Tuesday, September 20, 2005

90,000 Bullets Apiece 

American troop deaths in Iraq have now passed the 1900 mark. Throw in the wounded, and the official US casualty count tops 20,000. Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan, notes that if the Iraqi insurgency is 20,000 strong, as US military commanders continue to insist, then "each insurgent is responsible for one US casualty":
US troops in Iraq number about 150,000. Obviously, US troops have not inflicted 150,000 casualties on the Iraqi insurgents. US troops have perhaps inflicted 150,000 casualties on the Iraqi civilian population, primarily women and children who are the "collateral damage" of the "righteous" and "virtuous" US invasion that is spreading civilian deaths all over Mesopotamia in the name of democracy . . . .

According to the September 1 Manufacturing & Technology News, the Government Accounting Office has reported that over the course of the cakewalk war, the US military's use of small caliber ammunition has risen to 1.8 billion rounds. Think about that number. If there are 20,000 insurgents, it means US troops have fired 90,000 rounds at each insurgent.

Very few have been hit. We don't know how many. To avoid the analogy with Vietnam, until last week the US military studiously avoided body counts. If 2,000 insurgents have been killed, each death required 900,000 rounds of ammunition.

The combination of US government owned ammo plants and those of US commercial producers together cannot make bullets as fast as US troops are firing them. The Bush administration has had to turn to foreign producers such as Israel Military Industries. Think about that. Hollowed out US industry cannot produce enough ammunition to defeat a 20,000 man insurgency . . . .

With its judgement lost to frustration, the US military has 40,000 Iraqis in detention--twice the number of estimated insurgents. Who are these detainees? According to the Washington Post, "Many of the men detained in Tall Afar last week were rounded up on the advice of local teenagers who had stepped forward as informants, at times for what American soldiers said they suspected amounted to no more than settling local scores" . . . .

Adam Ereli, the demented US State Department spokesperson, denounced the Syrian government for "permitting" insurgents to cross the border. The US government cannot prevent a steady stream of one million Mexicans from illegally crossing its border each year, but Syria is supposed to be able to stop a couple hundred foreign fighters from sneaking across its border.

Ereli misrepresents Syria's inability to be "an unwillingness" which indicates that Syria is consorting with terrorists, not only in Iraq, but also in Lebanon and Palestine. Does this sound like Syria being set up for invasion?
UPDATE: Our eminent colleague Eli Stephens of Left I on the News reminds us that the U.S. death count in Iraq does not include "private security contractors," "diplomatic security agents," and other soldiers-for-hire. If it did, the figure would be well past 2000.

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