The pattern of death in Iraq is sporadic, but the last few days have been particularly bloody. We hit the 2,000 milestone on Wednesday.
Looking at the website we all go to in order to follow this ceaseless and depressing tragedy it is hard to figure out actual patterns. With a few days left to go in October, the United States (and almost solely the United States) is losing nearly 3 military personnel a day.
The disturbing part is, I do not think there has been a particularly bloody day this month, a day when a dozen die in a helicopter crash, or one single incident. It has been pretty much two here and two there. And the bulk of the deaths in October did not come in the run up to the Constitutional vote, but afterwards.
Since "Mission Accomplished" the month of the least deaths for Americans was all the way back in February 2004, when only 23 coalition soldiers were killed (20 American). Even more disturbing, since April of this year, each month has seen more than 50 killed, and four months, including this month, more than 80.
The "Progress" and "Marching" have also essentially been replaced by "staying the course", even in a month where the Constitution was apparently approved.
There seems to be no pattern to the carnage, except to say we are going to likely hit 2,100 around Thanksgiving, and Christmas will see another 170 or so widows and widowers, and a few hundred kids with one less parent.
Iraq is such a slow motion and inevitable tragedy, it is almost worse than a single cataclysmic event. I would say it is the death throes of American Imperialism*, except that is a refrain that has been heard before -- and that would put too much of an optimistic note upon it.
*This is NOT anti-Americanism, though it cannot be summarized in one quick sentence, both the world AND the United States would be better off without our militarism. Far too many on the right get their "rocks off" at the notion of being the bully -- that is the most fucked up notion of Foreign Policy I can think of, and ultimately the most suicidal. Karma in history is more than a bitch, it is inevitable.