A Cautious Man
March 11, 2005
That Counts The Men Fallen Away
To The Price You Pay

Towards the top of my page, to the right, under the heading "Because People Need to Pay Attention to This Stuff", is a link to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count website. It’s a useful and sobering, not to mention eye-opening, compendium of the reality of war. It's a reminder of the simple fact that the choice of war, over other available options, carries a price which is paid, not be the decision-makers, but by those who trusted that the right decision was made.

Interestingly enough, the Iraq Casualty Count was linked to yesterday by none other than James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal. His "Best of the Web Today" is a compendium of a different sort of reality, one where (usually) the best of lame right-wing "humor", overlaid with a veneer of smarminess and incompetently-rendered snark, is used to try to obscure the facts of foreign and domestic issues in that classic, "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" fashion - all of which qualifies him as a finalist if there's ever a "Most Annoying Person on the Internet" competition. But I digress …

Because of a news item yesterday in which, it was claimed, an ex-Marine described Saddam Hussein's capture as being different from the version we first heard, the "BOTWT" staff needed some facts to debunk this possibility. Since the story claimed that a Marine of Sudanese origin had been killed in the encounter, the intrepid WSJ team needed some facts about actual casualties (there's a first time for everything). And, voila, they found them, and linked to the Iraq Casualty Count for their readers in order to demonstrate that no Marines were killed around that time, let alone one with a Sudanese-sounding name.

I don't know how many of Mr. Taranto's fans have ever bothered to look at the facts about the casualties of the Iraq war, or have even been aware that such information is available at their fingertips. Maybe having been sent there, they'll explore that site further, and obtain an education about the price we've asked our troops to pay.



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