Wounded Numbers

A reader directed me to an article that shows the wounded count I keep at Antiwar.com may be “way off base.” From the Army Public Affairs:

As of Sept. 16, Landstuhl[U.S. base in Germany] has treated approximately 6,000 service members from Operation Iraqi Freedom and 1,800 patients from Operation Enduring Freedom.

Note that this is a gov’t website. Now, add this account of casualties that arrive in the US:

“Since the war has started, I [ Lieutenant-Colonel Allen DeLane, who is in charge of the airlift of the wounded into Andrews air base] can’t give you an exact number because that’s classified information, but I can say to you over 4,000 have stayed here at Andrews, and that number doubles when you count the people that come here to Andrews and then we send them to other places like Walter Reed and Bethesda, which are in this area also.”

If these two numbers are valid (and disjoint sets), then the “real” total number of wounded is upwards of 10,000. I gather that some, or perhaps even a lot of these casualties are those who fall ill, trip on a stick or suffer from other “non-combat” injuries. Nonetheless, the total will still be higher than any official release.

The current count of wounded (see top right corner of the blog page) is 1507. This number is based on my own running tally of injuries coupled with the official CentCom and DOD releases. Perhaps I should distinguish between “Maximum Wounded” and “Minimum Wounded.” Thoughts?

Biological and Chemical Weapons in Antiquity

From the Discovery Channel:

The legendary Trojan War was won with the help of poisoned arrows, in one of the first attempts of biological warfare, according to the first historical study on the origins of bio-terrorism and chemical weapons.

“In this celebrated epic poem about noble heroes fighting honorable battles, both sides actually used arrows dipped in snake venom,” said Adrienne Mayor, author of “Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World” (published this month by Overlook Press).

Mayor, a classical folklorist in Princeton, N.J., gathered evidence from various archaeological finds and more than fifty ancient Greek and Latin authors, revealing that biological and chemical weapons — horrible even by modern standards — did see action in antiquity. …

“I think it is entirely possible that what we would now call biological weapons were used by warriors in antiquity. My favorite example is Odysseus, whose weapon of choice was arrows smeared with poison,” Robert Fagles, chairman of the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton University, and translator of the “Iliad,” told Discovery News.

Indeed, Odysseus, the archer renowned for crafty tricks, was the first mythic character to poison arrows with plant toxins, Mayor said. Homer recounts that he sailed to Ephyra, in western Greece, on a quest for a lethal plant — probably aconite — to smear on his bronze arrowheads.

Clearly, the works of Homer should be removed from every library before Islamofascists get their hands on them. Let’s shut down Amazon, too.

Read the whole story.

Not a Dime’s Worth of Difference

Here’s Fred Barnes slathering attention on Sen. Hillary Clinton on the Weekly Standard website:

President Bush has a surprising defender of his contention that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction–Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York. “The intelligence from Bush 1 to Clinton to Bush 2 was consistent” in concluding Saddam had chemical and biological weapons and was trying to develop a nuclear capability, Clinton said this morning. And Saddam’s expulsion of weapons inspectors and “the behavior” of his regime “pointed to a continuing effort” to produce WMD, she added.

Only the sort of boobs who find Hannity & Colmes invigorating would be surprised by this. The War Party protects its own.

Sifting Through the Rubble

John B. Judis has an article ‘Sifting Through the Rubble’ in the October 1 American Prospect that presents a “balance sheet” of US “failures” in Iraq. According to Judis, (besides generally spreading chaos) the invasion has:

– Reversed Arab efforts to reform Saudi Arabia.
– Increased US political dependence on Saudi Arabia.
– Increased the power of Saudi-led OPEC.
– Raised the price of oil for US consumers.
– Boosted the Saudi economy (up 7% this year).

Still waiting for evidence of fanatical devotion to democracy.

The American Way of “Getting Rid of People”

I put this up as a comment on Gene Healy’s blog earlier, so I might as well post it here, too. Healy wrote about Bush’s recent interview with Brit Hume on Fox, and one of the funnier/scarier moments in the exchange when Bush said that he gets all of his info from Rice and Wolfowitz. Good, but my favorite part was this:

HUME: Now the Israelis have indicated that they might get rid of [Arafat] one way or another, exile, killing him. What would be our reaction to that? I mean, we keep hearing that he’s an enemy of peace, an obstacle to peace, and yet when the Israelis said, well, OK, let’s get rid of him, the answer up in the U.S. government is, whoa, not so fast. What about it?

BUSH: Well, the best way — in America, we believe in getting rid of people through a peaceful, orderly process, and the Palestinian people should make that decision by getting a government that represents their will. Because I believe most Palestinians believe in peace.

“Getting rid of people through a peaceful, orderly process”– this should be Ashcroft’s motto for the PATRIOT Act.