholes. Compulsory service for everyone who is called-up, unless they want to do public services of some sort. The Middle East: it's only going to worsen. The only upside is that it will likely hamstring current establishment politicos for a very-very long-time, ending many of their careers forever. Meanwhile, thousands die, for concentrated power and wealth.

AP: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070223/ap_on_re_us/iraq_contractors